The World Bank Presents Initial Reports to Improve Capacity of the Caucasus Transit Corridor


The World Bank team has today presented the initial findings of its study on improving freight transit and corridor performance of the Caucasus Transit Corridor to main stakeholders in Azerbaijan. This technical assistance, funded by the World Bank - China Grant Facility, is helping governments of Azerbaijan and Georgia identify impediments along the Caucasus Transit Corridor, assess its performance by using the method known as corridor performance monitoring tool, and recommend actions to improve the corridor’s competitiveness and logistics.

The Caucasus Transit Corridor (CTC) links Azerbaijan and Georgia with Europe, China, Kazakhstan and other regional partners. The corridor has the potential to be a serious player in connecting China with Western Europe, which receives 16% of all Chinese exports. İt also has potential to become an important component of China’s Belt and Road initiative. Freight shippers, which now prefer other routes for such goods, would switch to CTC if it offers cost-efficient and high quality transportation and logistic services. With physical upgrade projects nearing completion, the two governments are shifting focus towards reducing non-physical barriers. 

“This technical assistance helps determine what are the remaining steps to turn the Caucasus Transit Corridor into the 21st century Silk Road”, says Naveed Naqvi, World Bank Country Manager for Azerbaijan, “the study will systematically uncover the focus areas to further improve efficiency and competitiveness of this important transport corridor”.

The countries need to deal with several issues to improve performance of CTC, including border crossing management, ferry operation and container capacity of ferries in the Caspian Sea, efficiency of Batumi and Poti ports, interchange between Port of Baku and railway, logistics and supply chain management in both countries, and underdeveloped trucking sector. Establishing a platform for private sector logistics providers will help improve performance of the corridor, and a strategy for integrating various logistics and transport modes along the corridor will significantly improve services to all users.

The analytical activity, which is expected to be completed in December, 2018, will work with governments, private sector and other stakeholders to carry our detailed analysis of CTC volume and demand, benchmark CTC performance against competing corridors; develop a strategy and action plan including policy measures and investments to increase the Corridor efficiency, and organize knowledge exchange between the countries.