By Narmina Mammadova
The successful transport projects, such as Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, South-North, Alat International Sea Trade Port, carried out by Azerbaijan, considerably contribute to the One Road, One Belt initiative.
Chairman of the Port of Barcelona Santiago Garcia-Milà told Trend that Baku is one of main hubs along Belt and Road Initiative.
"I would like to highlight the great impact of the IAPH Baku World Ports conference in the port sector. With more than 400 participants from 65 countries and the high level of the working sessions Baku conference was the most successful and well-attended mid-term conference of IAPH. Undoubtedly, it promoted the role of Baku as one of the main hubs along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)," he noted.
The Chairman of the Port also spoke about the possibilities of cooperation between the Port of Baku and the Port of Barcelona, saying that such a collaboration may not be developed in the near future due to different geographical location of the ports.
As far as the collaboration between the Port of Barcelona and the Baku Sea Trade Port is concerned, please take into account that the location of the Port of Barcelona determine that its cooperation strategy is focused in the Mediterranean/South European area, he said.
"In the recent years, the Port of Barcelona has been developing cooperation projects with other maritime ports in the Mediterranean area and its strategic plan establishes as a priority to continue with this strategy for the next years. This means that the collaboration of the Port of Barcelona with the Port of Baku, located in a different geographic area, may not be developed in the near future," he said.
The IAPH World Ports Conference 2018 was held in Baku on May 8-11. The main theme of IAPH World Ports Conference 2018 is “Ports of the Future: Creating Hubs, Accelerating Connectivity”.
The event was attended by port heads, government representatives, professors and experts from around the world, including Europe, Japan, Iran, Georgia, Indonesia, Nigeria and others. The participants of the event discussed cargo transportation along the Silk Road, the development of transport hubs and the role of ports in this issue, as well as issues of multiculturalism, cultural differences in global logistics, the work of free trade zones, increasing competition among them and other topics.
The Baku International Sea Trade Port is located on an area of 400 hectares of land, of which about 100-115 ha cover the area for the development of the international Logistics and Trade Zone. The northern areas around the port are reserved for future expansion of logistics, industrial, and manufacturing activity.
The Port is expected to become one of the leading trade and logistics hubs of Eurasia. The implementation of all three phases of construction is projected to increase the capacity up to 7,660 tons on a daily basis.
The cargo handling capacity of the port, opened on May 14, 2018 with the participation of President Ilham Aliyev, within the first phase is 15 million tons, including 100,000 containers per year. Seven of 12 existing berths serve dry cargo ships, two berths - ferries, two more berths - Ro-Ro and Ro-Pax vessels.
In 2017, the volume of freight traffic through the Baku International Sea Trade Port (excluding the oil terminal) rose by 31 percent and totaled 4.4 million tons as compared to 2016. About 85.7 percent of the total volume accounted for the share of transit cargo transportation.
President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on March 17, 2016, on measures to create a free trade zone type special economic area covering the territory of the Baku International Sea Trade Port in the Alat township of Baku’s Garadagh District.
The FTZ is expected to bring up to $1 billion just in the first few years. Special tax and customs policy, which will be pursued in the territory of the free trade zone will also stipulate further development and simplification of a number of procedures.
FTZ will be located within the grounds of the new port, covering an area of 100 hectares. Since the new port is being built at the major railway juncture connecting the North-South and the East-West railway lines in Azerbaijan, FTZ will also have rail access. Serving as a multimodal transit logistics hub, the new port and FTZ will become a major consolidation and distribution centre in Central Eurasia that provides a wide range of value added services.
The Baku International Sea Trade Port has signed a number of documents on cooperation with foreign partners.
Memorandums of understanding were signed between Baku International Sea Trade Port CJSC and China’s Lianyungang Port Holding Group Ltd, China’s COSCO SHIPPING Lines Co., LTD and Mumbai Port Trust (India).
The memorandum of cooperation was signed between the Baku International Sea Trade Port and China’s Port of Guangzhou.
All above mentioned measures undertaken will undoubtedly play an important role in strengthening the country's transport infrastructure.
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