BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 18. The road infrastructure created in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan will contribute to the country’s transformation into a new transport hub, expert, Professor, Head of Department at Odlar Yurdu University Elshad Mammadov told Trend.
According to Mammadov, the restoration of transport communications between the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR) and other territories of Azerbaijan creates prerequisites for the beginning of a new stage of development in the region.
The transport and logistics infrastructure, in which Azerbaijan has invested huge funds for the past 20 years, has led to positive results, he said.
"Azerbaijan has already begun to receive its economic and political dividends. There is an impressive potential not only from the point of view of transit but also in terms of the transport and logistics component of our country as a whole," the expert noted.
"We must ascertain the wisdom of the head of our state, who was one of the initiators of the development of transport and logistics routes passing through the territory of Azerbaijan, including the East-West and North-South corridors which connect Russia with the Asian market," Mammadov also noted.
"Azerbaijan has significant potential opportunities in this direction, and the further development of the transport infrastructure will allow it not only to become a transit country but also to gain access for its products with a higher added value to other markets," he further said.
The expert also stressed that the Zangazur corridor will open opportunities for the social and economic development of Azerbaijan, including Nakhchivan.
"Actually, the implementation of the Zangazur Corridor will enable our country to increase non-oil and non-primary exports. As the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev noted, positive results have been achieved in a number of issues in the country,” Mammadov reminded.
"It’s not by chance that the head of the state appreciated the work of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, because solving issues of a social nature will continue to be a priority," added the expert.
According to the MP, political expert Rasim Musabayov, the opening of the Zangazur Corridor will provide Azerbaijan with unimpeded and safe access to Nakhchivan, as well as allow NAR to establish a land connection with the western regions of Azerbaijan.
Musabayov also said that the capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway (BTC) hasn’t been fully utilized. The throughput capacity of BTC is 10 million tons of cargo per year. However, at present, about three million tons of cargo are transported along this route per year.
The MP noted that it’s much more important for Azerbaijan to expand the infrastructural capabilities of the Baku International Sea Port.
"Accelerated commissioning of the second phase of the port construction is required, as the flow of all types of cargo is increasing. The low capacity of ships to transport cargo is also an extremely constraining factor. In this context, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan are lagging behind very much," he pointed out.
"As the President of Azerbaijan noted in his speech at the meeting dedicated to the results of the first half of 2022, Azerbaijan has a large shipbuilding plant, and there is a need to increase its potential for shipbuilding. The implementation of this initiative will speed up the transportation of goods," the MP added.
According to him, in the future, when the Zangazur corridor will be fully built and commissioned, there will be a need to transport cargo along the East-West route, and a corresponding chain of routes will be created.
"Today, we don’t see any necessity in this, and this issue is not on the agenda. However, this corridor will, first of all, provide Azerbaijan with a land connection with Nakhchivan, Russia with Iran, and Armenia with Türkiye. Moreover, the corresponding road infrastructure will be built to connect Azerbaijan with Türkiye through Nakhchivan," concluded Musabayov.