A business meeting on the digitalization of railways held in Vienna
On 15 November 2018 the Austrian-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce (ataz) together with system7 – rail support held a the Business Breakfast “Railways & Digitalization” at the law firm LANSKY, GANZGER + partner (LGP). The railway chiefs of both countries as well as infrastructure experts from politics and economy met each other to exchange ideas about the future of the railway and to strengthen the two “transport hubs” Austria and Azerbaijan. The main speaker of the ataz Business Breakfast was Prof. Bernhard Lichtberger, founder and CTO of system7 Railsupport. ataz president Gerald Gerstbauer and board member Gabriel Lansky also used the morning for the opening of the new ataz office, where gallery-owner Anne-Marie Avramut presented exhibits from her current show “Sica Art Work”. Around 80 guests accepted the invitation, including ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä, Javid Gurbanov (CEO of the Azerbaijani State Railways), WKO Vice-President Christoph Matznetter, Michael Angerer (WKO Eastern Europe/Central Asia), Alexander Andreas Schierhuber (Breitspur Planungsgesellschaft), Rovshan Sadigbayli and Javid Nasirli (both embassy Republic of Azerbaijan), Hans Jörg Holleis (system7 – metal technology), District Director Ernst Nevrivy, Gerald Ganzger (LGP), Dorothea Gros (Atos) and many more.
The participants of the ataz Business Breakfast see great potential for Austria’s economy when it comes to the expansion of infrastructure corridors. However, one has to admit in the EU that China is “more efficient and faster in planning and financing” such projects, according to WKO Vice-President Christoph Matznetter. Attorney Gabriel Lansky also pointed out the potential of the Eurasian economic area – his law firm has been active in the Caspian Sea region for many years. “Azerbaijan has already become an important hub in the region.” In terms of economic performance, the country has much more to offer than oil, according to railway chief Javid Gurbanov. Currently, the company is pushing ahead with rail expansion in order to position itself as a hub for transport between Asia and Europe. In 2017, for example, more than 1,000 km of railway line were renewed – almost entirely with technology from Austria. The Austrian Federal Railways as well as Siemens are important partners in this context. According to Andreas Matthä, ÖBB is already reacting to this development and is already planning to expand its route to Azerbaijan (there are currently daily connections to Turkey).