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B&R countries convene on Trans-Caspian corridor construction in Beijing

Infra News - Published on Fri, 09 Feb 2018

Image Source: china.org
China.org reported that the Trans-Caspian East-West Trade and Transit Corridor is the most convenient connection between Asia and Europe, and will bring economic growth and prosperity to countries along the route, said commerce officials and infrastructure builders attending an international conference in Beijing.

Mr Shahin Mustafayev, minister of economy and chairman of the Transit Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan, addresses the International Conference on the Role of the Trans-Caspian East-West Trade and Transit Corridor in the Realization of the Belt and Road Initiative convened in Beijing on Feb. 6, 2018.

The International Conference on the Role of the Trans-Caspian East-West Trade and Transit Corridor in the Realization of the Belt and Road Initiative convened in the Chinese capital on Feb. 6. The conference was initiated by the Azerbaijan government and held by the embassies of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkey in China to discuss the construction of the route.

The 6,500-kilometer corridor links Asia and Europe and passes through countries including Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkey. Representatives from these four countries met to promote coordinated efforts in its construction.

A flagship project of the corridor, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) Railway, was inaugurated in October last year. The railway connects Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia in Azerbaijan's capital city of Baku, establishing a freight and passenger link between Europe and China. The China-Europe freight train from China's Urumqi to Europe running through this line has begun operation since January this year.

Mr Javid Gurbanov, chairman of Azerbaijan Railways, said that "Where there is a corridor, there is development." He complimented the significance of the Trans-Caspian Corridor as a key route linking two major continents in the world. Europe boasts around 20 percent of the world's economy, but approximately 70 percent of the world's population live in Asia, so it is important to connect the two continents, as the corridor does.

However, the corridor will cut the transportation time of freight and goods from about 60 days by sea to about 14 days by train, and decrease the cost four times compared with by air. Thus, the corridor offers a more convenient and a more economical alternative to transmit goods from Asia to Europe and the other way round, according to Shahin Mustafayev, minister of economy and chairman of the Transit Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Mr Yuksel Joskunyurek, Turkey's deputy minister of transport, maritime and communication, added that the relative warm climate conditions in the region the corridor runs through are conducive for goods transportation.

Other government officials from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkey also iterated the significance of the corridor in their speeches, saying that the corridor will boost their economies and bring prosperity and stability to the countries along the route and to the globe.

However, the four countries enjoyed time-honored relationships with the Chinese nation since the ancient Silk Road, the officials said, and now the new Silk Road, revived under the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is receiving wide support from countries around the world.

Mr Mustafayev said that Azerbaijan is making efforts to upgrade its own infrastructure and getting ready for the operation of the route.

Kazakhstan is also vigorously developing its domestic infrastructure like railway construction to lay a solid foundation for the operation of the corridor, said Roman Sklyar, first deputy minister for investments and development of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He added that he hopes the discussions will lead the countries to find better ways to build the corridor.

According to Giorgi Cherkezishvili, Georgia's deputy minister of economy and sustainable development, his country is open to new initiatives and will contribute to building the corridor, which makes it possible to transport the freight in the shortest possible time, thanks to Georgia's strategic position along the key route between Asia and Europe under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Source :

Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Fri, 09 Feb 2018
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