By Nigar Abbasova
Switzerland is interested in the transshipment of its cargos via the North-South and South-West corridors, which run through the territory of Azerbaijan.
The issue was discussed during the Zurich meeting between Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC Javid Gurbanov and President of InterRail Holding AG, one of the leading companies in the railway transportation services in Europe and Eurasia, Hans Reinhard.
Gurbanov informed that Azerbaijan actively participates in the implementation of international transport corridors and the country is taking important steps aimed at increasing its transit potential.
“The main goal is to attract transit cargos by using our favorable geographical location for freight traffic via the routes running from Central and Eastern Asia to Europe, and vice versa, through the country’s territory,” he said.
Reinhard, in turn, noted that the company is very interested in commissioning of the North-South transport corridor, underlining importance of strategic cooperation with Azerbaijan Railways in this field.
The North-South corridor, from India to Helsinki, with a length of 5,000 kilometers is designed to carry more than 20 million tons per year. It is a multimodal route for transportation of passengers and cargo from Russia's St. Petersburg to the Mumbai port. It is designed to carry transit cargo from India, Iran and other Persian Gulf countries to the territory of Russia (the Caspian Sea) and further - to Northern and Western Europe.
The South-West corridor passes from India via the Persian Gulf to Iran, onto Azerbaijan, through Georgia to Black Sea then to Europe.
This route is initially planned to transport 10,000 tons of cargo with the possibility of increasing it by significantly in the future. The south-west corridor makes it possible to reduce rail, road and sea cargo transportation from India to Europe by two or three times.
Azerbaijan is Switzerland’s main business partner in the South Caucasus region. The two countries have accelerated their bilateral relations over the past decade by signing several agreements strengthening their cooperation, especially in the economic sphere. Development of ties in the sphere of transport is expected to foster trade and promote political convergence of the countries.