“Regional infrastructure projects are of strategic importance for the development of transport corridor of Europe-the Caucasus-Asia”- mentioned by Mr. Mustafayev, National Secretary of the IGC TRACECA in Azerbaijan

30.06.2016

On 1 June 2016 within Twelfth Annual Meeting of the IGC TRACECA, during the speech, Mr. Akif Mustafayev, Head of Delegation, National Secretary of the IGC TRACECA in the Republic of Azerbaijan underlined that the Azerbaijan Party is successfully carrying out measures on the realization of the Programme for development of transport sector of Republic. These measures are fully corresponding to the Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy as well as Resolutions, Decisions and Recommendations of the IGC TRACECA.

Besides, important work was undertaken aiming at rehabilitation and construction of railway and road highways, bridges and port installations, renewal and purchase of the railway rolling stock, sea crafts and aircrafts.

During his speech, Mr. Mustafayev outlined that for the last 5 years more than 15,0 billion (USD) was invested in the transport sector of Azerbaijan which 3 times increases the figure of the previous 5-year period. 

Special attention was devoted to the rehabilitation and construction of the road highway Baku – border with Georgia with the length of 503 km, which was fulfilled in accordance with the highest European standards with the aim of developing transit traffic along the TRACECA corridor.

Owing to the efforts and constructive activities of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey the construction of the railway line Baku-Tbilisi-Kars will be completed by the end of 2016. At the same time, these countries together with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan take specific measures regarding the development of the Trans-Caspian transport route. In particular, some container trains have already been sent from China in the direction of Kazakhstan-the Caspian Sea-Azerbaijan-Georgia.

At the beginning of the current year Ukraine sent two container trains along the International Trans-Caspian transport route to China. After testing the route Ukraine and Lithuania signed the Memorandum on Joining of the Viking container train the Trans-Caspian international transport corridor.

At the same time, CJSC “Azerbaijan Railways” joined the Project of a container train “Viking” (Viking train). The issues related to the implementation of this Project were discussed by participating companies during the meeting held on 12-13 May. On the outcomes of the meeting the parties achieved the agreement on preparation of the plan of activities to increase freight traffic by container train “Viking” and made a decision on application of railway tariffs at a competitive level. 

The focus of the transport sector of Azerbaijan is on the development of shipping along the maritime routes of the Caspian basin.  Within the lines of Baku-Aktau-Baku and Baku-Turkmenbashi-Baku ferry and tanker traffic is envisaged. The Azerbaijan Party systematically purchases new ferries, tankers and other ships thereby increasing its transport fleet.

For the last 5 years only there were purchased six new tankers and seven ferries. For these purposes there were allocated own funds of the Shipping company and the financial means from the state budget. Presently the Caspian Shipping Company (CASPAR) owns 82 ships with the total deadweight of 488073 tons, including 43 tankers, 39 dry cargo ships, 13 railway ferries, 4 ships Ro-Ro type, which operate in the water area of the Caspian Sea along the transport corridor TRACECA. Mr. Mustafayev also added that the opening of the ferry terminal within the framework of the first stage of a new Baku International Sea Trade Port in Alyat settlement near Baku considerably expanded opportunities of thev ferry traffic in the direction of Baku-Aktau-Baku and Baku-Turkmenbashi-Baku.  

       
Within the next stage there will be completed the construction of a universal terminal for dry cargo and containers, four piers and Ro-Ro ships. National Secretary noted that in order to improve the use of air traffic potential, a new passenger terminal in Baku was constructed and commissioned, this air terminal is one of the most advanced and best in the Eurasian area as well as an international logistic centre for air traffic.

Within the 12th IGC meeting, Mr. Mustafayev mentioned that the development of transport infrastructure of Azerbaijan and other countries of the region will lead to an increase of transit traffic. If the TRACECA countries cover at least 3-4% of the potential of freight traffic from China to Turkey and European countries (which equals 20,0 million TEU), this will make around 600 thousand units of containers a year.

In addition, in order to accelerate the activity on tariffs optimization, simplification of border-customs procedures and increase of transit traffic volumes, by virtue of the Decree of the President of Azerbaijan of 21 October 2015 in Azerbaijan there was established the Coordinating Board for Transit Traffic. In accordance with the Decree there should be applied the “Single Window” concept in carrying transit cargo through the territory of Azerbaijan by road transport, railways, maritime transport, sea ports and sea terminals. The Coordinating Board for Transit Traffic made a decision on reducing tariffs for transit freight traffic by high-tonnage TIR vehicles to the ports of Aktau and Turkmenbashi approximately by 40%. 

Mr. Mustafayev emphasized, that TRACECA corridor has huge potentials for increasing transit traffic and, in particular, for transportation of containerized goods. In this regard, the MLA member states should incessantly carry out measures aimed at further improvement of goods and passengers movement along the TRACECA corridor, upgrade of transport infrastructure, simplification of border-crossing procedures, development of transit and multimodal traffic.

Within the Agenda of the IGC Meeting, taking into consideration the necessity to stimulate coordination on all stages of transport corridor development, Mr. Mustafayev expressed hope, that the European Commission should certainly increase its attention towards TRACECA and provide necessary assistance and support both to TRACECA countries and National Secretariats of the IGC TRACECA representing these countries.    

In conclusion of his speech Mr. Mustafayev said that the realization of the Final Resolutions to be aprroved on the outcomes of the IGC TRACECA conference should promote relevant reforms in the Parties to the TRACECA MLA and contribute to the development of the South-East-West axis for the enlargement of the Trans-European Transport Network by means of further development of the international transport corridor Europe-the Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA).     

Full speech of Mr. Mustafayev is available for download here.

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Permanent Secretaritat of the IGC TRACECA