Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 30
By Ali Mustafayev – Trend:
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway is of great importance for the full realization of transit, transport and logistics potential of the whole region, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev has said at the BTK railway’s official opening ceremony in Baku.
“Kazakhstan, located in the heart of Eurasia, is actively working to develop transcontinental transportation between Europe and Asia. We were first to support the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. This decision was taken in 2006 by Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia with the support of Kazakhstan and China. The fact that such an important decision was taken in our capital, Astana, has a symbolic importance for us,” he noted.
The project forms optimal logistics and generates economic growth and trade in the region, according to Sagintayev.
“Kazakhstan’s task is to develop transit and transport capacity, and join the intercontinental Eurasian system as a "golden bridge". We are working hard to solve this task within implementation of the Nurly Zhol state program,” he said.
The Kazakh PM also noted that over the last nine years, investments in the development of the country’s transport and logistics system amounted to about $28 billion.
“We provided the shortest way for the freight flow from China, Central Asia and the Ural-Siberian region of Russia to enter the Trans Caspian Corridor. I am sure that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will give a significant impetus to the development of regional trade. It will create additional potential for economic growth. It is equally important that the corridor will be a factor ensuring stable and secure development of the entire South Caucasus region,” he said.
First container trains formed in Kazakhstan and China arrived today in Baku’s Alat port from the Kazakh port of Kuryk, Sagintayev said, adding they will further be sent along the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route.
“In this regard, I want to congratulate all heads of state and participants of today's festive occasion on this historic event,” he added.
The opening ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was held today in Baku.
The BTK railway was constructed on the basis a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.
The railway’s peak capacity will be 17 million tons of cargo per year.