The strategic importance of Azerbaijan was mentioned at Trans-Caspian Forum in Washington
The “New Silk Road” project has a great potential for activating the role of American companies involved in it, as the US is interested in the Trans-Caspian International Transport Corridor, which is part of the “New Silk Road” project. This was stated by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for U.S. Commerce Dale Tasharski at the two-day Trans-Caspian trade and transit forum “East-West” in Washington.
In addition, it was noted that the program of the US Department of Commerce to support the member countries of the Trans-Caspian International Corridor considers the organization of U.S. trade missions to Azerbaijan and Georgia in October of this year.
“Azerbaijan is a key country in terms of developing the Trans-Caspian route. As we can see from the map, Azerbaijan is right in the middle of everything. The U.S. government stands ready to assist the regional countries in development of the Trans-Caspian route, but ultimately it is the countries of the region have to make this happen. Our commercial law development program is actually working to help countries like Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan to actually harmonize and elevate the level of the customs procedures, reducing technical barriers to trade and etc. We are working on the legal system. We are also working in Azerbaijan on open government and open procurement systems. We are doing our best to help the governments achieve their goal,” Danica Starks, U.S. Department of Commerce Senior Policy Advisor said.
On the third panel the representative of the Azerbaijan Railways Murad Alkhazov and the representative of the Azerbaijan State Caspian Shipping Company Tariel Mirzayev told about the strengthening of infrastructure projects in the region. The head of the Azerbaijan Coordinating Council for Transit Freight Elchin Ahmadov noted that the expansion of this transport corridor through the accession of new countries strengthens Azerbaijan’s role as the main transport hub in the region.
“Today’s forum is important in terms of proper promotion for the Trans-Caspian Corridor at the global level. It is encouraging that if in the previous forums the participating countries were Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Georgia, this year Turkmenistan and Afghanistan also joined this forum. It proves once again the importance of our Trans-Caspian corridor and how it is expanding properly. Because these two countries – Turkmenistan and Afghanistan are very strategically important for America,” Elchin Ahmadov, head of Azerbaijan Coordinating Council for Transit Freight said.
The heads of the diplomatic representations of the countries participating in the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor who spoke at the forum noted the importance of holding such an event in Washington, which would positively affect the economic development of these states and expand cooperation with the United States.
“The interest towards the region, towards the infrastructural development and the transport capabilities of the region is increasing. Last year we had the first forum of this kind. This year with six member states we are hosting a very nice forum that will concentrate on the possibilities that are emerging through our region to connect Asia and Europe. Georgia itself is a member of the Euro-Atlantic community. Georgia is in the middle of this development. We feel the need to develop our own infrastructural capabilities. Georgia is increasing its expenditures for infrastructural programs for two times in order to get prepared for the moment when the projects of transportation that would contribute to the fast connectivity of Europe and Asia,” David Bakradze, Georgia’s ambassador to the U.S. said.
The Trans-Caspian international transport route runs through China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and further through Turkey to Eastern and Western Europe. The corresponding transport departments of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Georgia established the International Association in 2016 within the framework of this corridor, which was later joined by Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Turkey and other interested countries.
On the third panel, the representative of the Azerbaijan Railways Murad Alkhazov and the representative of the Azerbaijan State Caspian Shipping Company Tariel Mirzayev told about the strengthening of infrastructure projects in the region