By Leman Mammadova
Uzbekistan is interested in increasing cargo transportation via Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway (BTK).
Javid Gurbanov, Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways, and Khusnutdin Khasilov, Chairman of Uzbekistan Railways, discussed issues of bilateral cooperation at the 71st meeting of the CIS and Baltic Council for Rail Transport in Minsk, Belarus, on October 17.
Gurbanov noted that Azerbaijan has become a major transit and logistics hub in recent years, due to the development of the transport system, particularly the railway.
“Azerbaijan is taking successful steps to implement international and regional transport projects to increase the country's transit potential, and the existing railway infrastructure is being modernized,” he said.
In turn, Khasilov pointed to the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, and stressed that Uzbekistan is interested in actively using this route and increasing the volume of foreign trade.
The sides decided to further expand bilateral relations.
Transport projects implemented in the South Caucasus are of great importance for Uzbekistan in terms of Central Asia-Europe trade routes.
Azerbaijan is also interested in using the potential of Uzbekistan located in the heart of Central Asia with enormous economic and strategic capabilities.
Presently, the transportation routes from Central Asia through the Caspian Sea, particularly BTK railway, are in the spotlight.
Providing the shortest rail link between Europe and Asia, BTK plays an important role in the implementation of China's Belt and Road strategy and the North-South Transport Corridor.
The total length of the BTK railway is 846 km, with 504 km running through the territory of Azerbaijan, 263 km - Georgia and 79 km - Turkey. The opening ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was held on October 30, 2017 at the Baku International Sea Trade Port.
The launch of BTK creates conditions for the growth of freight traffic between Europe and Asia, contributing to the development of cooperation and trade not only between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, but also throughout the whole region of Eurasia.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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