Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 8
By Samir Ali – Trend:
Beijing hosted the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, where 37 heads of state and government, the heads of international and regional organizations took part on April 26, 2019, Azerbaijani MP, member of the Azerbaijan-China inter-parliamentary working group Javid Osmanov told Trend on Oct. 8.
“Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has become one of the few heads of state represented at the forum,” the MP said. “The president’s visit made a significant contribution to the intensification of the country's participation in the “One Belt, One Road” initiative and bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and China.”
“Azerbaijan, which is one of the important countries of the historical Silk Road, located in the center of Eurasia, at the junction of East and West, today is actively involved in the creation of international trade corridors, based on its historical traditions,” the MP said.
"Along with Azerbaijan’s comprehensive development, great works are underway for modernizing the country's transport and transit potential under the leadership of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev - political successor of Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Aliyev,” Osmanov said.
“The Baku cargo terminal, six international airports in Azerbaijan, the Alat trade port, the cargo fleet in the Caspian Sea, having the most modern cargo ships, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway commissioned in 2017 and ensuring the shortest railway connection between Europe and China, testify to Azerbaijan’s success achieved in the transport and transit sphere during a short period,” the MP said.
“While effectively using the geographical location and the mentioned infrastructure, the Azerbaijani leadership is conducting important work to strengthen its positions in the field of global and regional cargo transportation,” Osmanov said. “Of course, the ties with China are of particular importance in this sphere.”
The MP stressed that the “One Belt, One Road” strategy, initiated with the aim of further intensification of China's foreign trade and economic relations, which is the biggest exporter and second importer in the world, creates new cooperation opportunities for Azerbaijan.
"Azerbaijan was one of the first countries which correctly evaluated the opportunities created by this Chinese initiative for cooperation, joint development and supported it,” Osmanov said. “During the visit to China in December 2015, President Aliyev signed a memorandum of understanding on joint encouragement of the establishment of the Silk Road Economic Belt, which is an integral part of the "One Belt, One Road" strategy.”
“During various meetings and international events Azerbaijani officials have repeatedly stated that the country not only supports this initiative in terms of politics, it is ready to contribute to its implementation by its economic potential and transport and transit capabilities," the MP added.
Osmanov stressed that while delivering speech at the “One Belt, One Road” International Cooperation Forum dedicated to “Building a brighter common future” at the level of heads of state, President Aliyev raised the issue of Azerbaijan’s support for the initiative and the possibility of cooperation within this framework.
“The president emphasized that by creating a modern transport and logistics infrastructure, they not only turned the country into an important transport hub, but at the same time contributed to the cooperation among the countries participating in the East-West and North-South corridor projects,” the MP said.
“International transport projects serve to strengthen cooperation among countries and peoples,” Osmanov said. “The One Belt, One Road Initiative, along with the creation of new opportunities in the transport sector, encourages the communication among peoples and serves to establish stability, security and peace in the Eurasian space.”
“The signing of 10 documents worth $821 million between the Azerbaijani and Chinese companies within the forum testifies to the great prospects for trade and economic ties among the countries, in particular, the cooperation upon the One Belt, One Road initiative,” the MP said.