„The Middle Corridor, to the mutual benefit of Georgia and Azerbaijan, will remain highly competitive when the Northern Corridor reopens. The opportunities for countries along this route to take advantage of the infrastructure and connectivity and then start developing local industries are huge“ stated Iain Rawlinson.
The Middle Corridor may become more competitive compared to the Northern Corridor.
This is what Iain Rawlinson, commercial director of the company “APM Terminals Poti”, which manages the Georgian port of Poti, told “Trend”.
„Therefore, to make the Middle Corridor remain competitive when the hostilities in Ukraine end and the situation in the region normalizes, it will need its exceptional efficiency in creating transparent rail and sea transport links“, he said.
According to Rawlinson, it is very difficult to make a forecast for this year, as the uncertainty related to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, as well as the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in China, have a direct impact on the global supply chain. But today, Chinese cargo that historically passes through Russia is effectively transported through the Middle Corridor.
As explained by the trade director, the Russian corridor between China and Europe is quite good, although there are some difficulties with the throughput of goods on the border between Belarus and Poland. Today, all players in the Middle Corridor should promote the concept that the Central Asia-Caucasus market is part of the Chinese market because, as Rawlinson believes, the Chinese market will eventually try to return to the Northern Corridor when the latter reopens.
„The Middle Corridor, to the mutual benefit of Georgia and Azerbaijan, will remain highly competitive when the Northern Corridor reopens. The opportunities for countries along this route to take advantage of the infrastructure and connectivity and then start developing local industries are huge“ stated Rawlinson.
As Rawlinson noted, SMEs from both Azerbaijan and Georgia should create and take advantage of the connectivity created by the corridor and therefore drive economic growth.
„APM Terminals closely cooperates with partners from Azerbaijan, as well as from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. We also work with all major shipping lines to connect Poti with European ports - in countries such as Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, and also with European rail operators, especially in Poland and Germany, to ensure efficiency and transparency on the Middle Corridor“, he added.