Caucasian Press Review (September 7-13)
The Voice of Armenia comments on the address by the head of the Armenian government Hovik Abrahamyan to the members of the EAEU to shift to trading strategic goods on the basis of the ruble without dependence on the dollar. He proposed this at the session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council in Hrodno (Belarus).
Moreover, according to Abrahamyan, exchanging experience is important in the sphere of providing a coordinated macroeconomic policy. The Premier also said that Armenia is ready to host the next session of the Intergovernmental Council in Yerevan.
The newspaper reports that the idea is not new. A few days before that, President of Russia Vladimir Putin presented a draft to the State Duma, which requires ratification of the Agreement of Cooperation in the Sphere of Organization of Integrated Monetary Market of the CIS member states. Therefore, Hovik Abrahamyan simply repeated Putin’s idea.
The newspaper reports that due to the high level of Armenian-Russian economic integration and integration prospects within the EAEU, the interests of Moscow should coincide with Yerevan’s interests. Of course the Armenian government should be interested in a stabilization of the situation on the Russian monetary market, as its negative trends influence the Armenian economy.
However, the author of the article thinks that it is strange that Armenia becomes an initiator of the process of shifting from the dollar to the ruble, considering Yerevan’s relations with the EU. Western partners will definitely criticize their Armenian partner for its pro-Russian policy. This fact can significantly weaken Armenian positions in the talks with the EU.
Last Saturday President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev cut a ribbon at the ceremony of the departure of the first passenger train to run the reconstructed Baku-Sumgait railway line, the local newspaper Region Plus reports. Now the average speed of running is 80-100 km per hour, due to which passengers can reach the center of Baku from Sumgait in 40 minutes. Previously it took 1 hour 22 minutes to travel the same route.
The newspaper reports that the wide-scale project on modernization of the railway infrastructure in the country has been provided for four years. At the moment it has reached a new stage. Recently, ZAO Azerbaijan Railways finished a radical reconstruction of the main part of the 317th-km section of the 500-km railway, which connects Baku and the Beyuk Kyasik point situated on the Georgian border.
The main goal of the project is to increase the capacity of the railway and to implement a new system of signalling, making the process of train running completely automated. As a result, the speed of travel in the westerly direction increased from 60-80 to 100-120 km/h. It will reduce the time of delivering cargos and passengers by a third. The reconstruction and modernization of railways in the westerly direction was financed by the government, which allocated about 650 million manats, and by a loan of $215 million given by the Czech Exim-Bank, as well as due a loan of $450 million given by the World Bank. Part of the railway will be an element of the new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) rail corridor, which will be launched at the end of this year. BTK will be an important part of the project of TRACECA.
The need for high speeds and big capacities of the railways in the westerly direction are also demanded by the new trans-regional route Silk Wind. Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, and Kazakhstan will begin using the route next year. The logistics of the route are based on the use of the potential of BTK and the possibilities of the new international sea port of Yeni Baki.
According to experts, in the near future the new project will provide a significant growth in cargo turnover between Turkey, the countries of the South Caucasus, Central Asia and China. Azerbaijan and its partners plan to increase the volume of the cargo turnover by 6-7 million tons annually after BTK begins its operation. The article says that cargo transactions could later reach 17 million tons, considering the transit flow.
Dagestanskaya Pravda reports that 2015, which has been declared the Year of Gardening by the head of Dagestan, Ramazan Abdulatipov, will be remembered not only for the big hectarage of new planting, but also for its good harvest.
The newspaper refers to data of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Products of Dagestan, according to which the harvesting area amounted to more than 22.3 thousand ha by the end of August. Last year it was less than 17 thousand ha. The average crop yield of 1 ha increased in the republic from 62 centners per ha in last August to 80 centners per ha in this August.
Experts of the Ministry note that farmers have become more experienced and provide the necessary care for perennial plants. This year the republic has harvested 36.5 thousand tons of apricots. Then farmers harvested peaches, plums and began to harvest apples. At the same time, apricots were not sold for a very low price (as always used to happen) at Dagestani markets, as they were exported to other regions of Russia.
Fruit canning plants of the republic have purchased more than 3 thousand tons of apricots during the season. Later they began to buy peaches, plums and apples. Tomatoes are also purchased by enterprises of the republic and plants of Krasnodar Territory, the Volgograd Region, and the Astrakhan Region. A significant demand for cans on the domestic market encourages the plants to purchase fruits and vegetables for processing.
Free Georgia cites the press service of the Georgian government and reports that a high-tech plant for production of components for civil aircraft will be built in Tbilisi.
The plant will produce doors, aerodynamic airfoil, monitor boards, and other components. The plant will be oriented solely towards exports. Its consumers will be such major players in the aircraft industry as Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, and so on. The project of construction of the plant is provided by the Partner Fund of Georgia, the Ministry of Economy, and the Israeli company ELBIT Systems — Cyclone. The Prime Minister of the country Irakli Garibashvili met the head of the company, Bezalel Machlis, and other representatives on September 7th. Garibashvili expressed hope that the project would be successfully fulfilled and the bilateral cooperation would be reliable and fruitful.
The goal of the project is to build a high-tech enterprise during three years. It should meet international standards. The head of the Georgian government called the project, which cost $85 million an important project for the economic development of the country.
Due to the project, about 300 local residents will get jobs. They will be trained by top professionals from Israel.
The newspaper North Ossetia reports that mobile shops will appear in Vladikavkaz. “Wheeled trade” will often take place in yards of apartment houses, squares of residential districts, and final stops of mini-buses. Therefore, domestic products can be bought not only in groceries and shopping malls.
The newspaper states that disparate businesses provide such trade at the moment, but now there will be a system under the administration of Vladikavkaz. This is a very topical idea in the current economic conditions.
The project is oriented towards local producers who produce fruits and vegetables, meat and milk products. Food can be sold only after signing a special agreement with the city administration. The administration will provide monitoring and punishment for those who break the law. Bakers will probably join the project later. Advertising in the city and the use of city communications and infrastructure will be subsidized.