Providing beneficial conditions on transit routes, Azerbaijan is an attractive transport hub for the Chinese companies for delivery of goods to the West. In this regard, the country plays a crucial role in the implementation of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), which is an important part of the Belt & Road Initiative.
Belt & Road project aims at creating infrastructure and establishing links among the Eurasian countries. The project envisages the creation of a trade corridor for direct deliveries of goods from East to West on preferential terms.
Passing through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Georgia, TITR has defined a single transit route with the principle of “single window”.
Container trains are successfully transported through the route within this project.
Another block train from the Chinese city of Xi’an arrived in Azerbaijan on July 6.
Xi’an-Baku block train will contribute significantly to the work of Azerbaijani and Chinese companies, said Gao Gao, Vice Mayor of Xi’an, at a ceremony held in Absheron Logistics Center to welcome a freight train from Xi’an.
Javid Gurbanov, Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev and others also attended the event.
“More than 1,300 trains were delivered from Xi’an to Europe last year, which means billions of dollars in profits,” noted Gao Gao, adding that the current trains coming from Xi’an to Baku are generally the 13th departing from China to Europe.
He expressed hope that Chinese and Azerbaijani businessmen will be able to take advantage of the conditions created.
“We believe that our cooperation with Azerbaijan in the framework of the Belt and Road project will expand even more. Xi’an-Baku route can be considered as one of the important steps taken in this direction,” stressed Gao Gao.
Javid Gurbanov, in turn, said that having a favourable geographical position, located on the Silk Road, Azerbaijan is the main participant of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.
He spoke about the work to reduce the delivery time of goods by block trains, as well as the reforms carried out on the railways.
Gurbanov also spoke about measures taken to increase the volume of cargo passing through the territory of Azerbaijan.
Addressing the event, Shahin Mustafayev, noted that Azerbaijan is one of the first countries that joined the Belt and Road project initiated by China.
“The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and China increased 2.6 times over the first 6 months of this year compared to the same period in 2018,” he said.
Mustafayev stressed that cooperation with China is expanding not only in the political, economic spheres but also in the transport and logistics fields.
On the sidelines of the event, he also noted that Azerbaijan will open the next trading house in Xi’an by late 2019.
It is noteworthy that the organisation of container trains is implemented within the framework of cooperation between the Azerbaijan Railways CJSC’s subsidiary company ADY Container and the Chinese Xi’an Continental Bridge International Logistics Co. Ltd.
Agreement on the organisation of container trains on the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route was signed in April at the Second Belt & Road Forum in Beijing. Both companies plan to launch 30 container trains (2460TEU) in 2019.