BAKU, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Azerbaijan has been constructing a North-South corridor which in the years to come will help turn the landlocked country into a transport and logistics hub in the region, President Ilham Aliyev said here on Monday.
"We allocated additional funds for the completion of the North-South transport corridor and I'm sure that this railway route will be put into operation in the years to come," Aliyev said while addressing the inauguration of the Baku International Sea Trade Port Complex.
The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200-km-long freight route connecting India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ships, rail and roads, is meant to connect Northern Europe with Southeast Asia. The INSTC is to provide an alternative to the traditional sea routes through the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea.
The corridor is planned to transport 5 million tons of cargo per year at the initial stage and more than 10 million tons of cargo in the future.
The president said that Azerbaijan is set to launch the South-West transport corridor in the nearest future and the first train via this route has already started the trial run.
He added that the East-West, the North-South and the South-West transport corridor projects will strengthen cooperation between Azerbaijan and other countries.
By implementing such projects, Azerbaijan, which has no access to the open seas, will turn into a transport and logistics hub, Aliyev said.