The vast prospects of the Trans-Caspian Route were discussed at the World Ports Conference held in Baku. Representatives of 65 countries attended the conference that focused on the ports of the Caspian Sea. According to experts, these ports are the most rapidly developing transport hubs at the junction of Asia and Europe. The port infrastructure at the Caspian Sea is closely related to the Trans-Caspian Route that starts in China and goes through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to Europe.  

MARAT ORMANOV, DIRECTOR GENERAL, ‘KAZMORTRANSFLOT’:

- The port of Aktau is actively developing now, so does the port of Kuryk, which is one of the most important and strategic facilities for the future of Kazakhstan. Construction of the container terminal is strategically important because it will subsequently attract freights from China that is currently transported through the northern and southern routes. We believe that after the container terminal’s construction in the port of Kuryk is completed, the vast amount of freight will be transported through the ports of Aktau and Kuryk to the port of Baku.    

At the meeting of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route Association, the participants discussed the delivery of Kazakhstan’s grain, coal and other goods to Turkey and further to Europe along the Silk Road. The association members are planning to speed up the freights’ delivery time from China to the countries of the European Union to 14-16 days. The parties also approved on the common tariffs.    

TALEKH ZIYADOV, DIRECTOR GENERAL, BAKU INTERNATIONAL SEA TRADE PORT:

 - The interest to the Trans-Caspian Route grew after the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars road. It was important to approve common tariffs to be used for the freight traffic from China and Kazakhstan to Georgia and Turkey. Today, we have approved common tariffs for the transportation of grains and coal. We expect that the traffic of these goods will grow in the upcoming year.

The Kazakh and Azerbaijani governments developed the sea and land transport infrastructures which allowed strengthening the role of the Trans-Caspian Route in the freight traffic from the East to the West. Chinese ports are already involved in the route’s activities, which is a testimony of China’s interest in the project. The freight traffic along the route grew 8% in the first quarter of 2018. The association is planning to boost the volumes of freight traffic to four million tonnes by the end of the year.

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