Access to global markets: new transit opportunities for Greater Caspian Region

Interconnection, fast transportation, and safe data transition between countries in the Greater Caspian
Region are the projects of primary importance for international trade development. Speakers raise
paramount questions such as the main technological projects, possible challenges the region could face
and name investments' sources to accelerate the processes.
The moderator: Mohammad Saeed. Speakers: Dirk Ahlborn, Baber Badat Sb, Azar Bayramov, Alex Raimondi, Dr. Maria Shagina, Dr. Taleh Ziyadov
Dirk Ahlborn, Founder and Chairman, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Los Angeles, CA, USА describes their activity in the company as the transformation of transportation at the speed of sounds. They use solar energy, kinetic energy and sometimes even produce more energy than consume. People often think that hyperloop is out of decades, but the process is already known, the first passenger capsule is created, and several agreements are signed. When it comes to commercialization of the project, the main problem is regulation and insurance of the system.

Alex Raimondi, Director Embedded, Miromico AG, Zurich, Switzerland. The company Alex works for develops technologies for linking remote areas with low infrastructure costs. Another project is aimed at providing technologies IOT and wireless technologies based on satellite communication. All these technologies can provide more data, services and increase security all around the world.

Azar Bayramov, Deputy CEO, AzerTelecom, Baku, Azerbaijan. AzerTelekom has diversified sustainable network system which connects all major cities in Azerbaijan and integrates into all major telecommunication hubs in the world. Infrastructure lacks in new data cables for international connectivity. Trans Caspian fiberoptic Project is the new idea to connect Europe and Asia with the fastest roads including the countries of the Great Caspian Region.

Dr. Taleh Ziyadov, Director General, Baku International Sea Trade Port, Azerbaijan expects that implementing hyperloop project would probably disrupt traditional way of global trade in the Great Caspian Region that is based on ships mostly. New technologies should complement each other and different way of transportation, but not exclude. So, synchronizing new development projects in Central Eurasia will enable us to revive the ancient concept of the hubs in the 21st century.

Baber Badat Sb, Immediate Past President, FIATA, Zurich, Switzerland expects huge changes in the modes of transportation, particularly in East-West regions due to BRI project and other initiatives sprang up subsequently. The role of logistics and international forwarders logistic companies has increased while the role of shipping lines has reduced, with the tendency to deliver containers from point to point. The revenue logistic companies get is reinvested into transport infrastructure and for more opportunities on the land. In the Great Caspian Region railways and trucks being connectors between countries in this region are of high usage and of high importance. Thus, it certainly attracts investments to further development of the region.

Dr. Marina Shagina, CEES Postdoctoral Fellow Center for Eastern European Studies University of Zurich, Switzerland speaks about enormous proliferation of sanctions from US that causes increase in the compliance clauses from private sector and from the third parties. The immediate response comes from banking sector, private and energy companies introducing sanction clauses to diminish uncertainty about methods to deal until the clarification of regulations. There are four ways of transit that could be distinguished nowadays to pass by the sanctions: 1) digitalization of assets reducing government debt 2)trade work with alternative currency and swaps 3)introduction new bank-to-bank payment systems 4) digital currency.

While discussing the Great Caspian Region the speakers of the panel expressed their opinions about opportunities that could be beneficial for the regional connectivity.

They name a Win-Win approach with strategies that coincide and are harmonized which is especially important for landlocked countries. Another opportunity is EU system providing humanitarian aid that is not sanctioned and legitimate and can push back against US system.

Technologies can help to detect problems in the region even before they arise and increase safety in infrastructure we have there.

Collaboration between private companies, governments and stake holders can have real effect on common development.

Building and implementing Trans Caspian fiberoptic would provide ultra-speed connectivity for businesses.

Another opinion expressed on the panel is about challenges that are in dealing with politics and politicians, the speed of embracing new technologies and innovations and global money that the region needs so much for the prosperity.

The moderator: Mohammad Saeed. Speakers: Dirk Ahlborn, Baber Badat Sb, Azar Bayramov, Alex Raimondi, Dr. Maria Shagina, Dr. Taleh Ziyadov