Bet On Transit: Azerbaijan Increasing Its Geopolitical Influence Thanks To President Ilham Aliyev

(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 percent.

However Azerbaijan doesn't stop there and is ready to further increase its transport potential, given the growing demand for alternative routes.

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 security.

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.


Trend News Agency

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