(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 7
By Sadraddin Aghjayev - Trend
Azerbaijan may potentially develop transit communications associated with international transport corridors only as a distribution hub, Russian political scientist, a researcher at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Karavaev told Trend .
According to Karavaev, Azerbaijan will soon be able to increase the transit traffic by 40 percent.
In addition, he noted that within the framework of maintaining the infrastructure of the One Belt - One Road project in the Caspian Sea, there was no talk of any serious Chinese investments in the main ports of Aktau (Kazakhstan) and Baku (Azerbaijan).
'These infrastructure facilities developed exclusively as national projects of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, and external investors were from the UAE and international infrastructure banks. At the same time, Beijing paid close attention to the development of the port of Gwadar in Pakistan, as it was necessary both to transfer the flow of containers from congested ports on the Pacific coast of China and as a way to compete with India,' Karavaev said.
According to the expert, the most optimal scenario for Azerbaijan and its partners in the One Belt - One Road project is the creation of a single management company for this route.
'As before, a lot of difficulties remain due to the multitude of operators on the transit line. Development of the Caspian segment of the trans-Eurasian transit is still the task of the countries of this region,' he said.
Karavaev also believes that the situation is simplified by the presence of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway segment and the presence of a single operator here, represented by the Azerbaijani ADY Container and Alliance Logistics companies. In this regard, the Azerbaijani infrastructure of logistics services is the most developed.
“The rail infrastructure, faced with the explosive growth in trans-Eurasian rail traffic caused by the COVID-19 pandemic blockage of Chinese ports, simply could not cope with the influx of cargo. Hence, the problems with containers and other difficulties. In particular, the main lines of communications China-Russia-EU, China-Kazakhstan-Russia-EU in 2021 recorded an increase of more than 50 percent (568,000 containers in 9M2021). However, the trans-Caspian as a backup route takes dozens of times less cargo, but even then, a record 84 percent growth was noted,' the expert said.
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