By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan and Georgia have discussed the expansion of cooperation between the two countries in the transport field, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railroad project.
The discussion took place between Azerbaijani Digital Development and Transport Minister Rashad Nabiyev and Georgian Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Natela Turnava, who is on a visit to Azerbaijan to participate in the 6th Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey business forum held in Baku on December 14.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the impact of increasing the capacity of transport corridors through Azerbaijan and Georgia, the development of freight traffic between the two countries and the tariffs applied for international freight traffic.
Speaking about the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad project, the parties discussed such issues as the acceleration of work on the project, stage-by-stage commissioning of works and changes in the structure of project management.
At the same time, the parties discussed attracting additional cargo volumes via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad and the establishment of competitive tariffs.
Azerbaijan and Georgia are cooperating in various fields of economy. Earlier this year, Azerbaijan and Georgia have signed several cooperation agreements within the framework of a meeting of the joint intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation.
The trade turnover between the two countries increased by $170.2 million in January-October 2021. The volume of the turnover amounted to $586.3 million, with exports accounting for $513.2 million and imports for $73 million.
Earlier this year, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey signed a trilateral protocol on the development of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway project.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is of exceptional importance for turning Azerbaijan into a regional transport corridor. The agreement on the construction of the railway, which was put into operation in 2017, was signed during the meeting in Tbilisi by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in 2007.
The 828-km Baku Tbilisi Kars railway stretches from the Azerbaijani coast of the Caspian Sea to the Georgian capital, and from there to Turkey, connecting the country’s extensive railway system and thus gaining access to European borders.
As of today, the railway’s cargo turnover is 6 million tons while passenger turnover is 1 million people. In the future, it may be increased to 3 million passengers and 20 million tons of cargo.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz