Kazakhstan Joins Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman Transport Corridor
Tuesday 17 February 2015
ASTANA (KazInform) – Member countries of the Ashgabat Agreement have approved Kazakhstan’s accession to Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman international transit and transport corridor, Kazakhstan’s national railways company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) said on Monday.
Taking into account trade flows in the Eurasian continent and the favourable geographical location of Kazakhstan, in his state-of-the-nation address President Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed the implementation of the country’s transit potential. So, on February 15 in Tehran, Kazakhstan’s delegation headed by KTZ President Askar Mamin took part in a meeting of the Coordination Council of the Ashgabat Agreement including Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Oman.
Speaking at the meeting, Mamin said that major international North-South and East-West transport corridors run across Kazakhstan, and that Kazakhstan sees great potential to attract additional freight traffic in the region of the Ashgabat Agreement member states. Kazakhstan has already made a significant contribution to the development of the global Eurasian transport system.
According to the Kazakh railways company, the volume of rail shipments within the countries of the Ashgabat Agreement in 2014 increased by 2.3 mln tons or 10% compared to 2013, and amounted to more than 25 mln tons of cargo. More than 41% of those shipments were Kazakhstan’s export cargo meant for these countries or transited through their territories. By 2020, the volume of cargo traffic between Kazakhstan and the Ashgabat Agreement countries may exceed 40 mln tons/year.
Foreign ministers of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Oman, and Qatar signed an agreement on the creation of a new international transport corridor linking Central Asia and the Persian Gulf in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat in April 2011. Qatar later decided to withdraw from the project. The new transport and transit corridor runs from Uzbekistan across Turkmenistan and on to the Persian Gulf via Iran.