Azerbaijan-Georgia relations in the area of transit freight are expanding

On November 30, the Minister of Economy and Industry, Shahin Mustafayev received a delegation led by Dimitri Kumsishvili, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, who was on a visit to Baku with his invitation.

The current state of economic relations and prospects of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as improving the efficiency and the expansion of relations in the area of transit cargo transportation between Azerbaijan and Georgia were discussed during the meeting.

The Minister Shahin Mustafayev noted that the cooperation between the two countries in political, economic and humanitarian spheres is developing successfully. The recent official visit of the President of Azerbaijan Republic to the Republic of Georgia is an indicator of great attention paid towards the development of relations between the two countries. Large-scale projects are carried out with the participation of these strategic partners, Azerbaijan and Georgia in the region. In addition to that he noted there are great opportunities for the development of economic cooperation between the countries and the transport sector, in particular transit cargo shipment, is the important part of expanding existing ties. A number of projects are carried out to develop the transport infrastructure and to increase the transit potential of Azerbaijan; as well large-scale public investments are directed in these areas. Thus, the construction of the first phase of Baku International Sea Trade Port, the largest port in Caspian Sea, has been completed and the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is nearing its completion. All these expand the transit potential of Azerbaijan and its opportunities in participation in the transit shipments. However, the volume of cargo transportation has decreased on resent years. Shahin Mustafayev stressed about the establishment of the Coordinating Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Transit Freight, dated October 21, 2015 in order to use the potential of Azerbaijan in transit shipments more widely and effectively, and he reported on the activities of the Council. He noted that optimized tariffs would be announced during a week.

To express his interest for expanding the relations with Georgia to increase the volume of transit cargo transportation of Azerbaijan, Shahin Mustafayev stressed the importance of the implementation of optimized tariff policy, simplification of existing procedures and strengthening the coordination work.

Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Dimitri Kumsishvili valued the establishment of the Coordinating Council as an important step to increase the volume of transit transportation, and also he pointed that to enhance cooperation in the field of transit transportation would be beneficial for both countries. Dimitri Kumsishvili expressed Georgia’s interest to use the existing capacity in the area of transit transportation more efficiently, and shared his views in simplification of procedures and in transportation tariffs policy.

Trade, investment and other relevant topics were also  discussed in meeting.