EurActiv: Baku’s new silk road can connect Europe to the east

Baku, May 14, AZERTAC

EurActiv news portal, an independent European media platform dealing with European news and European-centric topics, has published an article by Benjamin Fox headlined “Baku’s new silk road can connect Europe to the east”.

The article highlights the annual International Association of Ports and Harbors conference (IAPH) held this week, which gathered 400 delegates in the Azerbaijani capital where less than a fortnight hosted the latest round of the Formula One world championship.

“At the heart of a 21st-century silk route connecting Asia and Europe, Baku is the natural geographic meeting point for east and west. An ancient city on the original silk road, the city now has its eyes on becoming a free trade zone modelled on Dubai,” the article says.

Fox draws the readers` attention to the remarks of Johannes Hahn, the EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy, who addressing participants by video link on Wednesday (9 May) said the bloc would continue to support Baku’s commercial development.

“Azerbaijan is very well-placed to play a key role in linking Europe and Asia and the European Union will continue to support the Port of Baku in becoming an international logistics and trade hub, said Hahn, according to the article.

The article quotes Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev as saying that investments by EU member countries in Azerbaijan’s economy exceeded $15 billion, primarily in energy, transport, and trade, and more than 1,500 companies from the EU member countries operate in Azerbaijan.

The article mentions that on the sidelines of the Baku-hosted conference, Baku International Sea Trade Port signed MoUs with China’s Lianyungang Port Group, COSCO Shipping Lines company and Guangzhou Port Administration as well as India’s Mumbai port.

The article also underlines that Baku International Sea Trade Port in the Alyat settlement will soon be commissioned, while the launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway has expanded the transport capabilities of Azerbaijan and the South Caucasus region.

In the article, Fox also quotes MEP Sajjad Karim, co-chair of the EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Co-operation committee as saying that in the energy sector, it has huge potential to grow even further and from a diversification point of view that is important to the European Union that we can further increase our imports of energy from Azerbaijan.

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