Baku Port to increase transit of regional countries
Azerbaijan has turned the transport system and services into one of the main advantages of the economy and intends to further expand its transit and logistics potential, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said on September 25.
He made the remarks during an informal meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member states, held in New York.
“Azerbaijan is working on the modernization and diversification of transport infrastructure, which will serve the interconnection of the Trans-European and Trans-Asian railway networks,” Mammadyarov said.
The minister added that the New International Sea Trade Port, which is the point of convergence of all transport routes of Azerbaijan, the construction of its International Logistics Center, and the adoption of the Law on Free Economic Zone in Alat will significantly increase the transit capacity of the countries of the region and the competitiveness of international trade ports.
He further noted that Azerbaijan contributes to increasing the transit potential of the ECO region by promoting East-West, North-South and South-West transport corridors.
“We believe that the interconnection of ECO rail networks and steps to develop the railway infrastructure of the region should become one of the important priority issues of the ECO agenda,” the Azerbaijani FM said.
He also expressed confidence that an early completion of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran) – Astara (Azerbaijan) project, which is an important link of the NorthSouth Transport Corridor, will give a new impetus to economic development and expand the transport opportunities of the involved countries and the entire region.
The Baku International Sea Trade Port is located on an area of 400 hectares, of which about 100-115 hectares cover the area for the development of the international logistics and trade zone. The northern areas around the port are reserved for future expansion of logistics, industrial, and manufacturing activity.
The port is expected to become one of the leading trade and logistics hubs of Eurasia. The implementation of all three phases of construction is projected to increase the capacity up to 7,660 tons on a daily basis. The cargo handling capacity of the port within the first phase is 15 million tons, including 100,000 containers per year. Seven of 12 existing berths serve dry cargo ships, two berths - ferries, and two other berths serve Ro-Ro and Ro-Pax vessels.