(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 25. The strategy of
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to turn the country into a
transit hub of Eurasia more increases the geopolitical importance
of the country.
The routes passing through Azerbaijan are currently more
attractive than ever, as the country creates all the conditions to
ensure safe transit in the shortest possible time. The modern rail,
road and sea transport infrastructure of Azerbaijan allows saving
money and time. It's not surprising that last year the volume of
cargo transit through Azerbaijan increased by more than 75
However Azerbaijan doesn't stop there and is ready to further
increase its transport potential, given the growing demand for
The country is taking concrete steps to further develop transit
opportunities for the benefit of the wider region. At a meeting
held on March 13 in Berlin with the heads of leading German
companies, President Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan is now
investing in expanding one of the bottlenecks, which is
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, it's Georgian segment.
"From 1 million tonnes it will be expanded to 5 million tonnes.
Azerbaijan's investments, additional investments will be more than
120 million US dollars and we will complete it hopefully next
year," the head of state said.
President Ilham Aliyev also announced plans to expand the
capacity of the commercial seaport in Alat from 15 million to 25
million tons and 1 million TEU [a standard logistics unit equal to
a 20-foot container].
The strategy of President Ilham Aliyev, designed for the future
and taking into account the realities, allows maintaining the role
of Azerbaijan as a sought-after and active player on the
international arena. In this context, Azerbaijan wisely uses its
transit capabilities to contribute to international transport
Azerbaijan is located at the intersection of two main routes,
the Middle Corridor and the North-South Transport Corridor, which
offer several unique opportunities to enhance Azerbaijan's
transport and logistics potential, as well as create opportunities
in other areas.
All major work related to both the Middle Corridor and the
North-South Transport Corridor has been completed.
The completion of activities related to the construction and
modernization of infrastructure means that Baku is part of two
major projects that meet the interests of different countries.
Political and economic role and position of Azerbaijan in these
projects is, of course, beneficial.
First, Azerbaijan will retain its key transport role, despite
any regional or global geopolitical upheavals. If there are any
geopolitical problems with one of the transport routes, the other
route will become more attractive. Consequently, the demand for
transit opportunities offered by Baku will always be present due to
the integrated nature of global trade and the supply chain.
Secondly, Baku will be able to use its global transport role in
foreign policy. Being the center of two important trade routes,
Azerbaijan will have additional opportunities to explore and use
opportunities to establish mutually beneficial political relations,
both with regional and global players.
Thirdly, Azerbaijan will create a wide infrastructure and a
large pool of specialists in the field of logistics and transport.
Baku will be able to create know-how that can be offered to
partners from other countries.
The above elements are not the only benefits. It is obvious that
Azerbaijan will receive certain economic opportunities. It's rather
difficult to predict the individual contribution of these routes to
the national economy, since several factors can influence the
degree of their profitability. However, these transport corridors
are built with a long-term perspective. Therefore, economically,
time is on the side of countries implementing transport routes.
Over the past thirty years, Baku has purposefully pursued
policies and implemented projects aimed at establishing key
transport links and creating the necessary infrastructure for
integration into world trade. It's becoming clear how Azerbaijan is
realizing this vision on a larger scale, and looking at the global
situation, the country's transit capabilities will improve
significantly in the future as the North-South and Middle Corridor
routes gain momentum.
The North-South corridor can gradually transport 15-30 million
tons of cargo through the territory of Azerbaijan. At the moment,
the entire transit potential of the country is a small percentage
of this. In this regard, the North-South Corridor can compete with
the Northern Corridor.
Speaking at various international economic forums and
conferences, President Ilham Aliyev stated that programs to
diversify the economy are being implemented in Azerbaijan.
Naturally, the increase in the country's transport capabilities is
very important to diversify its economy, and is a great
contribution to the economy.
The processes show that Azerbaijan, under the leadership of
President Ilham Aliyev, manages to attract the attention of leading
world companies, along with the oil and gas sector, and in
connection with transport corridors, receive economic and political
dividends from the geopolitical processes taking place both in our
region and in the world.