By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov has said that the new Zangazur corridor, initiated by Azerbaijan, will further enhance the strategic importance of the China-initiated Belt and Road project in the future.
He made the remarks while delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Energy Ministerial Conference, held in the form of a hybrid conference in China’s Qingdao, on October 18-19, 2021.
The minister noted that Azerbaijan, located on the ancient Silk Road, plays the role of an “important bridge” between China and Europe through the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the Baku International Sea Trade Port, the International North-South Transport Corridor, and the Trans-Caspian transit corridor.
Shahbazov emphasized that Azerbaijan is an important partner in the development of energy cooperation in this corridor with its globally important energy lines, diversified energy resources, role in ensuring energy security of Europe, and favorable investment opportunities.
“Its effective position in the structure of global energy consumption, being one of the countries with the largest installed capacity in the renewable energy sector in the world, and its target for zero carbon emissions by 2060 ensures that 'Belt and Road' [initiative, BRI] will become an effective cooperation platform on 'green energy' with China's initiative,” the minister said.
He also spoke about the renewable energy sources' development, the reforms carried out in Azerbaijan in the energy efficiency sphere, the projects to be implemented, and the measures that are taken to create a green energy zone on the liberated territories.
The minister stated the upcoming auctions for renewable energy projects, as well as a wind power potential of 157 GW in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, will create new opportunities for investors, including for sustainable energy cooperation with China.
Moreover, Shahbazov underlined that Azerbaijan supports all international efforts to ensure transparency in the extractive industries. He noted that ensuring even greater transparency in Azerbaijan's extractive industry helps to attract additional investments to the country.
At the Second Belt and Road Energy Ministerial Conference, the issues of building an industrial green energy chain, increasing coordination between countries in the field of transition to green energy, elaborating development programs in this direction, carbon neutrality, creating a market environment for investment in green energy, accelerating the energy transition, and application of new technologies and innovations were discussed.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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