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Azerbaijan to maximize potential of Middle Corridor: Deputy Minister

27 February 2024 [12:38] - TODAY.AZ
Fatime Letifova

Today, the Middle Corridor not only serves economic interests in the region but also has gained new momentum, becoming a strategic artery for peace and prosperity, Azernews reports, citing the Deputy Minister of Digital Development and Transport of Azerbaijan, Rahman Hummatov's speech, in a presentation of the Middle Corridor study compelled by the World Bank held today in Tbilisi, Georgia.

"We are grateful for the interest and support of international organisations and the World Bank team in realising the potential of the Middle Corridor. As noted in the Bank's report, the Middle Corridor is recognised by the world community as not just a short-term solution for temporary connectivity, but as the shortest and most effective link between the economies of the two continents. We have strong intention and robust political will to support the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, and maximise its potential," he said.

The deputy minister noted that integration plans for the development of international transit corridors, harmonisation of border-crossing procedures, synchronisation of processes, ensuring the efficiency of maritime operations, and the implementation of a single global transit document show a positive effect in the field of digitization:

"We enhance international transit corridors through the power of streamlined procedures, synchronised processes, and efficient maritime operations. The application of unified global transit and, of course, digitalization, is a collective effort with our national agencies and international partners to address these issues. Today, I am proud to announce that over the past two months, 13 block trains have been sent along the international transit route from China. Due to the measures taken, the lead time for these containers to reach the Georgian port is now only 12 days. Just for reference, this is a significant improvement from the previous lead time, which was approximately 40 to 50 days," the deputy minister added.

Recall that a regional event is being held today in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, on the recently published World Bank study "The Middle Trade and Transport Corridor: Policies and Investments to Triple Freight Transport and Halve Transit Time".

The event brings together representatives of the governments of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Armenia, as well as representatives of state-owned enterprises, the private sector, and think tanks, to discuss the main findings of the World Bank study. The objective is to develop a regional approach to improve the operational efficiency of the corridor and overcome existing challenges.

It is worth noting that the Middle Corridor was founded by Azerbaijan, Kazakh, and Georgian special structures in February 2014. Ukraine, Poland, and Romania joined the organisation later. Nowadays, the route begins with the China and Kazakhstan borders, passes Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, and continues to Europe.

Middle Corridor using the Single Window principle for the whole route. In 2023, 2 million 750 thousand tons of cargo were transported through the Middle Corridor, which is 64 % more than in 2022.


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