Competitive preferential tariffs for cargo traffic via Trans-Caspian route agreed

By Aynur Karimova

Azerbaijan has achieved a bright milestone in its history, becoming a transport hub and increasing the cargo flow and the influx of currency into the country.

The country has reached an agreement with Kazakhstan, Georgia and Ukraine on the realization of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.

The four countries have signed a protocol on setting competitive preferential tariffs for cargo transportation via this route.

The protocol was signed by Javid Gurbanov, the Head of Azerbaijani Railways CJSC, Taleh Ziyadov, the Director General of the Baku International Sea Trade Port, and Rauf Valiyev, the Head of the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company, Askar Mamin, the Head of Kazakhstan Railways JSC, Mamuka Bakhtadze, the Head of Georgian Railway JSC and Aleksandr Zavgorodniy, the acting Chairman of Board of Ukrainian Railways JSC at a meeting in Baku on January 14.

The document envisages setting the competitive preferential tariffs for cargo transportation via the Trans-Caspian route, carrying out comprehensive measures to facilitate the movement of trains via the route, and increasing cargo turnover.

“The signing of the protocol means opening a new route from the Izov station on the border of Ukraine and Poland till the Dostyk station on the border of Kazakhstan and China," Gurbanov told journalists after the signing ceremony.

A similar bilateral protocol was also signed separately by Azerbaijan and Georgia.

A uniform tariff policy for cargo traffic from China to Europe through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine will be agreed by mid-February after determining the distance from Ilyichevsk or Odessa to Georgian ports of Batumi and Poti.

The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route enjoys an opportunity to become attractive and profitable for consignors from European countries.

This route will transport approximately 300,000-400,000 containers by 2020, bringing hundreds of millions of manats in profit to Azerbaijan.

The first container train on this route arrived at Baku International Sea Trade Port from China in August. The train, consisting of 44 wagons, departed from the Alashankou export station of the Chinese Urumqi-Xinjiang province and arrived in Tbilisi in eight days transiting through the territory of Azerbaijan.

An agreement creating a coordinating committee to develop a Trans-Caspian International Transport Route was signed by Kazakh, Georgian, and Azerbaijani representatives in late 2013.

The project is being implemented by Kazakhstan Temyr Zholy, China Railways, Azerbaijan Railways, Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company and Baku International Sea Trade Port.

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

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