A Hub of Hubs Initiative and Its Successful Implementation: The case of Azerbaijan

After centuries of neglect, the transport corridors connecting Asia and Europe are on the brink of a rebirth. There are different initiatives to establish overland routes via trucks; to build railways; construct pipelines; improve air connections; develop maritime connections through seaways, such as TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia), CAREC (Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation), INSTC (International North South Transportation Corridor), and the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative); and so on. Currently, every single country in the world is developing its transportation and logistics potential with the desire to become part of these regional or global initiatives. This article will analyze where Azerbaijan stands on these corridors and what is the current status of soft and hard infrastructure development in this country as regards global transportation corridors. Regional projects initiated by Azerbaijan are already delivering benefits to friendly neighboring countries and transportation projects will also attract revenues to collaborating countries. The Baku–Tbilisi–Kars railway project, newly developed Baku International Sea Trade port, renovated and reconstructed GYD airport, improvement of the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company, new legislation and presidential orders, and other relevant hard and soft infrastructural developments will be assessed in this context. Moreover, Azerbaijan's collaboration in the transportation sector with its neighboring countries and key allies will be one of the main themes of the article.

Authors: Mahir Humbatov