Located at the center of the middle transport corridor between China and Europe, Azerbaijan remains a reliable transit partner for China. The ongoing successful business partnership will serve to deepen trade and economic ties between the two countries. An example of this cooperation is the new China-Europe container train route, which started operations on September 10, 2020, connecting the Chinese city of Jinhua and Azerbaijan's capital Baku. The first freight train to use this new route will arrive in Baku shortly. The travel time on this route is assumed to be 15-18 days; up to a third faster than this type of combined shipping using sea and railways. The train will carry 100 twenty feet of goods, including electrical appliances, vehicles and household appliances.
Another example of the fruitful cooperation between China and Azerbaijan within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was the launch of freight trains of 43 wagons from China to Istanbul via Azerbaijan on 20 June 2020. The load will be delivered in the port of Baku and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be transported to Turkey via.
With operations in Xi'an sorbet platform Trade Zone, goods are transported from China to Turkey through the territory of Azerbaijan constantly. In July 2019, the second block freight train arrived from China to Azerbaijan on the Xi'an-Baku route.
The shortest route of the China-Europe line is through Azerbaijan
Located on the historical Silk Road, Azerbaijan wants to be a transportation and logistics center between Europe and Asia, as a place where different civilizations meet. Azerbaijan took this route long ago and as a result achieved remarkable success. As part of its economic diversification strategy, the Azerbaijani government has invested heavily in the development of railways, ports, highways and logistics centers from the Caspian Sea to the West. Baku cargo terminal, Baku Port, modern freighters operating in the Caspian Sea and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway are valuable contributions to the East-West transportation corridor of Azerbaijan.
The importance of the Azerbaijan factor in the framework of this corridor and BRI has increased since the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway became operational in October 2017, making the Trans-Caspian international transport route a priority vector for the transport of China's goods to Europe. At the same time, this route is the least costly transit route for China and has a number of advantages in terms of ready infrastructure and proximity to Europe against other intercontinental transport corridors.
Currently, Azerbaijan is using the potential of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway extensively with Russia and Kazakhstan. There is talk of the possibility of extending this road to Uzbekistan. Azerbaijan is actively participating in the European space, using the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway has already become a reality for some European countries.
Commercial and economic ties between Baku and Beijing will be strengthened
Wishing to diversify the transport of goods to Europe, China can become a full participant in the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project. And Azerbaijan can act as an exemplary partner of China in establishing the "Economic Belt Silk Road".
First of all, the Caspian coast, where Azerbaijan is located, turns into a new single economic area where the interests of Russia, East Asia and Europe are intertwined. Azerbaijan is becoming a new point of the economic ring connecting Europe to Asia.
Secondly, throughout its history, Azerbaijan played an important role in the development of the Silk Road by connecting Central Asia to Anatolia, the Black Sea and the West, especially in the Caucasus.
Since ancient times, Azerbaijan was the main stage where civilizations were interconnected, bringing together merchants from land and sea. This situation significantly affected the formation of an important center not only for goods but for the exchange of ideas and traditions, religions and cultures.
Thirdly, Azerbaijan has similarities with China in terms of development as a priority, peaceful foreign policy, political stability effort, adherence to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. All these factors above contribute to mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.
Source: China International Radio