Russia’s Tomsk region reaches out to improve Azerbaijan and Middle Corridor trade

In a growing trend of Russian regions creating new business opportunities directly with sovereign nations, Russia’s Tomsk Oblast (province) has sent a trade mission to Azerbaijan. Tomsk companies are discussing bilateral trade with their Azeri counterparts in Baku from September 26-28.

Tomsk is in southern Siberia and has a total population of around 1.2 million, half of whom live in the capital, also known as Tomsk. It is an important Siberian trading hub and located on part of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which stretches to Moscow in the west and Vladivostok on the Pacific coast of Russia. Goods can be sent from Tomsk to Russian Caspian ports in Astrakhan by rail, a journey that takes 2.5 days. From there they are loaded onto ships that transfer the goods to Baku.

Businesses in Tomsk are interested in the route because Baku is part of the “Middle Corridor” which allows wider westward access by rail and sea to the Caucasus, Turkey and southern Europe. They can also head south to the Iranian port of Anzali, cross the INSTC and reach Chabahar, and from there be shipped to the Middle East and South Asia. The road essentially gives Tomsk export access to the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Indian Ocean.

Tomsk has machinery and equipment useful to these regions and is a leading manufacturer of medical equipment, wood processing products, equipment and materials for water treatment, power generation and distribution and fertilizers.

Russia has a trade agreement with Azerbaijan through their mutual membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The mission is organized by the Export Support Center of the Tomsk region with the help of the regional department for the development of innovative and entrepreneurial activities, the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia and the Russian Export Center (REC) within the framework of the national project “Small and medium-sized enterprises and support for individual entrepreneurial initiatives”.

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