ArmInfo. An alternative to Upper Lars could be the road through South Ossetia. Answering the question of ArmInfo correspondent during the June 28 press conference, Chairman of the Union of Industrialists and Manufacturers of Armenia Vazgen Safaryan stated.
At the same time, he noted the possibility of carrying out cargo transportation by sea. However, in this vein, the expert explained that Georgia, guided by Armenia's lack of alternatives to the delivery of goods, set high tariffs for cargo transportation, which according to Safaryan's words is reflected at the cost price of the goods, and in the end the products lose their competitiveness. "Our government should work with Georgian authorities on this issue, based on the points and provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO)," he stressed.
In this vein, the chairman of the Union of Freight Carriers of Armenia Makar Arakelyan added that Georgia's delivery of goods through sea route costs several hundred dollars, while Armenia is forced to pay more than $ 1 thousand per ton.
Concerning the prospects for the construction of the North-South railway,Safaryan noted that it is necessary to use interests and points of contact with Iran and conduct a very flexible policy. According to the expert, if we start work in this direction today, the railway will be ready for operation in 10 years. At the same time, he noted that Iran, China and Kazakhstan could join the construction in the long term, since the North-South transport corridor can be considered as one of the components of the Silk Road. According to the National Statistics Service of Armenia, the volume of cargo transportation in Armenia in 2016 increased by 85.3% to 20,485.2 thousand tons versus same period of the previous year. Out of them, 16,248.8 thousand tons (79.3% of the total volume) account for road transport, which increased 2.4-fold year-on-year. According to statistical data, rail freight traffic for the year increased by 3.1% - up to 2 610.9 thousand tons. Air transportation also increased - by 79.4% - to 18.3 thousand tons.
In January-April 2017, the volume of cargo transportation in Armenia increased by 71.6% to 8 234.4 thousand tonsversus the same period of the previous year. Of these, 6,659.9 thousand tons accounted for road transport, which increased 94.2 times year-on-year. According to statistical data, rail freight traffic for the reporting period increased by 8.6% - to 871.9 thousand tons. Air transportation also increased - by 82.1% - to 7.1 thousand tons.