BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 22. China is opening a new route for freight trains from Xi An (Sian city, the northwest of Chinese Shaanxi province) in direction of German Mannheim city, and using rail and sea transport this route will also pass through Black sea and Caspian Sea, ADY Container LLC told Trend.
First train with 42 containers (316 tons) left Xi An on April 13. Train’s route of 11,300 kilometers will run through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic to German city of Mannheim.
The containers will be sent to port of Azerbaijan’s Baku by a feeder ship after the train arrives at the port of Kazakhstan’s Aktau, then to the Georgian port of Poti and then to Europe via the Black Sea, ADY Container said.
Economist Vugar Bayramov believes the new route will not only strengthen Azerbaijan's economic position, but also increase state revenues.
"In particular, an increase in volume of cargo transportation in the region is expected against the backdrop of sanctions against Russia and Iran. Azerbaijan is an important country in the region in terms of cargo transportation,” Bayramov told Trend.
“Implementation of regional projects once again confirms that, in general, in terms of international cargo transportation, Azerbaijan is turning into a regional hub. At the same time, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will also be integrated into this railway line,” he noted.
“This project was implemented as a result of political will of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, despite serious pressure from a number of Western countries in connection with the implementation of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, and today, this railway has already become an element of a common transport line connecting Asia and Europe, having a special share in international cargo transportation," MP added.
According to Bayramov, a 65-percent increase was recorded in the volume of non-oil products transported through Azerbaijan before the pandemic.
"Existing infrastructure, also the digitalization of procedures related to international cargo transportation, will ultimately create opportunities for a special contribution to economy of Azerbaijan as a result of the operation of line, which will stretch from China to Germany through Azerbaijan, which will naturally become one of the sources of revenues in non-oil sector, growth of Azerbaijan's state revenues," he added.
Member of Azerbaijan’s Parliament (Milli Majlis) Azer Badamov said that far-sighted policy of President Ilham Aliyev is designed not only for further development of Azerbaijan, but also due to the timely implementation of projects linking regions and continents, it has further increased global importance of Azerbaijan in today's changing world.
"New perspectives on economic cooperation of the countries of world have appeared with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Importance of the international transport corridors we have created is growing day by day while the traditional routes connecting Asia with Europe are beginning to lose their importance. Azerbaijan has modernized road infrastructure within the country, created new international transport corridors by putting into operation Baku International Sea Trade Port and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway by joining the project "One belt, one road," Badamov told Trend.
Baku International Sea Trade Port has a transshipment capacity of 10 million tons of cargo per year and, if necessary, is able to double this volume, he said.
"More than five million tons of cargo were transshipped through the port in 2021, which is 20 percent more compared to 2020. This indicates that interest in the routes passing through Azerbaijan is growing,” the MP added.
“Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway has potential for the transportation of 6.5 million tons of cargo at initial stage and more than 15 million tons at subsequent stage. These international corridors provided by Azerbaijan allow saving 15 days on transportation from China to Europe, which will become more and more important every day, since China announced the opening of the new route,” Bayramov said.
“Policy of Azerbaijan’s Head of State to diversify the economy, the commissioning of international transport corridors created opportunities for increasing of country’s income. Azerbaijan is becoming a very important country for the world, using its geographical position very effectively, introducing new routes connecting continents," he said.