Cooperation of Central Asian countries and ASEAN in transit

Central Asian countries can play a major role to implement China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative. The Republics’ huge transit potential was presented at a business forum in Singapore recently. The forum was attended by representatives of 500 companies as well as diplomats of Southeast Asia countries and European Union. Kazakh Ambassador to Singapore, Usen Suleimen presented the new trade opportunities and route network expansion, which have resulted due to the development of Khorgos transport-logistic hub in Kazakhstan and the cargo terminal in Lianyugang Port in China.

USEN SULEIMEN, KAZAKH AMBASSADOR TO SINGAPORE:

- The members of ASEAN countries, which are chaired by Singapore this year, are considering their participation and cooperation in China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. Kazakhstan is also a part of this due to the Nurly Zhol program. The five key areas needed to transform Kazakhstan into a logistics and transcontinental hub were presented. This includes the routes from China to Europe through Belarus and Russia as well as the north and south of Caspian Sea.

HO GEOK CHOO, CEO, HUMAN CAPITAL SINGAPORE:

 - We are very encouraged by the initiative of Kazakhstan and the opportunities presented. For example, the set-up of a free terminal at the Lianyungang sea port in north east China has certainly reduced the distance between Kazakhstan and Asia.

Previously, the Southeast Asian countries did not have a single route to export their products to the Central Asian markets, except for the Bandar Abbas Port in Iran.

As part of the Chinese initiative, the sea route was developed for the movement of goods. The ASEAN economic community has a combined GDP of US$2.4 trillion and ranked sixth in the world’s largest economy.