International transport corridors open up new areas for cooperation. Washington D.C. hosted a meeting dedicated to the launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway where the participants discussed further development of transport systems in Central Asia and the South Caucasus. Representatives of embassies and American government officials and businessmen took part in the event. Experts highlighted the role of Kazakhstan's transport corridors and the country’s participation in the Chinese initiative, One belt, One Road. American businessmen were invited to take an active part in the implementation of infrastructure projects which will reduce the time of delivery of goods and passengers.
GARY LITMAN, VICE PRESIDENT FOR GLOBAL INITIATIVES, U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:
- We have just completed the ambassadorial meeting of Washington on the new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad. Obviously, this is part of the much larger picture that involves Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan provided intellectual leadership to the idea of Eurasian infrastructure and has done a lot to connect countries. The future depends on where the country finds new business opportunities. As a representative of American business, we really want to get to the point when there are enough people in the region, in Kazakhstan and its neighboring countries who can take advantage of the wonderful new railroad.
By 2020 the participants of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route intend to increase cargo transportation by 5 times. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route will help implementing this. The corridor's profitability is confirmed by the results. Within 10 months, 1 million 85, 000 tonnes of cargo were transported. The indicators exceed the plan by 80%. According to forecasts, by the end of the year, the volume will be estimated at 1 million 300, 000 tonnes.
KANAT ALPYSBAYEV, PRESIDENT, KAZAKHSTAN TEMIR ZHOLY:
- The next year, all members of the Association approved the transportation plan. Our goal is to achieve transportation of more than 3.5 million tonnes. Nearly 15, 000 containers are planned to be transported from Turkey to Kazakhstan, Central Asia, China, the Caspian Sea ports, the Black Sea basin and in the opposite direction. Until 2020, we can safely achieve more than 7-8 million tonnes of traffic through our corridor.
In 2018, Kazakhstan plans to transport via this route not only traditional masut (fuel oil) and gas oil, but also to activate grain transportation to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Moreover, the volumes of transported chemical products, non-ferrous metals, ore and coal will increase.
DZHAVID KURBANOV, HEAD, AZERBAIJAN RAILWAYS:
- For the first 9 months of this year the freight traffic between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan increased by 1.5 times comparing to last year. This is a big indicator. This means that the corridor is already operating in full-fledged mode. According to our estimates and forecasts, by 2019 the cargo transportation should increase by an additional 3-4 million tonnes.
According to experts, modernization of Kazakh and Azerbaijani ports impacted the growth of cargo transportation by sea.