Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 13
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
Azerbaijan will become a major link among Europe, India and China, as well as a way for Iran to enter the Caucasus by implementing the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) and the North-South projects, Mehmet Fatih Oztarsu, the vice chairman of the Turkish Analytical Center Strategic Outlook, the expert on the South Caucasus, told Trend Jan. 13.
He said that these projects will become an essential tool for the expansion of trade among its member-states.
"Both projects will open new economic opportunities for Azerbaijan in the international arena," he said. "Panama can be cited as an example. Its economy is based on transport routes of the Panama Canal. This is especially relevant now during the energy crisis."
The expert believes that Azerbaijan must accelerate the implementation of these projects.
Fatih Oztarsu also said that these projects will play an important role in solving the regional problems.
"By bringing the countries together from an economic point of view, the project will reduce the level of political misunderstanding among the sides," he said.
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.
Azerbaijan allocated a loan of $775 million for the construction of the railway's Georgian section.
A new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad is being constructed as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project.
The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million metric tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be equal to one million passengers and 6.5 million metric tons of cargo.
The annual transit of goods from Iran to Russia via Azerbaijan will reach about ten million tons. The North-South railway will connect Northern Europe to South-East Asia. It will serve as a link to connect the railways of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.