12 November 2019
By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Azerbaijan is one of the first countries to support China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative, and will direct its financial resources to its implementation.
This was stated by the Deputy Prime Minister, Co-Chairman of the Azerbaijan-China Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation Shahin Mustafayev at the "Global Trade and International Logistics" Forum, held as part of the 2nd China International Import Expo in Shanghai, according to the report posted in the official website of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Beijing.
Addressing the forum Mustafayev said: “The Trans-Caspian International Transport Corridor, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, is an attractive way for shorter and more reliable shipping between China and Europe. This corridor, which has great geographical and economic advantages, is of great importance in terms of the implementation of "One Belt, One Road." It has already begun to transport cargoes from China to Europe via this road,” the report reads.
As part of his visit to China, Deputy Prime Minister also met Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Secretary General Vladimir Norov on November 11 for discussion of bilateral cooperation.
During the meeting, Norov drew attention to the need to intensify cooperation in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, the development of trade, economic and cultural relations, transport communications, digitalization and electronic commerce, as well as the promotion of tourism.
It was also underlined that Azerbaijan can already start the work on joining the Agreement on Facilitation of International Road Transport, signed among the governments of the SCO member states in 2014, which aims to set up favorable conditions through the simplification and harmonization of documentation, procedures and requirements of the Parties concerning international road transportation.
Furthermore, Norov proposed to hold interactive educational game – Model SCO project at Azerbaijani universities among students.
In his turn, Mustafayev stressed that Azerbaijan is interested in further development of cooperation with the organization. Deputy Prime Minister highly praised close cooperation with the SCO in the political sphere, as well as in the implementation of various cultural projects.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a regional international union, established in 2001 in Shanghai, during a joint meeting of the presidents of six countries (Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan). On 14 March 2016, a “Memorandum on giving to the Republic of Azerbaijan the status of dialogue partner in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization” was signed in Beijing.
It is worth to mention that Azerbaijan was represented by two national pavilions at the 2nd China International Import Expo on November 5-10. The 136-square-foot Azerbaijan pavilion presented materials and publications on the economic development of the country, the favorable business and investment climate, the transportation and transit opportunities, the tourism potential. It should be noted that the 2nd China International Import Expo is considered to be the world’s first import-themed national-level exhibition, and a great innovation in the history of international trade.