Intergovernmental agreement on Silk Wind transportation project to be signed in spring
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 5
By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:
An intergovernmental agreement on the Silk Wind transportation project is expected to be signed in Astana in May 2014. It is an initiative as part of international cooperation program in the field of TRACECA transport (Europe-Caucasus- Asia), TRACECA national secretary for Azerbaijan Akif Mustafayev told Trend on March 4.
The first meeting of the national working group was held as part of the Silk Wind project in Baku on Feb. 28. The representatives of the Ministry of Transport, the State Customs Committee , Azerbaijan Railways , the State Maritime Administration, Baku International Sea Trade Port , and other relevant organizations of Azerbaijan , as well as experts from Kazakhstan, Georgia and Turkey attended the meeting.
A regular multimodal block train will pass the 4,192 kilometer distance in 12 days and will ensure transportation of goods from China to Europe in accordance with the project.
The purpose of the 'Silk Wind' project is to create a multimodal train route (container/RO RO) with a primary information exchange system between customs services and railway operators of the project's partners. Countries participating in the project plan to introduce a single tariff on cargo transportation.
"The draft intergovernmental agreement was considered during the meeting," he said. "The various proposals and comments were voiced."
"I believe that the holding of the meeting of the national working group in Baku will positively impact the future work of the project," Mustafayev added.
"The draft agreement has already been agreed with nine relevant bodies in Azerbaijan," he added. "But making changes and additions will require additional approval. However, taking into account Azerbaijan's positive position on this issue, it may be implemented soon.
Mustafayev did not rule out the possibility of initialling the draft agreement with four sides in April 2014 and its signing on Kazakhstan's initiative in Astana in May.
"The process of preparation, approval and signing of the intergovernmental agreement is rather complicated and time consuming," he added. "It can be signed in May if all project participants intensify their activity."
"A meeting of national secretaries of TRACECA member-states will be held in Tbilisi on April 2-3," he added. "The Astana Economic Forum is planned to be held on May 21-23. An intergovernmental agreement may be signed as part of this forum.
Azerbaijan , Kazakhstan , Georgia and Turkey signed a memorandum on the Silk Wind transportation project, which is an initiative as part of TRACECA program, in November 2013.
TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia) is an international transport cooperation program among the EU and its partner countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. It has a permanent Secretariat in Baku, Azerbaijan.
TRACECA member states are Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Moldova, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Iran.
Translated by NH
Edited by CN