Transport diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy

Transport diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:

Today the world is learning to live under the conditions of low oil prices.

For Azerbaijan, as well as for other producing countries, it is time to search for "new" sources of income. Some states, for instance the ones like Azerbaijan, began preparation for this process many years ago, while others will have to start from scratch.

High technologies, agriculture, tourism, and of course, the transport sector can be such sources of income. It is the development of transport which serves as one of the pillars of the economy.

This is also confirmed by the history. For centuries, the development of transportation led to an increase in trade, acceleration of the delivery of goods, and, accordingly, to the growth of the economy as a whole.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, while addressing a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, dedicated to the social and economic development in 2014 and the challenges ahead, said that Azerbaijan's geographical location should be provided with a powerful transport infrastructure.

"The construction of a marine trade port and the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway are closely related issues," he added. "We must expand these corridors. The North-South and East-West corridors run through Azerbaijan. The transport infrastructure that has been and is being created in Azerbaijan will serve to both our country and neighbors."

Virtually the largest amount of non-oil investments, both foreign and domestic, is being attracted to Azerbaijan's transport sector.

As the transport minister of Azerbaijan, Ziya Mammadov, said at a conference titled "The application of new technologies and innovations in the construction and reconstruction of road infrastructure" some $2.5 billion were invested from various sources to the transport sector of Azerbaijan in 2014.

Out of the total funds invested in the country's transport sector, some $1.9 billion were spent for the development of road transport infrastructure.

At present, new industrial enterprises open in all districts of Azerbaijan. The agriculture is developed. The extensive, high-quality road infrastructure contributes to their development, establishes relations between relevant enterprises and accelerates the delivery of goods to the end consumers.

Azerbaijan has already reconstructed all main roads connecting the country with Georgia, Russia and Iran. This is primarily promotes the development of the country's transit potential.

The total length of roads used in Azerbaijan is 19,002 kilometers, the head of Azeryolservis JSC under the Azerbaijani Transport Ministry Javid Gurbanov said. Around 4,645 kilometers of the total road length account for the roads of national significance, while 14,357 kilometers - local roads.

We can say unambiguously that Azerbaijan is not content with existing needs. In fact, the country's transport infrastructure capacity, including road infrastructure, will resolve the problem with the growing volume of freight and passenger flow for the next years. This is very important given low oil prices and a decrease in investment opportunities.

Moreover, along with other sectors of the economy, the transport sector may be one of the components of the successful economic diversification and development of industrial production.

And the main thing in this issue is not to lose time. Azerbaijan managed this successfully. Simple figures testify to this. Around 11,000 kilometers of roads and about 300 bridges have been built in the country for the past 10 years.

Seymur Aliyev is the head of Trend Agency's Russian News Service

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