According to the Center for Economic Reforms Analysis and Communication of Azerbaijan, national exports hit $11.8 billion in January-April 2022 (the non-oil sector amounted to $965.5 million).
Compared to the corresponding period of 2021, non-oil exports grew up by $268.6 million, or 38.5 percent. Fruits and vegetables export rose up by 23.6 percent and reached $162.6 million.
Exports of chemical products showed growth by 9.9 times, aluminum and aluminum products by 90.6 percent, cotton yarn by 19.8 percent, cotton fiber by 6.8 percent, and ferrous metals and their products by 53.3 percent.
Totally, exports in April 2022 reached $3.8 billion dollars. Non-oil exports grew up by 22 percent to $238.3 million. During the reported period, food exports rose up by 6.2 percent and equaled to $51.4 million and non-food exports grew up by 27.2 percent ($186.9 million).
Totally, Azerbaijan’s exports reached $22.2 billion last year, including $2.7 billion in the non-oil sector.
According to Azerbaijan’s Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov, the growth in the non-oil products export demonstrates the Azerbaijani economy’s sustainability, in spite of pandemic.
Sustainable diversification of the economy should be set, and a concept contributing to the growth of non-oil exports is to be planned. By 2025 the amount of non-oil goods exports should be doubled.
The first freight train from China via Azerbaijan is launched by Finland.
The launch of the first container route from China bypassing Russia was announced on May 10 by Finnish largest freight operator Nurminen Logistics.
The company reported that Nurminen Logistics’ first full-size container train departed on May 10, 2022, from Chongqing, China, on the new southern trans-Caspian route.
Starting from China, the route passes through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Romania to Central Europe. It was built in two months together with Kazakh railroads. The company’s office in Russia was temporarily closed in March.
According to the company, the new route is in great demand, and the next train, departing on May 25, is already nearly full. Since June departures are scheduled every week.
On March, 16 a commercial use agreement between Nurminen Logistics and Kazakh State Railways was signed in order to develop the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.
Today logistics is a geopolitical issue but not only an economic one. The Trans-Caspian route, combining rail and maritime transport, perfectly suits the needs of modern transportation chains.
More countries seek ways to bypass Russia, which makes transport routes through the South Caucasus increasingly popular. From this perspective, Azerbaijan is irreplaceable as a regional transportation hub, because different transportation routes, such as Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, North-South corridor, Trans-Caspian international transport route, and the new Silk Road, pass through the country.
A railway route to Germany, allowing trains to bypass Russia, was also launched on April, 13 by China. The route passes through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, crossing the Caspian and Black Seas by rail and sea.
The launch of a block train from China to Europe in transit through Azerbaijan was reported by the representative office of German company Hellmann Worldwide Logistics in Azerbaijan and its partners. It will leave from the Chinese city of Suzhou to the border of Kazakhstan by rail, and then will be loaded and shipped from Aktau port to the port of Baku. Cargo will be delivered by the block train not only for transit to Europe but also for the domestic market of Azerbaijan.
Consequently, it is difficult to overestimate the significance of the North-South corridor for Russia now, especially in context of the sanctions.
Azerbaijan is becoming a new leading logistics center in the reorganization of global supply chains in Eurasia, due to its strategic central position between Europe and China and developed aviation, rail, pipeline, and maritime infrastructure.
The Trans-Caspian transport route is a vital trans-Eurasian corridor, running through the South Caucasus. The route, beginning in Southeast Asia and China, travels to Europe via Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey. It is the Middle Corridor of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ project, one of the new Silk Road routes. Profitability, safety, reliability, and stability of this transport corridor were proved during the crisis. Consequently, the attention of an increasing number of exporters and importers is attracted by this corridor, running through Azerbaijan.
In light of the present situation, the potential of Azerbaijan to become one of the transport and logistics hubs transferring freight traffic is obvious.