The creation of the Alat free economic zone (FEZ) in Azerbaijan will stimulate the development of the non-oil sector and joint production, Ilgar Valizade, Head of the South Caucasus political scientists club, told Trend.
Valizade noted that the FEZ itself will become a platform for the interaction of Azerbaijani business with the world market.
According to the expert, the Alat FEZ has a special legislative framework that ensures effective economic activity.
“On the other hand, such zones are institutions that engaged in the attraction of foreign investments. In this case, the entire infrastructure, production and legal, create a more favorable investment climate for foreign investors,” Valizade said.
Moreover, the Alat FEZ is unique in terms of its functionality, the political scientist noted.
“A set of favorable conditions, such as a special tax regime, transport infrastructure, its accessibility for economic activity of business entities, makes this FEZ attractive not only for investments but also for doing business,” the head of the club noted.
“Alat is becoming an economic gateway for the flow of goods from East to West and in the opposite direction, creating a network of free economic zones within the Caspian Sea, all of which lead to port facilities. There are similar economic zones on the Caspian coast in Kazakhstan, Astrakhan (Russia) and Iran,” Valizade said.
Speaking about the advantages of the FEZ in terms of logistics and transport, he stressed that the port of Alat is the main driver of the free economic zones.
“In addition, there is another large trade port (Baku International Sea Trade Port), a railway terminal, points of loading/unloading of trains serving freight traffic not only along the East-West line but also in the North-South direction. It is the railway communication through the port of Alat that connects Azerbaijan with Iran and further – with Russia,” the expert said.
According to the plan, a cargo airport will be built in this FEZ and associated logistics and transport infrastructure will be created, he said.
“The use of information technologies, which will be introduced into the activities of the entire FEZ, comes to the fore. The implementation of these projects will significantly increase the attractiveness of this FEZ and create opportunities for its transformation into a testing ground for economic skills (know-how), the creation of venture industries, technologies, and economic methods for further application in various fields of activity,” the expert added.