International conference “International Transport-Logistics Corridor: Development Impulses from Zangilan” opened
On 16 November 2023, an international conference on “International Transport-Logistics Corridor: Development Impulses from Zangilan” kicked off in the city of Zangilan.
The conference is jointly organised by the Special Representative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan regions, which are part of the East Zangezur economic region, the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport, the State Customs Committee and the Institute of Economics of the Ministry of Science and Education.
The aim of the conference is to organize discussions between the public, private and academic sectors on the development and expansion of transregional transport corridors and to establish cooperation among stakeholders.
Delivering an opening speech, Minister of Digital Development and Transport Rashad Nabiyev emphasised that in the current global landscape, the Middle Corridor has become a symbol of stability and efficiency in international trade and transport: “The Middle Corridor continues to attract high volumes of freight. This is determined by its ability to offer a safe, predictable and cost-effective alternative to freight transport. The fact that the Middle Corridor is 2-3 times faster than the ocean route connecting China and Europe also makes it a more favourable route.”
The minister noted the importance of working together with neighbouring countries to enhance the capacity of the Middle Corridor: “The existence of a stable political climate and friendly relations between peoples in the countries through which the Middle Corridor passes further strengthens joint efforts in addressing issues related to the corridor. It also makes the corridor a reliable and sustainable route for international trade. We see this in the steady increase in the volume of transit cargo passing through our country.”
Rashad Nabiyev stated that the restoration of the Zangezur corridor will significantly increase the opportunities of the Middle Corridor. To this end, the minister provided information on the work done both within Azerbaijan and in cooperation with neighbouring countries.
The conference featured panel discussions on several topics with participation of local and foreign government agencies, international organizations, international financial institutions, employees of think tanks, scientists and heads of international transport companies.
In the panel discussions on “The Role of International Transport Corridors in Trade and Sustainable Development of the Eurasian Region” it was stated that over the past 20 years, the transport infrastructure of our country, located on the main corridors connecting the two continents – the North–South and East–West corridors has been fully modernized. As a result, the construction and reconstruction of roads and railways, the commissioning of new international airports, the expansion of the civil aviation and commercial shipping fleets, the construction of the Baku International Sea Port and the creation of the Alat Azad Economic Zone adjacent to the port has turned Azerbaijan into an important center of both the East–West and North–South international transport corridors.These steps taken by Azerbaijan are aimed not only at the formation of long-term and stable transport links for the country, but also for the region as a whole.
Participants in a high-level panel discussion organized as part of the conference exchanged views on “Establishing transit corridors: tapping into the potential of Eurasia”
Kubanychbek Omuraliev, Secretary General of the Organization of Turkic States, Rashad Nabiyev, Minister of Digital Development and Transport, Abdulkadir Uraloghlu, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of Türkiye, Ilkhom Makhkamov, Minister of Transport of Uzbekistan, Shahin Baghirov, Chairman of State Customs Committee, Maksat Kaliakparov, Deputy Minister of Transport of Kazakhstan and Yrysbek Bariev, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications of Kyrgyzstan participated in the panel discussion.
Speaking at the panel discussion, Minister of Digital Development and Transport Rashad Nabiyev informed about the transport infrastructure projects being implemented in the direction of the Zangezur corridor: “The creation of the Zangezur corridor will open up new opportunities not only for Azerbaijan, but also for all countries in the region. Azerbaijan considers this project as one that will support peace and security in the region, increase the transport potential of the region and further strengthen the Middle Corridor. Construction work on the 110-kilometer Horadiz–Aghband railway line, which is the main part of the corridor, are currently proceeding at a high pace, and our technical progress on construction is close to 50%. In addition, a number of activities are underway with neighbouring states.”
More than 200 representatives from 15 countries, 8 international organizations and international financial institutions are attending the conference.
Further, an excursion to Aghali village of Zangilan region was organized for the event participants.
The conference will continue its work on 17 November in Baku.