Kazakhstan To Improve Highway Routes With Uzbekistan, Upgrade Caspian Ports

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Kazakhstan will build the Beyneu-Shalkar highway to connect its western regions with Uzbekistan, said Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov during a speech at the 16th summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Tashkent.

This road will serve to complete the formation of the 8th TRACECA road corridor. Smailov noted that it is important to develop the region’s transport connectivity, since 7 out of 10 ECO member states do not have access to the Ocean.

“Today, Kazakhstan is actively involved in infrastructure and logistics projects, giving priority to the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR, or Middle Corridor). In order to increase its potential, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Türkiye are implementing roadmaps to simultaneously eliminate bottlenecks and develop the Middle Corridor until 2027,” Smailov said.

“These will significantly increase the route capacity. We are also actively unlocking the potential of our seaports in the Caspian Sea. A container hub will be built at Aktau port, a multifunctional terminal at Kuryk port. It is planned to build separate station tracks at checkpoints with China for Central Asian countries. We intend to systematically increase cargo traffic in this direction and bring it to 500,000 containers per year by 2030,” he added.

The TRACECA corridor participates in the gradually developing trends of trade and economic development. The main transport flows passing through the corridor are formed, on the one hand, in Western and Central Europe and, on the other hand, in Central and Southeast Asia.

The Middle Corridor is a transportation and trade route that connects Asia and Europe, passing through several countries in the region. It is an alternative route to the traditional Northern Corridor and Southern Corridor.

The route starts in China and crosses Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. It then passes through the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Türkiye before reaching Europe.

The Middle Corridor offers a land route that connects the eastern parts of Asia, including China, with Europe, bypassing the longer maritime routes.

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