On the sidelines of the 23rd Azerbaijan International Telecommunications and Information Technologies Exhibition and Conference Bakutel 2017, a high-level meeting on the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM) project was held in Baku.
Addressing the meeting, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade spoke about the importance of the project against the background of reforms being implemented in Azerbaijan towards the development of the ICT field. The Minister noted that the project is at the center of attention of the head of state and a number of successful regional infrastructure projects have been implemented with the direct support of the Azerbaijani President in recent years in the context of close cooperation with neighboring countries.
Stressing the global political support for the project, the Minister recalled three resolutions on TASIM adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2009, 2012 and 2013.
Ramin Guluzade noted the intensification of negotiations on TASIM project in 2017 and real results achieved.
“As you know, during the year we meet at events of various formats and we constantly keep in focus TASIM project. During the year, meetings were held with the ambassadors of four countries in Baku (Russia, China, Turkey, Kazakhstan), members of TASIM consortium, and also the representative of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). As a continuation of this, the next meeting of TASIM working group took place in September in Almaty. Also, a special subgroup operates in the framework of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic-Speaking States and along with other issues, useful discussions were held on the TASIM project at a meeting of the Ministers of the Turkic Council in Istanbul in November this year.”
The Minister expressed his confidence that TASIM project, along with contributing to the development of trade, tourism and economic development, will help bring peoples living in different countries closer and achieve the goals of sustainable development. He urged the parties to sign the necessary documents to speed up the work.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of Turkey Ahmet Arslan noted that TASIM project is designed for the future. He noted the readiness of the Turkish side to cooperate on the way of implementing the project, saying the project plays an important role in terms of developing economic and political ties.
Deputy Minister of Communications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation Rashid Ismayilov noted in his speech that the project, along with its vastness, has a challenging terrain from a technical point of view. However, all this has been carefully considered in the design. He also said that the Russian side is represented in this project, which is of great importance for the South Caucasus region.
Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union Houlin Zhao noted that today at a meeting with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev he was informed that Azerbaijan has successfully implemented infrastructure projects of regional significance. He expressed confidence in the implementation of TASIM project as soon as possible adding the project is a major telecommunications infrastructure not only for Azerbaijan, but also for the European and Asian continents.
Representative of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China Chen Jiachun noted that the project is very close to the implementation: “The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China also participates in this project, we are sure that this project will soon work and positive results will be achieved. I think that the participation of China Telecom in this project is very important.”
Vice President of China Telecom Yang Liu positively assessed the proposal put forward by the Azerbaijani side on the formation of a joint budget for the preparation of the feasibility study of TASIM project: “Yesterday we signed the protocol. I think that this is a successful result for the transition to the next stage.”
In conclusion, it was decided to sign a memorandum to intensify the work on the project implementation.
It should be noted that TASIM project is an important regional initiative aimed at laying a transnational fiber-optic line, covering Eurasian countries from Western Europe to East Asia. The project provides for the establishment of a basic transit link from Frankfurt (Germany) to Hong Kong. The network will connect the largest centers of information exchange in Europe and Asia. The transit line will extend through the territory of China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey to Germany. Reserve, Northern transit line will pass through the territory of Russia, Ukraine and Poland.
TASIM, as a long-term initiative, will be implemented in 2 stages. At the first stage, the leading countries of the region and operators will create the main transit Internet infrastructure connecting the West and the East. This infrastructure will allow TASIM to meet the requirements of a commercially attractive and fast-growing international Internet transit market.
At the second stage of the project implementation, it is assumed, using the created transit infrastructure, to provide the Internet connection at affordable rates for Eurasian landlocked countries. Along with this, according to the plan for the development of the national telecom infrastructure, new fiber-optic lines will be laid, and existing ones will be upgraded and connected to TASIM network.
With a view to implementing TASIM project, the Azerbaijani side put forward a proposal for the creation of a joint budget for detailed technical feasibility study. The proposal was favourably received and reflected in the protocol.