Representatives of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are expanding cooperation as they intend to focus on developing a partnership between the border regions, particularly, the Mangystau region and the Balkan region. Businessmen of the two countries spoke about this at the Kazakh-Turkmen business forum. The bordering Mangystau and Balkan regions are similar in many ways. Both regions are dominated by the oil and gas industries as well as have large transport and logistics hubs. The areas are connected by sea, rail and land.

YERALY TUGZHANOV, GOVERNOR, MANGYSTAU REGION:

- In September, we will start construction of a 164-km long highway of the fourth category from Kenderli to the border of Turkmenistan. They also have this understanding. If the parties start building, it must be mutual. Without creating such conditions, development will be in great doubt.

Development of the transport infrastructure can bring the border areas of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to a new level of cooperation. For example, the construction of the new highway will create zones of cross-border trade and, consequently, the trade turnover between the two countries will increase. The second international trade port will open in Turkmenbashi in May. The cargo will head to Kazakhstan’s harbor.

SATLYK SATLYKOV, GOVERNOR, BALKAN REGION, TURKMENISTAN :

 - Kazakh and Turkmen seaports have the capabilities of shipping freight via our countries to the third countries or between our regions. In Turkmenistan, there are currently new large plants under construction, such as the gas chemical facility in the Kiyaly village and the carbamide plant in the Karabogaz village. The petroleum and chemical products of these plants will probably be the first shipped items.   

One of the main topics of the business forum is the possibility of increasing the flow of goods through the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway. Today, the goods are transported by the container cargo from China. Agreements between the businessmen of both countries will contribute to the use of this branch along the route of the Great Silk Road at full capacity.

In addition, logistics centers will be established in the Mangystau region. The Turkmen entrepreneurs will export fruits and vegetables.

NURBEK KARASAYEV, HEAD, REGIONAL ATAMEKEN CHAMBER OF ENTREPRENEURS:

 - On the one hand, this is beneficial for us because we are increasing export potential and transit. In addition, consumption will be met to cover the shortage in our domestic market.

Last year, the foreign trade turnover between the two border regions of the two countries amounted to more than US$4.5 million. Today, four joint ventures with participation of  the Turkmen capital operate in Mangystau. Their number will increase significantly.

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