EU Commission talks on possibility of supporting Middle Corridor’s modernization

EU Commission talks on possibility of supporting Middle Corridor’s modernization

The EU can, to a certain extent, co-fund and co-finance projects concerning the extension of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) to the EU’s neighboring countries in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership regions, including in the South Caucasus, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Trend, citing the European Commission, commenting on the possibility of EU support for the Middle Corridor’s modernization.

“The Indicative Investment Action Plan, which touches upon transport infrastructure planning and development, has helped in attracting investments from international financial institutions (IFIs) to the Caucasus region, including Azerbaijan. The EU’s study on sustainable transport connections with Central Asia is expected to further incentivize investment from IFIs and the private sector to the selected projects in the region,” a source at the Commission said.

The source went on to add that as part of the Global Gateway strategy, the EU has just published a study on sustainable transport connections between the extended Trans-European Transport network (TEN-T) and the five countries of Central Asia. The study researched the best and most sustainable potential connections to the EU’s existing transport network. The study’s results provide a solid basis for further discussions on this subject.

The Middle Corridor represents a significant multilateral institutional development that seamlessly connects the containerized rail freight transport networks of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the European Union. This intricate corridor traverses the economies of Central Asia, the Caucasus, Türkiye, and Eastern Europe, fostering robust trade ties.

At the heart of this multilateral, multimodal transport institution are the links it establishes between Caspian and Black Sea ferry terminals and the efficient rail systems of the PRC, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Türkiye, Ukraine, and Poland.

The Middle Corridor serves as a critical artery for boosting freight traffic from China to Turkey, as well as to various European countries, and it operates just as effectively in the reverse direction, facilitating smooth two-way trade.

A standout feature of this transport corridor is the block train, which efficiently delivers cargo from China to Europe in an impressive average time frame of 20-25 days. This remarkable speed stands as one of the corridor’s primary advantages, streamlining trade and enhancing economic connectivity between the regions it links.