Azerbaijan improving mechanism of private organizations' participation in int'l road transportation (Interview)

Azerbaijan improving mechanism of private organizations' participation in int'l road transportation (Interview)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 6

By Sadraddin Aghjayev - Trend:

The process of distribution of permit forms among international road carriers will be carried out by the Azerbaijan International Road Carriers Association (ABADA), Advisor to the Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan Rashad Bayramov told Trend in an interview.

This decision caused a lot of controversy in the country. How is the need for this decision expressed? There must be a very important basis for the transfer of its powers by the state structure to a public association.

First of all, I want to note that the organization of the distribution process through the ABADA, in which the carriers are represented, is carried out in order to improve the implementation mechanism. In accordance with the legislation, the powers remain in the sphere of regulation of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies. The main goal is to promptly eliminate shortcomings in international road transport and form an improved mechanism with the participation of carriers, independent experts and other parties interested in this process. In accordance with the requirements of the law on public participation, the state should invite the private sector and non-governmental organizations to take action. The memorandum signed in order to identify violations of laws, any aspects that may be overlooked, to ensure the participation of entrepreneurs in the decision-making process by the state and the government, will undoubtedly help the ministry to work more effectively to solve the most detailed problems of national carriers.

What criteria for a more transparent environment will be used in the implementation of the process? Are you sure this distribution environment will be created?

A transparent distribution environment requires new standards, different points of view, and an exchange of opinions. The distribution of permit forms by a new composition, according to new rules and criteria, is aimed precisely at creating a completely transparent environment. Please note that the distribution process between carriers-entrepreneurs will be controlled not only by the state structure - carriers and independent experts will have the right to control and intervene in the process. This decision will not be implemented by local government officials. If we look at the experience of countries that have come a long way in the development, we will see that partnership projects are of particular importance. In essence, this cooperation means creating an atmosphere of dialogue with entrepreneurs. This memorandum will serve as a basis for other areas of cooperation in terms of closer mutual understanding between the state and entrepreneurs, joint participation in solving problems, establishing communication without intermediaries when putting forward initiatives and proposals.

You mentioned that ABADA is a participating party in the distribution. If this agreement has the expected effect, entrepreneurs and freight carriers will be able to receive great privileges and will be represented in the process of transportation on equal terms. And what does this cooperation promise ABADA as an organization?

I recalled one point highlighted by the head of state: ‘Public-private partnership should be based on more specific projects.’ The signed memorandum can be assessed as one of the specific projects in the field of international transportation. And a specific project, naturally, will create great opportunities for entrepreneurs in terms of protecting their interests. I would like to point out that political and economic relations between countries play a very important role in the exchange of quota-based transport permit forms. ABADA has the right to participate in international negotiations in connection with transportation, to express the demands of the entrepreneurs it represents, and to participate in the struggle for the implementation of these requirements in the same environment as the state.

Of course, when new mechanisms are introduced, there are parties who are unhappy with this. Are there any complaints from entrepreneurs and what are their main motives?

Imagine that a total of only two entrepreneurs out of 130 carriers opposed a well-known agreement. I think this is a margin of error. It is important to note one fact here: the permit forms are classified as documents for limited exchange. What does it mean? That is, there is a limit on which quotas are exchanged. And, of course, entrepreneurs who wanted to use these forms within this limit, as well as who were eligible for the service provided in the carriage, could not get the permit forms. Unfortunately, the legislation does not yet contain specific criteria for obtaining transport permits. It is ABADA that will organize the distribution, presenting these criteria in the form of standards in accordance with generally accepted international practice. And everyone can take advantage of this opportunity.

Why did the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies turn to ABADA, not to other institutions?

The point is that ABADA did not entrust the implementation of the distribution process to any structure. It has involved a stakeholder in the distribution, which is the carrier entrepreneurs. ABADA is a public association in which carriers are represented. The organization was established in 1993 and is a non-commercial legal entity covering the entire territory of Azerbaijan. It is the only association with nearly 30 years of experience in this field. At the same time, I would like to note that all over the world there are similar facts of the involvement of associations and unions of road carriers in the distribution process. For example, in fraternal Turkey, this distribution is carried out by the International Association of Carriers (UND), in Russia - by the Association of International Road Carriers (ASMAP), and in Belarus - by a similar association (BAMAP). The application of proven experience in our country will also make an important contribution to public-private partnerships.

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