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Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan discuss transport corridor project through Iran

15 November 2013

The meeting of the joint Turkmen-Uzbek commission for trade and economic, scientific and technical and cultural cooperation took place in Ashgabat, with the participation of the sectorial ministries and agencies of the two countries, a message from the Turkmenistan government said.

According to the message, the Uzbek delegation at the meeting was headed by the country's Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade Elyor Ganiyev.

'Special attention is being paid to the issues of practical implementation of the project for formation of a transport-transit corridor between Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Oman and Qatar. The main link in this project will be Turkmenistan which seeks to provide new access to world markets and to contribute to the increase of international transit cargo flow', the message said.

Turkmenistan and Iran with the participation of Kazakhstan have already begun the implementation of the trilateral project for creation of a new North-South rail corridor. On the recreated transport and trade system, road cargo will be transferred to the Gulf countries, Indian Ocean, Europe and other regions without delay.

According to preliminary estimates, the annual volume of own and transit cargo transportation will be 10-12 million tons.

The agreement on the establishment of an international transport and transit corridor between the governments of Iran, Oman, Qatar, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan was signed in Ashgabat on April 25, 2011 at the level of the foreign ministers of these countries.

The new corridor will allow the Central Asian countries to be connected with the ports of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman on the optimal route in the long term prospect.

Observers said that Russia and China can also get the access to the new markets. It may give great economic benefit to the trans-regional project.

Member countries interested in cooperation think the initiative was timely. It will contribute to the further progress and prosperity of each country in the region by expanding the volume of general trade and reducing costs for the transit of goods.

It is necessary to explore the prospects for cooperation in the field of customs, freight traffic by road, rail and sea transport and joint investments at an expert level. The project is particularly important for Uzbekistan, having no direct route to the sea.

It was previously reported that Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov is expected to pay an official visit to Uzbekistan in November 2013.