Baku, November 24, AZERTAC
An international rail business forum “Strategic Partnership 1520: The Caspian Region” has started in Baku.
Participants in the event include heads of national railway companies, major multimodal hubs in the Eurasian space and leading transport, logistics and machine building enterprises, as well as by representatives of specialized government agencies in Azerbaijan and Russia.
Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Abid Sharifov greeted the participants of the event on behalf of President Ilham Aliyev. “Baku is an important hub of international transport corridors. The development of transport infrastructure in Azerbaijan dates back to the mid-19th century driven by the oil boom,” he said. Sharifov reminded that the first electric railroad in the USSR was created in Azerbaijan. He underlined the government`s attention to the development of the transport infrastructure, adding that around 25 billion dollars were invested in the industry over the last years.
Sharifov told about the establishment of the Baku International Sea Trade Port and Free Economic Zone, urging Russian businessmen to participate in this project.
Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways Javid Gurbanov said that the forum will address a wide range of issues, including international transport corridors, construction of the railroad infrastructure, production of rolling stocks and logistic chains.
The key discussion topic at the Forum will be the development of the North–South International Transport Corridor (North–South ITC), which was identified at the first ever trilateral summit of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran in August 2016 as the flagship project of the Caspian Region. The new route could reduce the average delivery time of cargo between Mumbai and St. Petersburg to 14 days, eliminating the need to use the traditional route via the Suez Canal.
The Forum will also focus on cooperation in the 1520 space in mechanical engineering, infrastructure construction and the development of multimodal transport.