To participants of the Annual Conference of the International Association of Ports and Harbours

10 may 2017, 18:00

Dear conference participants,

I sincerely greet you and wish the conference success. The participation of nearly 90 countries, international organizations and business circles in the conference is indicative of prestige of your event. The International Association of Ports and Harbours' close cooperation with a number of well-known organizations, including the United Nations and its separate committees, International Customs and Maritime Organization, as well as 180 countries with large ports, for more than 60 years is a clear evidence of the Association's influence.

Fortunately, next year the Association's conference will be held in Azerbaijan, in the city of Baku, which has one of the ancient and largest ports in the Caspian basin.

Azerbaijan pays great attention to the development of the non-oil sector, particularly the projects within the New Silk Road.

Our country's current infrastructure enables the development of this sector. From this point of view the projects being implemented in the field of transport and logistics are of crucial importance to Azerbaijan and the entire region.

The construction of the state-of-the-art Baku Port and a free trade zone created around it aims to turn our country into a regional transportation and logistics hub. I believe that this huge project whose transshipment capacity will reach 25 million tons of cargo and 1 million containers will have a beautiful future.

It's not a coincidence that the motto of the event to be held in Baku in 2018 will be "Ports of Future: Establishing Centers, Speeding up Connectivity”.

Apart from the contributions of the new transport corridors and free trade zones to neighboring countries and domestic economy, other topical issues will also be the focus of attention during the discussions. I hope that the conference will also create an opportunity for you to get closely familiarized with our ancient country.

I wish each of you success in your future endeavors, and your countries peace.



Mehriban Aliyeva

First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Baku, 10 May 2017