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Weekly digest of key events in Azerbaijan’s transport sector

Transport Materials 1 April 2023 14:51 (UTC +04:00)
Weekly digest of key events in Azerbaijan’s transport sector
Sadraddin Aghjayev
Sadraddin Aghjayev
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 1. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) allocated a total of almost $5.5 billion for the development of the transport sector of Azerbaijan on April 1, 2023.

The ADB announced the completion of two projects under the Second Road Network Development Investment Program worth $500 million. Within the program, a section of the new Alat-Astara highway, 60 kilometers long, the Ujar-Zardab-Aghjabedi, which is 70 kilometers long, a 55-kilometer section of the M5 road from Yevlakh to Sheki were reconstructed, while 10 local roads with a total length of 62 kilometers were completely re-established.

The above bank is financing a railway project called the "Railway Sector Development Program" worth $400 million, which includes a strategic loan of $250 million and a project loan of $150 million. ADB also, in November 2022, approved a small-scale technical assistance amounting to $225,000 to assist Azerbaijan Railways CJSC in developing an operational plan for railway transit and determining the optimal number of locomotive depots, their functionality and geographical location to improve the operational efficiency of the CJSC. The implementation of this project is scheduled for the current year.

Meanwhile, the World Bank (WB) is considering the prospects for the development of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), also known as the Middle Corridor, which allows the transportation of goods from China to Europe.

Furthermore, cargo traffic from Southwest Asia and the Middle East along the INSTC, and cargo traffic from India and Azerbaijan, which increased by 27 percent, have doubled. While shipments to Rusiranexpo (Russia) from India, Iran and Azerbaijan doubled, shipments to Prime Shipping Agency LLC (UAE) increased by 20 percent. By 2030 the volume of cargo along the INSTC is expected to almost double, from the current 17 million to 32 million tons per year.

In addition, this week the opening of the Zangezur Corridor will give an additional impetus to efforts to strengthen regional connectivity in Eurasia. This corridor will further strengthen the Caspian transport network, including the East-West transport corridor and the North-South corridor. It will also contribute to the development of the oil and gas pipeline system from the Caspian Sea to Europe and further enhance the transit potential of the region. Moreover, the Zangezur Corridor, as an integral part of the East-West corridor, will connect Asia and Europe through the territory of Azerbaijan, which will allow Azerbaijan to strengthen its position as a transport and logistics hub of Eurasia.

The unique role of Azerbaijan in the Middle Corridor has also been emphasized. The geopolitical landscape of Eurasia is rapidly changing, and the role of the corridor and Azerbaijan in light of these changes is increasing every day.

The Middle Corridor has become an important component in the implementation of China’s "One Belt, One Road" initiative, and therefore, a factor contributing to the further integration and connectivity in Eurasia. Thus, the role of Azerbaijan is paramount in the socio-economic, geopolitical and geostrategic aspects of ensuring greater connectivity in Eurasia.

In addition, the Russian IrAero airline is opening a new destination for Novosibirsk-Baku-Novosibirsk flights. Flights from Novosibirsk to Baku will be operated on Fridays and Sundays twice a week, while from Baku to Novosibirsk will be carried out on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Moreover, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency permitted IrAero to fly from Omsk to Baku. And as a result, the airplane plans to fly to the capital of Azerbaijan three times a week.

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