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Azerbaijan -The Alat Port Free Economic Zone’s Role in Azerbaijan’s Long-Term Geo-Economic Strategy (The Jamestown Foundation)

Ayaz Museyibov

The Azerbaijani authorities held a groundbreaking ceremony on July 1 for the planned Alat Free Economic Zone (AFEZ), which will be linked to the new Baku International Seaport also under construction near the village of Alat, around 50 miles south of the capital of Baku (President.az, July 1). Less than a week later, Azerbaijan’s president signed an executive order defining the legal regime for the AFEZ (Azertag, July 9). Work on creating a special institutional and legal basis for the AFEZ has accelerated since 2018. The government’s goal is to build one of the largest (total area 850 hectares) such free economic zones in the Caspian Sea region in order to support high value-added and export-oriented production as well as attract investors to Azerbaijan that will provide innovative technology services and contribute to the dynamic and sustainable development of the country’s economy. The success of Alat may stimulate the creation of other such zones in Azerbaijan, including perhaps in cities or towns on the border with Iran, Russia and Georgia (Sia.az, July 2).

The Alat Port Free Economic Zone’s Role in Azerbaijan’s Long-Term Geo-Economic Strategy – Jamestown