The agreement of Lapis Lazuli transportation corridor, signed under the framework of VII Regional Economic Cooperation Conference in Ashgabat (November, 2017), is a prominent accomplishment of the Azerbaijani Foreign Policy and ensures the close cooperation between the five countries: Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.
Realization of this document serves rise of economic integration level of the region, increase of trade. Lapis Lazuli corridor creates new opportunities to enhance the volume of freightage.
The corridor is also significant for Afghanistan. It will make special contribution to Afghanistan’s economy and allow it to have access to the world market. Other countries also have interest in this corridor. For instance, India had expressed its interest in the corridor.
American expert Peter Tase said: ‘It must be emphasized that the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and its Government Leadership have worked closely with the Government of Azerbaijan in order to bring this inter-continental project into its final stages. Afghanistan will immensely benefit from the transportation corridor of Lapis Lazuli, at the same time we will observe a close cooperation between Azerbaijan and Afghanistan in the near future. The impressive transportation project of Lapis Lazuli will strengthen the economic ties between Turkey and Afghanistan; at the same time, Georgia will have an opportunity to increase the level of exported goods into the markets of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. At the same time Afghanistan will further increase its agricultural products’ presence into the meticulous European Markets.’
American expert Peter Tase:
“Afghanistan’s infrastructure and transportation connections throughout Central Asia and Europe, will accelerate the trade and commercial potential with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey “.
‘The Republic of Azerbaijan has a great potential to increase its economic cooperation with Afghanistan and its role in the region – as a politically stable country with a consolidated financial sector – will further grow as a leading country in Eurasia that has invested immense resources towards connecting people, moderating intercultural dialogue and shaping a healthy multilateral economic diplomacy. On the other hand, Azerbaijan railway also active participate in this route,’ Peter Tase said.
The expert said that on December 13, 2018, was inaugurated the first part of Lapis Lazuli project by the President of Afghanistan, H. E. Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in Herat, Afghanistan: ‘The first shipment of Afghan products that includes more than 175 tons of cotton, dried fruits and sesame seeds will be exported through this route. Afghanistan’s infrastructure and transportation connections throughout Central Asia and Europe, will accelerate the trade and commercial potential with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey. The trade-transportation projects and multilateral agreements are practically fruitful when nations involved are taking an active role towards conclusion of such projects (Azerbaijani Government has always been proactive and swift towards regional transportation corridors).’
Expert Yasin Mustafayev:
“Connection of the Lapis-Lazuli corridor with Baku-Tbilisi-Kars will provide transportation of cargos to 50-60 countries, including whole Europe and many countries of North Africa, through Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey”.
Expert on road Infrastructure Yasin Mustafayev drew attention tothe issueon connection of Lapis-Lazuli line with Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway: “Connection of the Lapis-Lazuli corridor with Baku-Tbilisi-Kars will provide transportation of cargos to 50-60 countries, including whole Europe and many countries of North Africa, through Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey. Although this project serves transportation of goods of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to Europe, it promises a great prospectus. Besides bringing revenues to country from transit cargos, these projects will contribute to establishment of cooperation and friendship among the countries”.
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