By Aynur Karimova
Measures taken by the Azerbaijani government to develop transit cargo transshipment and implement infrastructure projects give ground to believe that the volume of cargo transportation will increase significantly in the country in 2016.
This was announced by Akif Mustafayev, TRACECA (Europe-Caucasus-Asia) National Secretary in Azerbaijan, last week.
He told Trend that recently Azerbaijan has done a great job in this field; particularly the country has introduced preferential tariffs for cargo transshipment, established the Coordinating Council in accordance with the presidential decree, and continued the reforms in the customs area.
"We expect that this should lead to a certain increase in cargo traffic and revenues from the sector in 2016. Given the fact that Russia imposes restrictions for the Ukrainian and Turkish cargo transportation, all cargoes from Ukraine and Turkey to Central Asia should pass through Azerbaijan. We should seize this opportunity, especially that the country has created certain favorable conditions for transit traffic, and these reforms will be continued," Mustafayev added.
He recalled that such reforms are expected to be made in such countries as Kazakhstan, Georgia and Turkey, the major axis of the corridor.
"Besides the advantage that this corridor is the shortest one, these reforms will increase its attractiveness in relation to tariffs and quality of services. I am confident that the results of these policies will become visible in 2016, when the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be put into operation and implementation of the second stage of construction of the Baku international sea trade port in the Alat settlement will be started. This will ensure the growth of cargo transshipment," Mustafayev stated.
These two infrastructure projects are expected to give additional impetus for the development of transit traffic in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan, taking into account the lower oil prices, has focused on gaining profit from its favorable geographic location between East and West through developing transportation potential. In this regard, TRACECA is among the country’s priorities.
Being a project of cooperation in transportation between the European Union and its Eastern Partnership countries in the South Caucasus and Central Asia, TRACECA is very beneficial for cargo transshipment.
Currently, TRACECA member countries are Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Iran and Armenia.
Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz