On 16 July 2020 Mr Assavbayev A. A., Secretary General of TRACECA, and H. E. Mr Zakhari Gross, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to the Republic of Azerbaijan, engaged in the exchange of views

15.07.2020

The main purpose of the meeting was the current activity of TRACECA, cooperation projects within the framework of the Europe-the Caucasus-Asia corridor, interaction in the East-West and North-South directions.

The exchange of views also touched upon trade and transport opportunities in the Europe-the Caucasus-Asia region, particularly the TRACECA member states, as well as the issues of mutual trade turnover in Azerbaijan. 

Secretary General noted that at present all efforts and activities of TRACECA are targeted at maximal development of the corridor opportunities, infrastructure, invigoration of multimodal transport, attraction of transit freight flows, implementation of digital technologies, settlement of soft infrastructure issues, harmonization of legislations. 

In the course of discussions, Mr Assavbayev and Mr Gross focused on the priority areas like containerization of cargo along the TRACECA corridor, facilitation of border crossing procedures, implementation of the Agreement on transit traffic with the emphasis on liberalization and increase of the corridor competitiveness, aimed at decreasing the carriers expenditures, reducing the costs and time of transportation.  At the same time, the TRACECA countries continue the negotiations on a single form of a multimodal document for the improvement of the transportation process within the corridor routes.

The Ambassador expressed his interest in the possibilities of involving the IFI’s (ADB, World Bank, EBRD) in the activities, financing and developing the Terms of Reference for technical assistance projects. The Ambassador noted the significance of projects development for the growth of bilateral and multilateral trade in the region. Particularly, the French Development Agency (AFD) invests in multi-million projects in Azerbaijan to upgrade railway transport from Baku to Tbilisi, participates in the transformation of the CJSC “Azerbaijan Railways”. 

Secretary General pointed out that the assistance of the EU member states’ diplomatic missions in Azerbaijan would have a positive impact on strengthening the cooperation with the EU institutions. With the view of efficient cooperation, the Permanent Secretariat initiated the dialogue with the EC on four (4) TA projects expecting to obtain the outcomes of the discussions on project proposals in the near future.   

Assavbayev A.A. added, that Azerbaijan has a powerful transport infrastructure network which is evidenced by  the cooperation between the Port of Baku and the  Rail Cargo Group, subsidiary cargo transport services company of the Austrian Federal Railways in Azerbaijan within the framework of traffic along the European Union-Turkey-China direction, as well as a number of projects promoting the increase of freight flows to the region and consolidating integration processes in the field of transport. 
    The figures of goods transportation from Europe to Asia along the TITR are becoming successful year-by-year, making the TRACECA corridor more competitive and attractive for freight operators. For example, temporary storage of goods and the launch of the customs warehouse in the Port of Baku will serve to the interests of major transnational companies, operating in the basin of the Caspian Sea.      
  On the outcomes of the exchange of views, Mr Assavbayev and Mr Gross expressed hope for cooperation on the issues of mutual interest. 

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Permanent Secretaritat of the IGC TRACECA