The first meeting of the heads of railway administrations of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Poland and Ukraine on the "South-West" route was completed in Baku by signing a protocol. In particular, the countries participating in the project pledged to join forces in order to make the transport corridor work as soon as possible.
“The Coordination Council on the South-West route will be located in Baku - this is another advantage for us. The working group for the project will operate in Iran. We will try to negotiate, unite joint efforts, so that this transport corridor will earn and bring profit, in particular to Azerbaijan,” Javid Gurbanov, Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways said.
Another important decision of the first meeting of the heads of railway administrations of the five countries was the accession to the transport project of Poland, which is the main hub for the Central Asian countries of the region in terms of trade with the European Union.
“We will certainly be guided to use this route. In general, we assess the prospects very positively. Trade between India and the European Union is growing at a fast pace, and trade between Iran and the European Union is growing rapidly, and we think that this will be the main artery in the development of trade between India and Iran and the European Union on the other hand,” Chairman of "Georgian Railways" JSC Mamuka Bakhtadze said.
The "South-West" route covers India-Persian Gulf - Iran-Azerbaijan-Georgia -Ukraine and Europe. By the end of the year, 200,000 tons of cargo are planned to be transported along the route. In the future, the capacity of transportation of cargo is planned to increase to 20 millions of tons.
“Our efforts are aimed at launching the South-West route as soon as possible. This transport corridor is important both in terms of time saving and cost reduction. During the talks in Baku, we managed to reach important decisions. We were provided with the official "South-West" website, where you can get all information about the transport corridor,” President of the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran Saeed Mohammadzadeh said.
Heads of railway administrations of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Ukraine and Poland agreed to hold meetings on the "South-West" route twice a year. The second meeting will be held in September in Odessa. In the future, the parties are considering joining the transport corridor of Romania and Bulgaria.