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Baku Port closely cooperates with China

Monday, 29 July 2019 | 00:00

Azerbaijan has become the transport and logistics hub of the region due to the implementation of large-scale transport projects.

Major infrastructure projects implemented by Azerbaijan such as Baku International Sea Trade Port, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway play an important role in strengthening the transport and transit capacities of the country and create conditions for active participation in transit transportation.

Providing beneficial conditions on transit routes, Azerbaijan is an attractive transport hub for the Chinese companies for delivery of goods to the West.

Song Tao, head of the International Liaison Department of the Communist Party of China, has got acquainted with the activities of Baku International Sea Trade Port Complex located in Alat settlement.

Speaking about the rising development of Azerbaijan-China relations, Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijani Minister of Economy, highlighted the documents signed between the two countries and pointed to the memorandum of understanding on joint promotion of the Silk Road Economic Belt between Azerbaijan and China.

He added that Azerbaijan is one of the first countries to join the Belt and Road initiative, and hailed the importance of representation of the country at the International Forum Belt and Road held in Beijing this year in terms of expanding cooperation.

Belt and Road project aims at creating infrastructure and establishing links among the Eurasian countries. This Chinese strategy envisages two key areas of development: the economic belt of the Silk Road and the maritime Silk Road. The project envisages the creation of trade corridor for direct deliveries of goods from East to West on preferential terms.

Azerbaijan became a signatory to the Belt and Road Energy Partnership Declaration in October 2018.

Pointing to the recent arrival of a cargo train from the Chinese city of Xi’an in Baku on July 6, Mustafayev noted that the two countries have strong economic ties. The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and China exceeded $1.3 billion last year.

Mustafayev further stressed that Azerbaijan plays a crucial role as a transport corridor linking Europe and Asia with its strategic position as a transport and logistics hub. “Located on the North-South and East-West international transport corridors, the country provides wide range of transit opportunities.”

Referring to the high-level development of bilateral cooperation, he expressed confidence that trade turnover, mutual investments will further increase in the future.

Speaking about the economic relations between the two countries, Song Tao said that China is interested in the import of Azerbaijani agricultural products.

He further noted that the cooperation with Azerbaijan will be expanded within the framework of China’s Belt and Road project.

“Mutual investments, economic relations will further boost trade turnover in the coming years. China is interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in all spheres,” he added.

Taleh Ziyadov, Director-General of Baku International Sea Trade Port, in turn, briefed on the activities of the new port of Baku. In his words, the cargo arriving in the country on the transport corridors is collected at the new port complex and transported via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to Europe or via ships to the East.

“A free economic zone is created in the surrounding area, including the territory of the new port. This will provide the port with more opportunities for transit and transportation,” he said.

He also added that many companies in Baku carry out transportation through this port.

Ziyadov went on to stress that the port is closely cooperating with the Chinese government. “Last year, 34 units of cargo handling and loading equipment (carriers, telescopic containers, heavy duty relief cranes, etc.) were donated to the port.”

In addition, over the past two years, up to 30 port staff participated in short and long-term trainings in China, and currently two employees are studying for a Master’s degree.

During the visit to Baku Port, Song Tao got acquainted with the infrastructure created there.

Mustafayev informed that the area of the port covers 400 hectares, there are 12 berths, the total length of which is 2,100 meters. The length of the reinforced concrete structure, one of the latest engineering innovations in modern times, is 1,777 meters. The port has 2 berths for Ro-Ro type vessels, a universal dry cargo and container terminal consisting of 7 berths, 2 ferry berths, and a berth for service fleet vessels. The length of the berth for service fleet vessels is 155 meters, 11 ships can moor there at the same time.

The annual transshipment capacity of the port is 15 million tons, including 100,000 containers. In general, after completion of all construction works, the port will be able to transship 25 million tons of cargo, including 500,000 containers, thanks to the 17 berths available.

Baku International Sea Trade Port was previously located within the city. Taking into account the bid of the country to become one of the major commercial and transportation hubs in the region and facilitate regional transformation, the state decided to move it to a new location, 70 km south of the capital Baku, near a settlement called Alat, which is located at the strategic crossroads of the regional railroads and highways.

The port in Alat is a transportation hub linking the west (Turkey & EU), south (Iran & India) and north (Russia). In addition, the port’s location is linked to existing highways and railways, connecting the port to the inland regions of the country.

Last year, the total volume of cargo transportation at all terminals of the Baku Port was about 3.8 million tons, of which 84.5 percent (3.2 million tons) accounted for transit cargo.
Source: Azer News

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