Caspian transport corridors in the light of global change is the theme that was discussed during this panel starting with Baber Badat Sb, Immediate Past President, FIATA, Zurich, Switzerland. He names FIATA that works with different countries in the region including The Great Caspian region and develops infrastructure in transport and logistics.
Matthew Bryza, Former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia. He is involved in the Great Caspian Region cooperation in three ways: 1) Academically Matthew analyses and looks for the opportunities to faster regional cooperation. 2)The work in companies providing environmental solutions such as spilled oil in the Sea. 3)Together with Azer Telecom they are developing fiber optic linkage between South Eastern Europe and Bulgaria and the Great Caspian region building Data Center in Caucasus.
Dr. Taleh Ziyadov, Director General, Baku International Sea Trade Port, Azerbaijan recalls Ancient Silk roads were developed regarding camels and mules as the main method of transportation. Nowadays thousands of km connecting Europe and Asia are passed by sea in containers. We can see the emergence of different hubs throughout whole Eurasia with strong interdependency on each other's development.
Dr. Andreas Baumgartner, Former Partner of the Office of Tony Blair/Tony Blair Associates, advising Governments of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. The Great Caspian region is considered to be revival of the legacy of trade it used to be during the Silk Road times. Cooperation Caspian- Black Sea is represented with the variety of hubs and works in the chain North-South, East-West. It obviously requires multiple governments' cooperation with similar objectives and political projects.
Murat Seitnepesov, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Caspian Week, Geneva, Switzerland. Caspian Transit Corridor nor compete nor compliment, just is an integral part of Balton Road Strategy. Switzerland plays an integral role here accommodating money from China and investing to the Great Caspian Region.
Tatyana Popova, PhD, CEO, Agency of strategic programs Ltd., Moscow, Russian. She touches an interesting theme -International transport corridor North-South via Caspian corridor where river transport is the key for this goal. North-South is believed to be the main route for transporting goods from India, Africa and the Middle east to Europe vice versa without the Suez Canal.
Vladimir Kotenev, Former Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Germany states that the future of the economy of Eurasia is the cooperation of projects especially in industry of Russia, China and Europe. Highway around the Great Caspian region is a current project specialists work on.
Speakers came to a common opinion that this great project is extremely hard to implement since various players have diverse interests in the region.
Baber Badat Sb thinks that seaports are among challenges and obstacle in Great Caspian Region and they should be developed first. To increase regional trade these countries must arrange good transportation system as China did several years ago.
Dr. Taleh Ziyadov disagrees with the pessimistic views of the speakers and claims that the Great Caspian Region is about to shoot up in the next 10-20 years. Tense political situations in the regions should be harmonized by not building routes, by building hubs. Changing paradigm will lead to saving time while sending cargoes from Asia to the Great Caspian Region by train from 30 days by sea to 6 days by railway.
Moreover it is stated that more and more cargoes in Europe are delivered by trucks now. It is necessary to develop not only railways, but build roads for delivering goods by trucks to Russia, Iran and other places.
Port communicative digital system is invented for cooperation between regions and is already shared with Kazakhstan and is about to include Georgia. Another platform mapping trains should be implemented to follow goods on railway from China.
There is no single method on environmental level to the whole world to apply considering the impact of transportation development and cargo movement. Baku is the first eco port in its region with the system of reducing the footprint to the environment.