Uzbekistan-Georgia step up trade with BTK railway line in the spotlight

Image: Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan and Georgia want to increase bilateral trade to 500 million US dollars in the next few years. At the same time, they will attempt to develop their transport and logistics synergies further. The main focus will be for Uzbekistan to use the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway as a gateway to the Georgian Black Sea ports. The Middle Corridor will also be a significant component of their bilateral cooperation.

According to the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, representatives of the two countries met and discussed these possibilities in Tashkent on 3 April, within the framework of the 9th meeting of the Uzbek-Georgian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Growing trade

The delegates mentioned that trade between Uzbekistan and Georgia has doubled over the last six years, while last year alone, it increased by more than 30 per cent. The two sides suggested formulating and approving a plan to intensify their consortium and increase their exposure to other markets.

Most importantly, they highlighted the importance of the BTK line as the Transcaucasian gateway of Uzbekistan to the Black Sea. The two countries want to launch more transport projects via this rail route in the coming years, which will unavoidably include rail services via the Middle Corridor.

Interestingly enough, a few months ago, n December 2022, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated that Azerbaijan and Turkey hope to increase the capacity of the BTK railway from the current one million tons per year to five million tons. He also mentioned that Azerbaijan will invest 100 million US dollars in railway infrastructure to achieve this goal.

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Author: Chengfan Zhao

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