Use of BTK rail­way by Black Sea coun­tries con­trib­utes to trade growth

Azer News - - Front Page - By Sara Is­rafil­bay­ova

The use of the Baku-Tbil­isi-Kars rail­way by the Black Sea coun­tries can help them not only in­crease trade turnover, but also ex­pand cul­tural and so­cial ties.

This was stated by Pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Con­fed­er­a­tion of En­trepreneurs’ (Em­ploy­ers’) Or­ga­ni­za­tions of Azer­bai­jan Mam­mad Musayev at the in­ter­na­tional busi­ness fo­rum ded­i­cated to the de­vel­op­ment of small and medium en­trepreneur­ship in the Black Sea re­gion.

“As a re­sult of the pur­pose­ful eco­nomic pol­icy of Azer­bai­jani Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev, our coun­try has achieved rapid de­vel­op­ment in re­cent years. This year is very im­por­tant for our coun­try. We solemnly cel­e­brated the 100th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of the Azer­bai­jan Demo­cratic Repub­lic. The for­eign and in­ter­nal poli­cies, the gov­er­nance prac­tices de­fined by na­tional leader Hey­dar Aliyev and suc­cess­fully con­tin­ued to­day by Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev can serve as an ex­am­ple for many coun­tries,” said Musayev.

Touch­ing upon en­ergy and in­fra­struc­ture projects, he noted that the use of the Baku-Tbil­isi-Kars rail­way by the Black Sea coun­tries can help not only to in­crease trade turnover, but also ex­pand cul­tural and so­cial ties.

He stressed that the suc­cess­ful so­cio-eco­nomic pol­icy of the Pres­i­dent of Azer­bai­jan cre­ated con­di­tions for dy­namic eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try.

“Over the past 15 years, un­der con­di­tions of macroe­co­nomic sta­bil­ity, the for­ma­tion of a so­cially ori­ented econ­omy was fully en­sured, the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of econ­omy and the de­vel­op­ment of non-oil sec­tor were in­ten­si­fied, the gov­ern­ment sup­port for en­trepreneur­ship in­creased.

As a re­sult, over 1.6 mil­lion new jobs were cre­ated, poverty and un­em­ploy­ment were re­duced to a min­i­mum, and also the im­prove­ment of the ma­te­rial sta­tus of cit­i­zens was suc­cess­fully im­ple­mented,” Musayev un­der­lined.

On Oc­to­ber 30, a solemn cer­e­mony on the oc­ca­sion of the open­ing of the BTK rail­way was held at the Baku In­ter­na­tional Sea Trade Port. Two trains from Kazakhstan to Turk­ish Mersin have al­ready been sent via this route. The first train, con­sist­ing of 30 con­tain­ers, on Novem­ber 4, de­liv­ered 600 tons of wheat to the Turk­ish city of Mersin. The sec­ond freight train left Kazakhstan on Novem­ber 27. The train has al­ready reached Ge­or­gia.

The BTK rail­way was con­structed on the ba­sis of the Azer­bai­jan-Ge­or­gia-Turkey in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal agree­ment. The main pur­pose of the project was to im­prove eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween the three coun­tries and at­tract for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment by con­nect­ing Europe and Asia.

In fact, the BTK rail­way route is the short­est way to de­liver cargo from the Rus­sian re­gions lo­cated in the Volga, Ural and Siberian Fed­eral Dis­tricts to the Mediter­ranean ports of Turkey, and fur­ther to the coun­tries of Africa and the Mid­dle East.

The project im­ple­men­ta­tion be­gan in 2007 and con­struc­tion be­gan in 2008. The line is in­tended to trans­port one mil­lion pas­sen­gers and 6.5 mil­lion tons of freight at the first stage. This ca­pac­ity will then reach 3 mil­lion pas­sen­gers and 17 mil­lion tons of cargo.

In turn, Chair­man of the Board of the Agency for Small and Medium En­trepreneur­ship De­vel­op­ment un­der the Econ­omy Min­istry Orkhan Mam­madov stressed that there is a huge po­ten­tial for busi­ness co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Azer­bai­jan and the Black Sea coun­tries in the field of small and medium en­trepreneur­ship (SME).

“In or­der to ful­fill this po­ten­tial, the mem­bers of the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Black Sea Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion should make more ef­forts and pro­mote the SME de­vel­op­ment. Although our agency is a new in­sti­tu­tion, we are ready to co­op­er­ate with sim­i­lar agen­cies of the BSEC coun­tries and we in­vite ev­ery­one to co­op­er­ate with us,” Mam­madov said.

Mam­madov noted that the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of SME is a pri­or­ity of the eco­nomic pol­icy of Azer­bai­jan, the suc­cess­ful re­forms are be­ing car­ried out in this di­rec­tion.

“De­spite the fact that not much time has passed since the es­tab­lish­ment of our agency, we are al­ready im­ple­ment­ing many eco­nomic ini­tia­tives. First, we are work­ing on the cre­ation of SME Houses, where G2B (gov­ern­ment to busi­ness) and B2B (busi­ness to busi­ness) ser­vices will be pro­vided. We are also work­ing on the cre­ation of the Cen­ters on the de­vel­op­ment of SME, some of which have al­ready opened in Imishli, Masalli and Bi­la­su­var re­gions,” he said.

The head of the agency said the en­trepreneurs showed great in­ter­est in the cen­ters from the very first days of their func­tion­ing, fur­ther adding that the agency is ready to share its ex­pe­ri­ence in this area with other coun­tries.

In late 2017, the Agency for De­vel­op­ment of Small and Medi­um­Sized En­ter­prises un­der the Min­istry of Econ­omy was cre­ated by pres­i­den­tial de­cree, in ac­cor­dance to which the Agency is a pub­lic le­gal en­tity that sup­ports the de­vel­op­ment of small and medium-sized busi­nesses in the coun­try, pro­vides a range of ser­vices to the SMEs, co­or­di­nates and reg­u­lates the ser­vices of state bod­ies in this field.

Small and medium-sized en­trepreneur­ship houses will op­er­ate at the ASAN Ser­vice cen­ters. These houses will op­er­ate at the re­gional de­part­ments of the Econ­omy Min­istry in those dis­tricts of the coun­try where the ASAN Ser­vice cen­ters are not avail­able. The SME houses will be con­trolled by the Agency for De­vel­op­ment of Small and Medi­um­Sized En­ter­prises.

The SME houses will ren­der a range of ser­vices, in­clud­ing train­ing, con­sult­ing, in­for­ma­tion, fi­nan­cial and other ser­vices.

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