Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 25
By Maksim Tsurkov – Trend:
Over the recent years, about $25 billion has been invested in the development of Azerbaijan’s transport sector, said the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Abid Sharifov.
He made the remarks during the International Rail Business Forum titled “Strategic Partnership 1520: Caspian region”, which kicked off in Baku Nov. 25.
Sharifov said that Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev attaches special attention to the development of transportation infrastructure in the country.
“In recent years, about $25 billion has been invested for this goal. It is about the construction of a new international ferry crossing, new roads connecting Azerbaijan with neighboring countries, reconstruction and full renovation of the railway between Azerbaijan and Georgia,” said the deputy prime minister.
He noted that currently, the construction of the railway bridge over the Astarachay River at the Azerbaijani-Iranian border continues.
“Moreover, the construction of an 8.3-kilometer long one-way railway line from the Astara station to the border with Iran has been completed,” he added.
The railway bridge across the Astarachay River is a strategically important facility that will link railways of Azerbaijan and Iran and will be a part of the Astara (Azerbaijan)-Astara (Iran) section of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
The North-South Transport Corridor is meant to connect Northern Europe with Southeast Asia. It will serve as a link for connecting the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia.
At the initial stage, it is planned to transport 6 million tons of cargo via the North-South corridor per year and to increase the figure to over 10 million tons in the future.
Sharifov went on to say that under the presidential decree, a free trade zone, which will include the territory of the new Baku International Sea Trade Port, will be created in the Alat township of Garadagh district of Baku.
“We invite all interested parties to take part in the implementation of all these projects,” he said.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree March 17, 2016, on measures to create a free trade zone type special economic area covering the territory of the Baku International Sea Trade Port in the Alat township of Baku’s Garadagh district.
In September 2016, the Azerbaijani government and Dubai Port World company (DP World, one of the world’s major port operators) signed an agreement on providing consulting services for the creation of the free trade zone in the Alat township.
Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov