Azerbaijani ministry talks about turning country into regional transport hub
BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 14
By Sadraddin Agjayev – Trend:
Azerbaijan is an initiator and an active participant in a number of projects to develop the Eurasian transport system along the routes passing through the Caucasus region, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies told Trend in an interview.
“The transit and transport policy of Azerbaijan as of a country without access to the open sea is aimed at creating new infrastructure and diversifying transport connections, rational use of transit opportunities, rendering the state support for the transport projects, bringing the legal and institutional framework closer to the international standards, widespread introduction of the transport and logistics systems to facilitate transportation and the movement of goods,” the ministry said.
"The successful completion of one of the strategically important regional infrastructure projects - the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the opening ceremony of which was held on October 30, 2017, and the Baku International Sea Trade Port which is the biggest port on the Caspian Sea, opening ceremony of which was held on May 14, 2018, is a vivid example," the ministry said.
The ministry added that an important condition for the effective implementation of international transportation is the availability of road infrastructure that meets modern requirements.
“The work on the complete reconstruction of roads with a total length of about 4,000 kilometers in accordance with the first technical category by using advanced technologies is underway on a regular basis,” the ministry said. “This makes it possible to optimize the routes by driving around cities and big settlements and reduce distances by tens of kilometers.”
“The relevant work has been actively carried out recently to simplify the border control procedures for individuals and vehicles,” the ministry said. “Special attention is also paid to the development of infrastructure at the border checkpoints.”
“The Coordinating Council on Transit Freight was created upon the Azerbaijani president’s decree to more efficiently use the potential of our country in the field of transit cargo transportation,” the ministry said.
“The main responsibilities of the Coordinating Council are to establish the common principles and conditions, optimize tariffs, coordinate the activity of carriers and state bodies, ensure transparency, simplify and improve transit procedures, reduce their number and terms, apply more acceptable systems in the field of transit cargo transportation, expand the cooperation between countries-carriers and relevant state agencies, promote the transport corridors passing through the country,” the ministry said.
“Acting as a multimodal transit logistics hub, the new port and a special economic zone will become one of the main cargo consolidation centers in Central Asia, rendering a wide range of additional services and will play a key role in international multimodal transportation and in the Eurasian supply chain through Azerbaijan,” the ministry said.
"Moreover, the necessary measures are being taken to strengthen the leading position of Azerbaijan as a center of logistics and transport and increase its competitiveness, as well as to develop all transport corridors through the country, increase the volume and quality of transit transportation through these corridors,” the ministry said.
“Ernst and Young developed the project entitled 'Azerbaijan's Cargo Logistics Industry Development Strategy',” the ministry said. “The project assesses the current situation in the field of logistics, reveals the strong and weak sides, enhances the competitiveness of logistics and determines the steps in the direction of development of various transport corridors."
Several years ago, the Azerbaijan president signed a decree on the creation of a special economic zone (free trade zone), including the territory of the Baku International Sea Trade Port. The law, stipulating the legal regime for the operation, development and management of the economic zone, has already been adopted.
One of the priority spheres in the market of transport services is the creation of new transport routes that meet such requirements as the availability of routes and tariffs, reliable transport, free use of infrastructure, simplified transit procedures, time and safety of transportation.
The basis of the country's transit policy is the creation of a transport infrastructure that facilitates the connection of Trans-European and Trans-Asian transport networks ensuring the shortest and fastest connection.
The considerable work has been carried out to develop the transport and communication infrastructure, increase the transit potential and quality of services in the corresponding spheres. The international infrastructure projects have been implemented.
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