Economic expert: Zangazur corridor meets whole region's interests [INTERVIEW]
By Ayya Lmahamad
The new opportunities emerging on the geo-economic map of Eurasia after Azerbaijan's glorious victory have created the reality of a complete reorganization of the international transport system.
The 44-day war between Azerbaijan and Armenia from late September to early November in 2020 ended with the signing of a trilateral peace deal by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders.
The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
Article 9 of the November 10, 2020, trilateral agreement states that "all economic and transportation links in the region" must be unblocked.
On October 26, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan laid the foundation for the Zangazur corridor - the Horadiz-Jabrayil-Zangilan-Aghband highway.
Corridor meets whole region's interest
Azerbaijan’s State Economic University Professor Elshad Mammadov in an interview with Azernews noted that the realization of the Zangazur corridor project meets the interest of not only Azerbaijan but also the region as a whole.
Noting that nowadays on the global scale very serious changes are taking place in the world economy and globalization is changing rapidly, he stated that in the coming years, globalization will be replaced by regionalization. He added that in this context, the neighboring countries will be the main trading partners for the region’s countries.
“And in order to develop trade turnover between the neighboring countries we need to establish normal constructive relations in the region, and of course the realization of transport and logistics corridors will stimulate economic growth and the development of economic processes in a constructive way. So I think that it is necessary to implement the corridor,” the expert said.
Mammadov underlined that the Zangazur corridor will play a very important role for Azerbaijan as it will connect the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic with the rest of Azerbaijan in a land format.
He added that the corridor will allow Azerbaijan to enter foreign markets with more high-tech products and at the same time make it possible to import such products.
“In my opinion, thanks to these technologies we could achieve the production of goods with higher added value in our country, which is extremely important both for export and for supplying the domestic market with local goods. Therefore, I believe that the Zangazur corridor is in the interest of both Azerbaijan and the region as a whole,” he underlined.
The expert emphasized that key countries in the region are interested in deepening economic cooperation, especially through transport corridors, as it will be aimed at accelerating business processes in the region.
Zangazur corridor's significance
The Zangazur corridor will connect the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic with the rest of Azerbaijan and will expand transport integration in the South Caucasus.
At the same time, the corridor will be the shortest route linking Azerbaijan with Turkey, which will automatically become a profitable alternative for freight traffic from Central Asia to Turkey and Europe, and vice versa. It will be the second direction after the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad which will connect the two countries.
The Zangazur corridor will also become an important link in the East-West and North-South transport corridors, which will significantly increase the importance of Azerbaijan as a transport hub.
Undoubtedly, the opening of the Zangazur corridor will be an important step for the entire South Caucasus and Russia, since this railroad will connect Armenia, Russia and Iran. All this will strengthen business, which will benefit everyone.
As Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev stated "unblocking communications under the new reality will serve as a guarantor of peace, security, stability and the development of mutually beneficial cooperation not only in the South Caucasus but also in the whole Eurasian space".
Works on construction of both railway and automobile roads, which will be a part of the Zangazur corridor, are already underway.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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