Baku will for the first time host the annual conference of the International Association of Ports and Harbors next year. During the annual conference of IAPH that was held in Panama in May 2016, the organization’s Board of Directors unanimously decided to hold the annual conference in Baku in 2018.

    Patrick Verhoeven who is the managing director of policy and strategy of the International Association of Ports and Harbors talked to CBC about the significance of the decision to hold the IAPH conference in Azerbaijan.

    “It is the first time that we have the conference in Baku, in this region. I think it is quite significant that it will be held here. Especially since Azerbaijan and Port of Baku are really at the crossroads of the east-west corridors. We will see how the Chinese strategy with One Belt and One Road initiative is going to develop, but clearly there is an interest to have that rail connection and then the sea connection here in the Caspian area. That will definitely put Azerbaijan and the Port of Baku on the map and on the focus of this geopolitical discussions. In the first place it is of course a business conference, but at the same time we want to make sure that policymakers are present and get into dialogue with us. That means of course your politicians and decision makers. We also want to bring international policymakers from the International Maritime Organization and we are also in contact with European Union whether we can get some civil servants or politicians to be involved in this conference,” Patrick Verhoeven said.

    During his stay in Azerbaijan, Mr. Patrick Verhoeven also visited the international trade port which is being built near town of Alat south of Baku. He said that the first stage of the construction of the Alat Port will be ready and operational by the time of the conference in May 2018. According to him, a visit of the delegates to the Alat port will be a part of the conference. They will see how this project is developing.

    The Port of Baku is located on an area of 400 hectares of land, of which about 100-115 ha cover the area for the development of the international Logistics and Trade Zone. The northern areas around the port are reserved for future expansion of logistics, industrial, and manufacturing activity.

    The Port is expected to become one of the leading trade and logistics hubs of Eurasia.   The implementation of all 3 phases of construction is projected to increase the capacity up to 7,660 tons on a daily basis


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