The first train carrying goods from Turkey to China that began operating on the new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway on December 4 arrived in Georgia last night, announces the Georgian Economy Ministry.
Before entering China’s Xi'an province, which is the final stop of the train, it will cover 8,693 kilometer in 12 days.
The 8,693-kilometer journey includes 2,323km in Turkey, 220 km in Georgia, 430km in Azerbaijan, 420km in the Caspian Sea, 3,200km in Kazakhstan and 2,100km in China.
We have witnessed a historic fact - the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was launched for the first time in reverse mode, which means that the cargo from Turkey to China will be delivered for the first time and also for the first time, cargo will be transported to China through Georgia", said Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava.
In the past two years, the flow of transport cargo has only gone from China; now, it will be possible to ship via the middle corridor from Europe to China as well.
[This] is very important not only for the further development of our country's transit function, but also for the easier export of Georgian goods to China. China is our number one export partner, quite a lot of Georgian wine is being exported to China and we see a very good opportunity to increase Georgian exports to the Chinese market by improving these logistics", Turnava said.
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars is a railway route that passes through Georgia and is the logistical part of the corridor that connects Europe and Asia.
In January-October 2020, the number of containers shipped from/to China via the middle corridor amounted to 2,343 TEU, which is 35.1% more than in the same period of 2019 (1,734 TEU). 1,260 TEU were transported by Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in January-October 2020, which is 371.9% more than in the same period of 2019 (267 TEU), announced the ministry.