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New Turkish-Azerbaijan-Georgia Railway Opens New Route For Silk Road

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EIRNS—According to a report in Asia Times, a new railroad running from Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, through the South Caucasus region to the eastern Turkish city of Kars, is set to open later this month. The new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will cut the time it takes for goods to reach Europe from the Far East from 25-30 days to just 15, twice as fast as sea routes, and at half the cost of air cargo.

"The BTK will create a basis for the elimination of certain barriers for trade among the three hosting countries of the railway project," Mahir Humbatov of the Azerbaijani think tank Center for Strategic Studies told Caspian News. "Second, it will be one of the main drivers behind the production and export increase in the three countries....

Third, many local brands maybe developed and further internationalized as a result of production and export opportunities created by the BTK and other linked projects."

Humbatov also said that the project has the potential to attract Chinese investment as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. "This means that if the Chinese government sees Azerbaijan and surrounding countries attempting to develop their substructure and infrastructure, then China will also invest in the BTK." [rma, cjo]