By Rashid Shirinov
Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan may reach $300 million in coming years, Azerbaijani economist Vugar Bayramov told Kazakh media outlets.
“Our estimates show that there are good opportunities for increasing the trade turnover. Despite the growth in indicators for the past year, the existing opportunities are not fully used,” he said.
The expert expressed confidence that 2018 will also be positive in trade and economic relations between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Bayramov noted that a special dynamics is observed in transportation.
“The volume of handled cargo increased by nearly 300 percent compared to 2016. Astana and Baku paid much attention to transport projects in 2017 and the results were not long in coming,” he said.
Head of the Center for Regional Development in Azerbaijan Chingiz Ismayilov, in turn, pointed out that completion of the first stage of the work on terminals commissioning in the Azerbaijani Alat Sea Port will give impetus to the growth of transportation.
“It is planned to increase the transportation volume from two to five million, and then to 12. The same is happening in the Kazakh Kuryk seaport,” Ismayilov said. “Last year, 1,2 million tons of cargo were handled there, and next year it is planned to handle three million tons.”
He added that the volume of transportation in connection with the improvement of logistics and port facilities of the Caspian region will give a big boost to the development of trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
In December 2017, the two countries adopted a road map, according to which it is planned to increase the trade turnover twice by 2020. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan also intend to strengthen energy cooperation. The issues of transportation of the Kazakh oil and gas to Europe through Azerbaijan will be considered.
Currently, the two countries are working on promotion of a joint transport project - the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), which involves cargo transportation from China via Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and further via Turkey and Ukraine to Europe. With the modernization of the ports and launch of new railway branches between the two countries, the cargo flow has significantly increased.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan amounted to $142 million last year, while in 2016 this figure was estimated at $124 million.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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