Transit-transport potential of Central Asia
Central Asia is getting features of a global transit center. The region is becoming an important "axis" of a system of international transport corridors which contributes to growth of the flow of goods and capital between international manufacturing centers of Asia and Europe. Kazakhstan and neighboring countries are improving the highways as well as optimizing border crossings. According to experts, the creation of a single transport and logistics space will increase investment attractiveness of the states. A breakthrough project, the Western Europe - Western China highway will significantly impact the economy of member countries, experts say. This year as part of this transit corridor, Kazakhstan’s trade turnover reached 600,000 tonnes.
SANAT KUSHKUMBAYEV, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, KAZAKH INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES:
- The world trade is growing, especially between Europe and Asia and on this direction the main trade is carried by sea. We are not trying to compete with the sea freight trade, we are trying to provide an alternative. Transport routes that pass through Kazakhstan’s territory will shorten the time spent on the freight carriage. This is an advantage. For example, it takes about 45-50 days to transport the goods by sea while the land transportation takes about two weeks or even less, 10 days.
Now Central Asian countries are forming new ways of transport communication. The delivery of container cargo from Kazakhstan to Turkmenistan and Iran has been set. Uzbekistan also plans to connect to this system. The project participants have been adopted a road map.
AZIZ RASULOV, SPOKESPERSON, UZBEK INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERREGIONAL STUDIES :
- There is a big project, Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan - Iran - Oman. We are very pleased that our Kazakh partners have also shown their support to this project and we welcome Kazakhstan’s affiliation. We also want to actively work with Afghan partners in construction of the route to Iran via Mazari Sharif. I’m aware that Kazakh partners are interested in this project because this is an opportunity to go to southern seas.
According to experts, freight traffic through Kazakhstan is increased annually by 10-12%. The country’s transit profit will make up US$5 billion by 2020. Moreover, cargo shipments from China to Europe are growing every year. In the next few years the volume of goods transported through Kazakhstan’s territory will reach two million containers.