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On transport and logistics opportunities of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is located at the intersection of the East-West and North-South transport corridors and has a favorable geostrategic position. For the past 15 years, the large-scale projects on developing the transport infrastructure have been implemented in the country, and large state investments have been made in this field.

The reconstruction of roads and railways, especially in the direction of Georgia, Russia and Iran, based on the international standards, the construction of international airports in Baku and the regions, the Baku İnternational Sea Trade Port, the measures taken to develop the East-West and North-South transport corridors have played an important role in improving the transport infrastructure of Azerbaijan, as well as further strengthening the country's transit potential.

It is worthy to note the work done in recent years to develop the transport corridors in Azerbaijan, which is located at the intersection of transport corridors and has a favorable geostrategic position. In particular, the East-West transport corridor is the shortest route between China and Europe, and it is efficient in terms of transit and cargo transportation.

The average transit time along the 5,400 km East-West transport corridor is 15 days. Owing to the initiative and principled position of the President Ilham Aliyev, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway called the "İron Silk Road" because of its importance, was put into operation, which allowed the corridor to reach Europe directly by land. With introducing into an operation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the shortest and most reliable road connecting Europe with Asia, a significant increase in container traffic along the East-West international transport corridor was reached.

Azerbaijan has also done an important work on the development of the North-South international transport corridor, which has an advantage over the alternative corridors.

The construction of the railway bridge over the Astara river, an important link in this transport corridor, as well as the connection of railway stations on the Azerbaijani-Iranian border, is being carried out by our country at a rapid pace. Currently, the construction of a 1.4 km railway line in Iran, as well as the construction of a cargo terminal in Astara (Iran) have been completed. The dry cargo terminal of the loading terminal has already been put into operation.

In Azerbaijan, a railway line with a length of 8.3 km is laid to the border with Iran. Azerbaijan Railways is the main contractor and tenant for a period of 25 years, a 35-hectare cargo terminal under construction in the city of Astara in Iran. A section of the railway line with a length of 1.4 km from the border of Azerbaijan to the terminal is leased by Azerbaijan Railways for a period of 15 years. The Qazvin-Rasht railway section, which is part of the transport corridor, was put into operation. The only missing part of the Rasht-Astara railway section is in the process of completion, the work on which for 90% is complete.

After the implementation of this project, the cargo transportation from the Persian Gulf to Russia, as well as to the countries of Eastern and Northern Europe, will become more efficient, and the infrastructure of the North-South corridor through Azerbaijan will be fully provided. The North-South international transport corridor is of great political and economic importance, allowing for a significant increase in cargo and passenger transportations.

From the point of view of realizing the potential of Azerbaijan in the field of transit, China's "One Belt, One Road" İnitiative is important for our country. Azerbaijan is one of the first countries that support this strategy.

The memorandum of understanding on joint encouragement of the Silk Road Economic Belt was signed during the official visit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to China in 2015.

The objective of Azerbaijan is to integrate the Trans-Caspian Transit Corridor into the "One Belt, One Road" project and achieve the benefits in the common economic interests of all participating countries.

As a whole, Azerbaijan has always taken an active part in the reconstruction of the Great Silk Road region , including the oil pipelines of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and the Baku-Supsa, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, TANAP and TAP gas pipelines within the Southern Gas Corridor Project provided the energy component of this corridor through.