Azerbaijan actively promoting North-South international transport corridor, deputy PM says
Azerbaijan is actively promoting the North-South international transport corridor, which has opened up opportunities for South Asian countries to enter the markets of the CIS and Eastern Europe, Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev said during plenary discussions within "Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities" international conference.
He noted that the Central and South Asian regions located at the junction of Asia and Europe are a key connecting link of the Eurasian continent with a huge potential for growth and interaction.
“The development of transport routes is a very important task,” the deputy PM said. “It will allow transporting goods and ensure better market access for suppliers. It is important to continue to work to increase cross-border connectivity through the use of integrated transport corridors.”
Mustafayev stressed that Azerbaijan, which attaches great importance to the regional cooperation, is interested in supporting stability and security in the region and its economic prosperity.
"Being located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Azerbaijan, together with partners in the region, participates in a whole range of initiatives and projects aimed at developing transport and energy communications, strengthening regional and continental trade,” he said.
“Having made multi-billion-dollar investments, Azerbaijan in a relatively short period of time modernized the entire transport infrastructure for the implementation of projects to create international transport and energy corridors,” Mustafayev added.
He reminded that Azerbaijan has implemented a number of projects, such as the construction of Alat modern international seaport in the Caspian Sea and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, and Southern Gas Corridor energy projects, etc.
“A free economic zone is being created in Alat port, which in the future will play a leading role in international transportation and logistics chains in the region," Mustafayev said.
Mustafayev also said that according to the World Economic Forum, Azerbaijan ranks 27th in the world for the quality of road infrastructure, 11th for the efficiency of train services, 12th for the efficiency of air transport services and 25th for the efficiency of seaport services.
"The degree of Azerbaijan's involvement in the development of mutually beneficial solutions for building interaction in the region has been dictated primarily by the geographic location, economic potential of the country and its history,” the Azerbaijani deputy prime minister said.
“Azerbaijan attaches special importance to the development of regional projects,” Mustafayev said. “All measures were taken to ensure the smooth operation of international transport and energy communications even amid COVID-19 pandemic."
“Azerbaijan, together with partners, is effectively developing the East-West transport corridor, designed to ensure the transportation of transit goods between China and the countries of Central Asia and Europe and ensures access to the ports of Georgia and Turkey,” the Azerbaijani deputy prime minister said.
"Azerbaijan is one of the first countries which supported China's Belt and Road Initiative,” Mustafayev said. “The two countries signed a memorandum on joint promotion and economic benefit of the Silk Road in 2015. Active interaction is underway in this sphere."
The Azerbaijani deputy prime minister also stressed another extremely important project - the North-South international transport corridor.
“Azerbaijan, together with project partners, namely, Iran and Russia, is actively promoting and developing this transport route, which has opened up the opportunities for India and other South Asian countries through the Jawaharlal Nehru Port and further along the corridor to enter the markets of the CIS and Eastern Europe,” Mustafayev said.
"A new international multimodal corridor is being created jointly with Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Georgia to increase opportunities for cargo transportation in addition to the existing capacities," he added.