By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Cargo transportation in the region, which is carried out through several routes from the East to Europe, passes through the territory of Azerbaijan. International North-South Transport Corridor, which was constructed to transport goods from India and the Persian Gulf countries to Russia, Western Europe, and the Baltic and Scandinavian countries, is the major one of these routes.
The transit cargo traffic through the country reached 4.1 million tons in the first six months of 2019, Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev said at the meeting of the board of the ministry.
In particular, the volume of cargo transported via the International North-South Transport Corridor amounted to 131,000 tons for the reporting period. This made up a growth of 63 percent.
The North-South Transport Corridor which is designed to connect Northern Europe with Southeast Asia, including the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia plays major role in it. The coverage of the transport corridor is impressive - it is multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.
Meanwhile, the volume of transit goods transported through the North-West corridor amounted to 829,000 tons (an increase of 70 percent), and the volume of non-oil goods transported along the East-West corridor equaled 795,000 tons (an increase of 42.8 percent).
Mustafayev also noted that the country’s economy grew by 2.4 percent in the first six months of this year.
In particular, the non-oil sector grew by 3.2 percent, the non-oil industry - by 15.7 percent, trade turnover increased by more than 20 percent, non-oil export - by 15 percent, and agriculture - by 13 percent.
Mustafayev said that more than $6 billion of investments have been invested in the economy of Azerbaijan, most of which accounted for non-oil sector.
Within the first half of the year, foreign exchange reserves reached a record high of $49 billion. Inflation was only 2.5 percent, while household incomes rose by 6.6 percent.
Mustafayev also noted that social packages adopted on the initiative of the President covered 4.2 million citizens of Azerbaijan.
In January-June this year, up to 50 million manats ($29.4 million) of concessional loans were issued to local entrepreneurs. Thanks to implementation of projects through these investments, 1,265 new work places were created.
As much as 68 percent of concessional loans accounted for the agricultural sector, and 32 percent - for industrial production and processing. About 44 percent of the loans were allocated for the regions and 56 percent – for Baku.
Earlier, Mustafayev said that the concessional loans in the amount of 120 million manats ($70.58 million) will be issued in the second half of the year.
In general, Entrepreneurship Development Fund, operating under the Ministry of Economy, has issued concessional loans in the amount of 2.3 billion manats ($1.35 billion) so far.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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