Baku, Azerbaijan, June 13
By Matanat Nasibova – Trend:
The willingness of regional partners, namely Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan, to support the implementation of International North-South Transport Corridor (INTC) project for many years testifies its economic feasibility and geopolitical significance, Director of Russian Economic School, Professor of the Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC) Elshad Mammadov told Trend News Agency during the Moscow-Baku video conference entitled “North-South Transport Corridor: regional integration prospects”.
“The strengthening of the regional partnership among the three countries testifies to the growing interest of the participating countries in the International North-South Transport Corridor,” he added.
"Today, the world economy is passing to the stage of formation of the new, sixth technological order,” Mammadov said. “We observe how the location of the centers of activity and the structural component of economic development are changing.”
“This sets new challenges for the Azerbaijani and Russian national economies, which have many similarities,” the expert said. “To some extent, this is connected to the similarity of the key sectors of the economy formed during the Soviet period, including the energy, oil and gas sectors."
Mammadov stressed that over the past decade, the project participants relied on a fairly important raw material base, ensuring a stable flow of currency, which made it possible to level all external shocks arising in the turbulent global economy.
"The issues of diversification and development of our economies, including the non-oil and high-tech sector, are priorities of the state policy of Russia and Azerbaijan,” he added. “These nuances point to the fact that this project becomes more important.”
“In my opinion, external risks and trade wars that could have disastrous consequences for the global economy are hindering the implementation of large-scale projects,” the expert said. “It is worth taking into account that developing economies may sharply collapse, more threats may occur for the implementation of such large-scale projects, and the efficiency of logistics and transport corridors may weaken as a result of the recessions on a regional and global scale."
“The International North-South Transport Corridor has real prospects for implementation in the medium term,” the expert stressed.
The International North–South Transport Corridor is designed for the transportation of goods from India and the countries of the Persian Gulf to Russia, Western Europe, the Baltic and Scandinavia.
If cargo transportation by sea through the Persian Gulf, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea to Helsinki takes 45-60 days, the delivery time along the "North-South" corridor will take 20-25 days.
Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia signed an agreement in 2005 on the construction of 375 km long railway segments in Iran between Astara and the Azerbaijan-Iran border, and the reconstruction of an existing railway in Azerbaijan to develop transportation in this area.
The Astara-Rasht-Qazvin railway project envisages the construction of a new railway line in Iran, which will connect the Azerbaijani city of Astara to the Iranian cities of Astara, Rasht and Qazvin.
The video conference was organized by the representative office of the North-South political science center in Baku, Trend News Agency and Caspian Expert Club.