Weekly economic review (Nov. 14-18)
Azerbaijan among main transit countries for goods supply
Azerbaijan did a great job to ensure efficiency in transit transportations, Counselor for Economic Affairs at the US Embassy Carter Wilbur said.
He made the remarks Nov.16 during the Azerbaijan Infrastructure, Power and Renewable Energy Investment Conference in Baku.
Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Georgia did a great job to improve the speed and harmonize systems for transit transportations, he said.
These countries understand that they shouldn’t compete in this case, he noted, adding that if one country loses, all countries lose.
Currently, no country can compete with maritime transportations in terms of price, Wilbur said.
One can compete with this kind of transportation, but it is necessary to ensure non-stop transit transportations among the countries, he added.
Given the location of Azerbaijan at the crossroads of north and south, east and west, the country becomes a major transit point for shipments of goods from the East and South-East Asia to Europe, he noted.
Azerbaijan’s location provides a unique opportunity to unite east and west, north and south in the areas of trade and supplies of various products and services, Wilbur said.
He also noted that Azerbaijan needs to expand domestic production, increase employment and enhance the volumes of trade.
The US believes that small and medium businesses may become the real driver of domestic production growth, he said.
It is important to understand that additional tax revenues should be provided at the expense of new companies, and not by expanding the taxation of the existing companies, Wilbur added.
Currently, around 22 million containers per year are transported between Asia and Europe. Only 100,000 containers are transported by land, the remaining ones are transported by sea.
Container transportations between Europe and Asia are already being implemented via the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.
The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route runs through China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and then through Turkey and Ukraine to Europe.
The first test container train from China arrived at the Baku International Sea Trade Port on Aug. 3, 2015.
The agreement to create the Trans-Caspian International Transportation Consortium was signed in April in Baku by the railway authorities of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan. New competitive tariffs were introduced for the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route since June 1, 2016.