The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) route within the framework of the Silk Road will ensure the economic growth of the whole region, reducing the time of transportation between China and Europe by about 15 days.
The BTK railway will ensure the economic growth of the whole region of the Caspian and Black Seas, as well as provide access to remote markets for local countries, according to the Bulgarian Ministry of Transport.
“Our country is striving to provide suitable land and sea routes for servicing Euro-Asian transport through the new railway corridor. Our analysis shows that the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line within the Silk Road will be an alternative to the route through Russia and will ensure the economic growth of all region.”
The ministry said to Azernews that the Bulgarian side actively participated in the discussions of the new project of the multimodal transport corridor “Persian Gulf – Black Sea”.
“The cooperation of the parties within the framework of this project will promote the development of transport links between Asia and Europe and the establishment of effective trade routes between the countries of the European Union, including Bulgaria, and Iran. Our country has a strategic geographical position and potential to become a transport hub in Europe. With the implementation of all priority transport projects Bulgaria will be the most direct route from Asia to Europe,” the Bulgarian ministry concluded.
On October 30, a solemn ceremony was held at the Baku International Sea Trade Port on the occasion of the opening of the BTK railway. Two routes from Kazakhstan to Turkish Mersin have already been sent via this route. The first train, consisting of 30 containers, on November 4, delivered 600 tons of wheat to the Turkish city of Mersin. The second freight train left Kazakhstan on November 27. The train has already reached Georgia.
The BTK railway is constructed on the basis of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey intergovernmental agreement. The main purpose of the project is to improve economic relations between the three countries and attract foreign direct investment by connecting Europe and Asia.
The project implementation began in 2007 and construction began in 2008. The line is intended to transport one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight at the first stage. This capacity will then reach 3 million passengers and 17 million tons of cargo.