Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to Create Joint Transport Company
Monday 16 March 2015
ASTANA (CIHAN) – Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey intend to set up a joint transport company for rail transport as part of TRACECA program, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan Amangeldy Zhumabayev told reporters March 16.
“The countries are currently preparing an agreement on transit transportation”, he said. “It will introduce a single tariff for the transportation of goods and simplify the registration of contracts to suppliers.”
TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia) is an international transport programme involving the European Union and 14 member States of the Eastern European, Caucasian and Central Asian region. It was established in 1993, upon the signing of Multilateral Agreement on International Transport for the development of transport initiatives (including the establishment and development of a road corridor) between the EU, the Caucasus and Central Asia. TRACECA has five working groups: maritime transport, aviation, road and rail, transport security, and transport infrastructure.
Zhumabayev said that Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have great transit potential. “Silk Road” project connecting China and Europe will give great opportunities in this area. Today the trade turnover between Europe and China is about $ 600 bln. “Most of these goods are transported by sea today”, the diplomat said. “The Silk Road project, envisaging the transportation of goods through Central Asia and South Caucasus, will reduce the transportation period by more than twofold – up to 12-15 days.”
The ambassador said that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be put into operation and Alat port near Baku will be commissioned in 2015. At the same time, Kazakhstan intends to expand the port of Aktau, where an additional ferry terminal will be built. This infrastructure will contribute to the growth in transportation volume between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
Zhumabayev also said that the number of joint Azerbaijani-Kazakh enterprises, as well as Azeri companies, operating in Kazakhstan, and Kazakh companies operating in Azerbaijan is being increased. “In particular, the Kazakh grain terminal is successfully operating in Baku”, the diplomat said. “The Azeri company Azersun will construct a logistics terminal near the port of Aktau in the next two months. The terminal will consist of modern storage facilities with refrigeration units for storage of agricultural products in the volume of 10,000 metric tons, including 2,500 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, and further sale in Kazakhstan.”
The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) finances the project. The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 mln tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be equal to one million passengers and 6.5 mln tons of cargo.