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Uzbekistan might join TITR

26 May 2017

Uzbekistan could join Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, an ambitious new trade link between China and Europe, as having reliable and effective transportation networks for easy access to global markets is vital for modern economic development and security, particularly for landlocked states.

Uzbekistan, located in the heart of the Central Asia, is a double landlocked country, as it has to go through at least two countries in any direction to reach the sea.

Thus, there is a need for cooperation among all Central Asian nations in order to have access to world markets. 

Certain efforts in this direction have already been made through bilateral agreements, but an effective regional transport network can only be achieved through the development and implementation of more comprehensive regional transit corridor.

Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are keen to use the transit potential more effectively and improve the transport connection between the two countries. Both countries are interested in deepening cooperation on the issue of development of its regional transport infrastructure with its further integration into the global transport system.

Located in between Asia and Europe, the Trans-Caspian Corridor has every chance to become the shortest and competitive route for trade between the rising economies of Asia and developed European economies.

Uzbekistan’s willingness to join the TITR was voiced during the roundtable discussions held in Tashkent on May 25.

The possibilities of the TITR as an alternative way of delivering Uzbek cargos through Kazakh and Azerbaijani ports to the Black Sea and European countries were presented at the meeting.

For attracting Uzbek partners to the TITR project, the representatives of Kazakhstan Railways and Uzbek companies discussed the terms and deadlines of cargo delivery by railroad.

The country is mainly interested in the transit potential of Kazakhstan’s Aktau and Kuryk sea ports, which will contribute to the promotion of products produced in Uzbekistan at the European and Mediterranean markets.

The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route runs through China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and then through Turkey and Ukraine to Europe.

The agreement to create the Trans-Caspian International Transportation Consortium was signed in April in Baku by the railway authorities of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan.

The project enjoys an opportunity to become one of the most attractive and profitable for consignors from European countries, while approximately 300,000-400,000 containers are expected to be transported via the Trans-Caspian international transport route by 2020, bringing huge financial profits to Azerbaijan.

New competitive tariffs have been introduced for the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route since June 1, 2016, putting the route among the cheapest and most profitable corridors for freight traffic.

The first test container train from China arrived at the Baku International Sea Trade Port on August 3, 2015.

In October 2016, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Georgia signed an agreement on the establishment of the International Association of TITR, whose office is located in Astana. Its activities are aimed at attracting transit and foreign trade cargo, as well as on the development of integrated logistics products via TITR.

About 300,000-400,000 containers are expected to be transported via the Trans-Caspian international transport route by 2020, bringing huge financial profits to Azerbaijan.