Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 22
By Sara Israfilbayova - Trend:
The projects being implemented under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev allow Azerbaijan to hold a leading place in the region in the field of transport, transit and logistics, Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev told Trend Feb. 22.
He said that these projects, including the construction of the Baku International Sea Trade Port and the Baku Shipyard, meet the highest standards.
“The work implemented in the country is the result of the economic policy by President Ilham Aliyev,” Mustafayev said. “One of the main directions of this policy is the transformation of Azerbaijan into a transport hub through the use of the country’s geographical position. As is known, the North-South and East-West routes pass through Azerbaijan. A lot of work is being done to turn Azerbaijan into a transport hub. In particular, railways and highways are being built and reconstructed. The Baku International Sea Trade Port was commissioned last year. In 2013, the Baku Shipyard was put into operation.”
On Feb. 21, Baku hosted the ceremony of launching the first oil tanker produced in Azerbaijan. Commenting on this event, Mustafayev noted that this tanker is one of four vessels built on the basis of an agreement between Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company CJSC and Baku Shipyard LLC. In general, the agreement provides for the construction of two vessels of the Ro-Pax type and two tankers, he said.
“One of these tankers was launched today,” he noted. “Its construction entered the last stage. Ninety percent of all work has already been completed and, as expected, the tanker will be fully ready in June this year. At the same time, one of the Ro-Pax-type vessels will be commissioned this year, while the second Ro-Pax-type vessel with another tanker will be commissioned next year.”
Mustafayev also reminded that a new agreement was signed on Feb. 21 - two new tankers will be built with the support of the government.
“They will be commissioned in 2021,” he said. “Thus, the fleet of Azerbaijan will expand, and this will make it possible to preserve the advantage gained so far. The merchant fleet of Azerbaijan is the biggest in the Caspian Sea in terms of the number of merchant ships and the construction of these tankers will allow us to maintain our positions.”
The minister stressed that the main goal of the work being done is to transfer cargoes that are transported from East to West and from North to South, as well as in the opposite direction, to Azerbaijan.
“We are consistently moving towards this,” he added. “The construction of a new tanker is a significant event. It is the first tanker built in Azerbaijan. Every year, five million tons of oil are transported through Azerbaijan’s territory from Turkmenistan, Russia, Kazakhstan and enter the Mediterranean Sea via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Therefore, the construction of tankers is important for maintaining Azerbaijan’s positions in this area.”
Mustafayev also touched the country’s non-oil industry. He said that this is one of the most successfully developing areas of the country.
“The development of the non-oil sector is a priority direction of the economy,” he noted. “In this regard, the non-oil industry plays a leading role. Last year, the non-oil industry grew by 8.5 percent. This is a very high figure. In January this year, the growth rate of non-oil production increased – the growth exceeded 18 percent. This was achieved thanks to the plants and factories put into operation. The role of industrial parks is also important here. The important contribution of the Baku Shipyard to this matter is also worth mentioning.”