An international conference titled “Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line – new opportunities for the development of the historical Great Silk Road” has been held in Baku.
The event brought together representatives of European and Asian countries, international organizations and financial institutions.
The main aim of the international conference was to present to the world community the wide information on international and regional importance, the prospects of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, transportation opportunities and transit potential of Azerbaijan, building of an international reputation and prestige of Azerbaijan as an efficient transport hub between Europe and Asia.
Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Abid Sharifov read out President Ilham Aliyev's congratulatory letter to the conference participants.
Addressing the event, Azerbaijan`s Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov said Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway project is open for participation of other countries.
Talking about the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project, the minister said it is planned to complete the implementation of the project in 2015 and to launch a test work train by late 2014.
Mammadov added that after the three years of operation of BTK, the volume of cargo transportation via this railway is expected to hit three million metric tons, while after five and ten years of operation, this figure is forecast to exceed five million metric tons and 10 million metric tons respectively.
Currently the work is underway on constructing a section on Turkey’s territory, constructing and reconstructing of the railway section on Georgia’s territory, as well as constructing a 4.5 kilometers long tunnel on the Georgian-Turkish border.
Other speakers at the event included Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication of Turkey Lutfi Elvan, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia David Shavliashvili and Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA Eduard Biriucov.
The conference culminated with the adoption of the Final Declaration.