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Tuesday June 25 2024

Tax relief may stimulate Middle Corridor's evolution into Green Corridor

10 June 2024 20:11 (UTC+04:00)
Tax relief may stimulate Middle Corridor's evolution into Green Corridor
Nazrin Abdul
Nazrin Abdul
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In recent years, Azerbaijan has made remarkable strides in upgrading its air, sea, railway, and road transportation infrastructure, fostering the development of a robust and efficient transport network, Azernews reports.

Sea freight, often the primary and sometimes sole means for intercontinental cargo transportation, offers notable advantages such as cost-effectiveness over long distances and flexibility in handling various cargo types. Leveraging our unique transport infrastructure presents significant opportunities to enhance connectivity to global markets via the Caspian Sea route.

One particularly impactful project is the Middle Corridor, also known as the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route. This initiative holds strategic importance for both Europe and Asia.

During discussions with journalists, Taleh Ziyadov, the General Director of "Baku International Sea Trade Port" CJSC, underscored a crucial aspect of this significant project. He emphasized that if the Middle Corridor evolves into a "green corridor" in the future, taxes would be waived for containers moving between Asia and Europe, or vice versa.

Ziyadov further elaborated on the concept of a "green port," stressing its significance in promoting environmental sustainability along the Middle Corridor. He emphasized, "In the future, attention will be focused on the supply chain routes used in intercontinental trade. Therefore, it is imperative to transform the Middle Corridor into a 'green corridor.' Such a transformation would undoubtedly encourage numerous companies to opt for this route."

Belgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Michel Petersmans, highlighted the importance of this development.

"The Middle Corridor, a vital transportation route linking China and European Union (EU) countries through Central Asia, the Caucasus, Turkiye and Eastern Europe, offers numerous advantages including enhanced speed, reduced carbon emissions, and diversified supply chains, particularly crucial during times of crisis."

Petersmans emphasized that the Middle Corridor, primarily using land transport except for the Caspian Sea crossing, provides a strategic alternative to predominantly sea-based trade routes between the EU and China. By traversing Central Asia and the Caucasus, cargo enjoys expedited transit, lower carbon footprints, and enhanced resilience in supply chains.

He also highlighted the corridor's role in leveraging the geographic and geopolitical advantages of Caucasus and Central Asian countries to attract investments and create jobs. Petersmans stressed the need to strengthen physical infrastructure and streamline border processes through administrative reforms and rule harmonization to fully unleash the corridor's potential.

Underlining the importance of this initiative, Petersmans noted Belgium's pivotal role as a communication hub within the EU, boasting a sophisticated transport and logistics network anchored by ports like Antwerp and Zeebrugge.

The Middle Corridor integrates container and railway freight networks, linking ferry terminals across the Caspian and Black Seas with the rail systems of China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Poland. This interconnected, multimodal infrastructure facilitates increased cargo flows between China, Turkey, and European destinations.

Notably, freight trains traversing the Middle Corridor complete the journey from China to Europe in an average of 20-25 days, representing a significant reduction in transit time and a key advantage of this burgeoning transport corridor.

Currently, six countries are collaborating on a unified strategy for the Middle Corridor, comprising Azerbaijan, Turkiye, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. International experts forecast a substantial increase in trade volume between Asia and Europe over the next decade, projected to range from $650 to $700 billion. If Azerbaijan can capture a portion of this trade flow, the country stands to gain billions of dollars, solidifying its position as a pivotal hub in intercontinental transport networks.

The Middle Corridor, delineated by the route from China through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkiye and onward to Europe via the Black Sea, exemplifies Azerbaijan's pivotal role in bridging continents. The corridor's trajectory underscores Azerbaijan's strategic location in facilitating international trade and connectivity.

It's evident that China's burgeoning economy, vast production capacity, abundant human resources, and other driving factors position it to emerge as the world's preeminent economic powerhouse in the years to come. This trajectory further underscores the significance of Azerbaijan's strategic partnerships and its pivotal role in global transportation networks.

The utilization of the Middle Corridor route is recognized as a significant contributor to the economic development not only of individual countries but of Eurasia as a whole.

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