The Eastern Europe Bureau of Report News Agency presents an interview with the Romanian Deputy Transport Minister Maria Magdalena Grigore
– This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Romania. How do you evaluate transport links between the two countries at the moment?
– As you know, Romania is the second country that recognized Azerbaijan’s independence and since 1991 interstate relations have passed a positive and stable way of development. Over the past few years, mutual visits have been held at the level of heads of states, foreign ministers and parliamentary delegations. As a result, bilateral relations reached a strategic partnership in 2009. A Joint Action Plan between Romania and Azerbaijan was signed in 2011 to realize this. As for transport, I can say that relations between our countries have been developing successfully in recent years. For example, during the conference, organized by the European Parliament’s Transport Committee in 2016, where Azerbaijan’s transport projects presented, it was decided during the meeting with the Azerbaijani delegation to sign a bilateral agreement between our ministries in order to develop partnership.
– Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway line will be put into operation soon. This will enable to transport cargo from China to Europe 12-15 days faster compared to by sea. Is Romania interested in participating in this project? May Romania turn into a transit country for transportation of goods to Central and Western Europe through the Black Sea or Turkish-Bulgarian territories?
– Romania is interested in transportation of cargo to Central and Western Europe through the country’s territory after commissioning of BTK railway. Romanian rail carrier CFR Marfa SA company intends to continue cooperation with Azerbaijani partners in a number of international transportation projects. We also support transportation of cargo from China to the EU countries and vice versa via the Constanta port within One-Belt One-Road, New Silk Road and other projects. Moreover, CFR Marfa SA and management of the Constanta port are involved in Romania’s accession to the Eurasian Transport Corridor and transportation through the mentioned corridor. CFR Marfa SA put forward the concept “Romania – a gateway to Europe” for complex and attractive offers on logistics services to Central and Western Europe through Romania. Last year, a protocol of cooperation with the Constanta Maritime Ports Administration was signed.
– Azerbaijani companies have participated in restructuring and restoration of road transport infrastructure of many foreign countries and have enough experience in this area. How do you think can our companies enter the Romanian market?
-Of course, Azerbaijani companies or businessmen can be involved in restoration and reconstruction of road infrastructure in our country provided that they meet requirements of existing legislation. It should be considered that open tenders are announced for procurement contracts and rendering services. In addition to domestic companies, our partner foreign companies can take part in the tenders, if they meet the requirements of the Law “On Public Procurement” No. 98/2016. We consider possible participation of Azerbaijani companies in the infrastructure restoration. More information on the tenders can be found at www.e-licitatie.ro.
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