Aliev, Tokayev discuss Trans-Caspian Transport Route development
Astana, Apr 10 (EFE) – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met with his Kazakh counterpart, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, on Monday to discuss the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route and emphasized the need to enhance the infrastructure’s economic and geopolitical appeal.
“Today we have the opportunity to discuss concrete ways to (…) eliminate all bureaucratic and administrative obstacles, making the Trans-Caspian Route more attractive from an economic standpoint, as well as from the perspective of geography, geopolitics, and its potential,” Aliyev said.
During his official visit to the Kazakh capital, the Azerbaijani president acknowledged the significance of transport and transit in the bilateral cooperation between the two nations. Aliyev also thanked Tokayev for the decision to construct a Kurmangazy Sagyrbaev Children’s Creation Center in the Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory long-disputed with neighboring Armenia and reclaimed by Baku in 2020 after over 40 days of fighting.
“We have much work ahead of us in reconstructing the destroyed infrastructure, particularly the social facilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. The construction of the Children’s Creation Center is progressing rapidly, and I would like to invite you to the inauguration,” said the Azeri president.
Aliyev added that the center would serve as “a symbol of friendship and brotherhood between our two peoples.”
Tokayev highlighted the growth in trade between the two countries in 2022 and suggested that it could potentially reach $1 billion per year. Baku and Astana’s trade exchange in 2022 amounted to $461.9 million, a 39% increase from 2021.
The Kazakh president announced that both leaders would sign a joint declaration to significantly enhance cooperation between their countries following the meeting. In Kazakhstan, 900 companies operate with Azeri involvement, while about 150 Kazakh-capital companies function in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, along with China, Georgia, Turkey, Ukraine, Poland, and Romania, participate in the coordinating committee for the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.
Starting at the Chinese port of Lianyungang in the eastern province of Jiangsu, the route connects by rail to the Kazakh port of Aktau in the southwest, crosses the Caspian Sea to the Azerbaijani port of Alat, and continues by land to the Georgian port of Poti before passing through the Black Sea to Turkey and later to the EU. The transport capacity of this route is estimated at 6 million tons per year, or approximately 80,000 containers. EFE