Port Olya has not yet reached full capacity and large percent of cargo in the Caspian region still bypasses Russia – Vladimir Putin
Large percent of cargo in the Caspian region still bypasses Russia, RF President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting on the socioeconomic development of the Astrakhan Region held in Akhtubinsk.
According to the transcript available at the official website of Kremlin, Vladimir Putin reminded that many years ago it was decided to develop the port of Olya. “In 2004, a railway line was built to Olya. However, the port has not yet reached full capacity, and the volume of cargo transported by rail is still far from the targeted objective.”
“Meanwhile, freight traffic in the Caspian region as a whole, including transport volume, is constantly growing. Yet, a large percent of cargo still bypasses Russia, and naturally our neighbours take it, and they are right to do so – they are competing in the market. Why? Because they have modern high-capacity port and logistics complexes”, emphasized the President of Russia.
According to him, one solution to the problem would be to offer special incentives for attracting intransit freight and investors who would be willing to build the required infrastructure for handling these goods and their subsequent transit across Russian territory.
When speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Finance Maksim Oreshkin told about the proposal to support the development of port infrastructure in the Astrakhan region through granting a status of special economic zone to some port territories. “All ports operating on the Caspian Sea – those of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan – enjoy a preferential tax regime. Therefore, to compete we should create similar conditions here”, he said.
According to the statement of Maksim Oreshkin, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport have conducted work on verification of the existing and possible cargo flows. “… according to our estimates, the cargo flow through Russian infrastructure can double within the coming seven-eight years versus the current level”, said the official. According to him, infrastructure should be developed in Astrakhan and in the entire Caspian region.