Kazakhstan's role in the development of transit and transport corridors was discussed in the Trans-Caspian forum in Washington. The event was organized by the embassies of a number of countries, and the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute. It was attended by delegates from 6 countries, representatives of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the World Bank, the EBRD, as well as experts and representatives of the U.S. transport and logistics companies. Kazakh ambassador to the U.S., Yerzhan Kazykhanov told the participants about the implementation of "Nurly Zhol" state program and the Silk Road international project. Forum participants also attended the meetings in the U.S. Congress and World Bank.

 

SERGEY ANASHKIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KTZ EXPRESS:

 - ‘Nomad express’ regular container service operates on the Trans-Caspian route. It covers the distance of 11,000 km in 14-15 days from China to Europe. China transports its cargo through Kazakhstan, Trans-Caspian infrastructure to Turkey. Today’s event is organized to show the capacity of this route.

 

STEVE CHABOT, CONGRESSMAN, USA:

 - The Caspian region is very important for the United States as it is for the rest of the world and if the community is going to prosper and develop, it’s important that the various infrastructures that are wanted right now need to be improved dramatically: highways, pipelines, ports, whole range of improvements need to be made in its best of the county of the region work together and I think the United States is ready willing and able to cooperate in every way possible.

 

The potential of transit transport corridors is growing every year. The Trans-Caspian route will connect the eastern markets with the western ones. The participating countries are planning to introduce single tariffs and to increase the flow of goods. Kazakhstan, as one of the founders of the route, actively cooperates with the neighboring countries in this matter. The parties are waiting for the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which is one of the important elements in this corridor. It is a link of a long route that starts from the eastern borders of Kazakhstan.

 

BEIBIT ISSABAYEV, KAZAKH AMBASSADOR TO AZERBAIJAN:

 - After the launch of this railway corridor, the freight traffic from China through the territory of Kazakhstan and Central Asia was redirected. The first line goes through Russia to Europe, and the second, the southern line, goes through the ports of Aktau, Kuryk and Alyat further via Baku railway to Turkey and European part of the continent. This transport corridor is beneficial for Kazakhstan in terms of transportation of goods, including containerized road transportation.

 

Trans-Caspian route extension was discussed in Astana Economic forum that was held as part of EXPO 2017. To ensure smooth cargo transportation from China to Turkey, the parties have already agreed on many legal and financial matters. They have also decided to rename the route.

 

JAVID GURBANOV, CHAIRMAN, AZERBAIJAN RAILWAYS:

 - We held negotiations on international Trans-Caspian route. We decided to rename it to ‘Middle Route’ since it starts in China and Chinese colleagues consider it as middle. The northern route is considered as the one that runs through Russia; Trans-Caspian route works.

 

According to experts, the launch of the rail route will become a significant event and will definitely foster the region’s economic development. Georgian delegates said they had high expectations in regards to the large trans-national project. The conference participants talked about promising prospects of ‘Baku-Tbilisi-Kars’ project.

 

PAATA TSAGAREISHVILI, HEAD OF TRANSPORT CORRIDOR RESEARCH CENTER:

 - This project is very important for Central Asian countries and especially for Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan was interested in utilizing the potential of this route from the very beginning. The parties discussed the opportunities for transportation of up to 10 million tons of oil products. There isn’t any agreement on this matter but taking into account the vivid discussions and the development of relations between our countries, I believe that the agreement will be concluded as soon as the railway is commissioned. 

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