Azerbaijan’s strategic location between Europe and Asia came under the spotlight during the Caspian International Transport, Transit and Logistics Exhibition held in Baku from June 11-13.
The event lured 85 companies from 15 countries in Europe and Asia including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Greece, Lithuania, Russia, Turkmenistan, Turkey and Ukraine that showcased a wide range of products and services related to the transportation sector. Cargo vehicles, locomotives, passenger cars, freight wagons, shipbuilding and ship repair services, and port services were all part of the show. Turkmenistan’s Turkmenbashi Sea Port company, APS Solver from Belarus, and Arijus UAB from Lithuania, all made their debut at what was the seventeenth edition of the exhibition.
The Baku International Sea Trade Port of Azerbaijan, also known as the Port of Baku, attracted the attention of logistics and transport companies, including EGOcharter, the Athens-based yachting company.
Maria Kolonia, the Booking Manager for EGOcharter, said the company’s clients have discussed their interests in developing yachting infrastructure in the Caspian Sea at the Port of Baku, which may encourage the company to invest in the port complex.
“Businessmen who want to invest their money in the yacht business see an eight percent annual return on their investment,” Kolonia told Caspian News. “This means securing a vacation and income at the same time. That’s the main reason why we come to learn about Baku and Azerbaijan.”
“We understood that there are almost no marinas along the Caspian Sea to sail yachts, and no facilities for the people [yachters] to visit, learn and have a fun,” she explained.
“We may create a training center, like a universal yachting school [in the Caspian Sea]. This is something that we want to invest in, in Baku. First, though, we need to make a study of how we can cooperate with the government and get to know the business climate in Azerbaijan,” Kolonia said.
EGOcharter representatives are planning to meet with managers from the Baku International Sea Trade Port to discuss investment opportunities and the climatic conditions of the Caspian, including the quality of the seawater, to better understand the unique aspects to yachting on the Caspian.
The Port of Baku was launched last month and is considered a state-of-the-art port on the Caspian Sea. Its high-end infrastructure is in line with modern global maritime standards that are attracting the interests of foreign investors.
Tural Gasimov, an economic analyst in Baku, says that while the new port has been developed with cargo and logistics operations in mind, opportunities for developing other sectors, like yachting, should not be excluded.
“A port, even if it was designed for a specific purpose, is able to offer various services, from business to entertainment,” Gasimov told Caspian News.
“Investors in the Port of Baku may want to use the port for non-business activities. Yachting might be a promising sector to attract more people into the newly established complex. For example, yachters from Russia and Europe can sail to Baku via the Volga River, while the Port of Baku could be a leading marina within the Caspian Sea’s borders.”