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The potential of Turkmenistan's railways is presented at an industry forum in Istanbul

14.09.2023 | 15:42 |
 The potential of Turkmenistan's railways is presented at an industry forum in Istanbul

The delegation of Turkmenistan headed by the Chairman of the Agency "Turkmendemiryollary" Azat Atamyradov is taking part in the second conference of the railway administrations of the member countries of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS).

The countries of Central Asia and the South Caucasus play an important role in transport and transit corridors in the Eurasian region. In this context, multimodal transport routes with the participation of railway departments of the OTS countries are of particular importance. On the sidelines of this conference, a Forum on multimodal transport and logistics is being held in Istanbul, in which Turkmen logistics companies JSC "Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan", HO "Halkara Turkmen Logistics", HO "Meno Logistics Turkmenistan", HO "Dovrebap Ulag Merkezi" and others are actively participating.

Azat Atamyradov in his speech acquainted the Forum participants with the international transport diplomacy of Turkmenistan, the country's existing potential in the railway sector, activities to improve the material and technical base of the industry, as well as the formation of new transport and communication networks.

In this regard, the head of Turkmendemiryollary spoke about the possibilities of the Kazakhstan- Turkmenistan-Iran railway (KTI), built by Turkmen railway workers at Akina-Andkhoy station in neighboring Afghanistan, which is part of the Lapis Lazuli transport corridor, the China-Kazakhstan- Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey transport corridor.Europe and the Europe-Caucasus-Asia corridor passing through the territory of Turkmenistan.

Noting the fact that special attention is paid to cooperation with Azat Atamyradov expressed interest in further expanding cooperation in the field of transport and logistics, activities for the revival of the Great Silk Road.

The Forum on Multimodal Transport and Logistics in Istanbul is aimed at developing cooperation, strengthening partnerships, increasing the efficiency, sustainability and strength of global supply chains with a special focus on the development of multimodal transport routes along the Middle and Southern Corridors.

In today's world, transport and mobility are central to sustainable development. Transport ensures the mobility of people and goods, promotes economic growth, while improving access to quality services, strengthening interconnection at all levels, helping to integrate the economy, increasing social justice, strengthening rural-urban ties and increasing sustainability, plays an important role in solving socio- economic issues and is an important link in the global economy.

In this context, active work is underway between the railway administrations of the OTS member countries, where Turkmenistan has observer status. In particular: measures are being taken to increase export-import transportation by rail, develop logistics corridors, as well as increase transit potentials. Regular face-to-face and online meetings and consultations are held, and appropriate measures are being implemented to activate and implement cargo transportation.

States interested in expanding the activities of their national transport and logistics companies in international communications always seek cooperation in order to develop uniform conditions for the transportation of goods and passengers, as well as to harmonize legal norms related to the mode of location of transportation vehicles and their personnel.

OTS strives to fully utilize the potential of international transport and transit corridors, increase the volume of transit cargo, simplify customs, visa and other procedures for better economic integration.

Within the framework of the Agreement signed between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, our country took an active part in the creation of a modern multimodal transport and transit corridor reviving the Lapis Lazuli route of the Great Silk Road. In February 2018, the Serhetabat (Turkmenistan)–Turgundi (Afghanistan) railway included in this corridor was put into operation.

The first link of the Asian International Transport Corridor is the Kerki–Imamnazar–Akina–Andkhoy cross-border railway constructed by Turkmenistan. The opening ceremony of the 30-kilometer section of the Akina–Andhoy railway in Afghanistan took place on January 14, 2021. In the future, this railway line is planned to be extended to the border with Tajikistan with further access to the states of the Asia- Pacific region.

In practice, our country confirms its commitment to transport cooperation and promotion of transit cargo and passenger transportation. In this context, it should be noted the significance of the signing in 2011 of the Agreement on the Establishment of an International Transport and Transit Corridor between the Governments of Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, known as the Ashgabat Agreement. It should be mentioned that Qatar, Kazakhstan and India have also joined this project.

All the necessary infrastructure for the development of container transportation along this route has been built at the border junction points of Serakhs (Turkmenistan) – Serakhs (Iran) and Akayla (Turkmenistan) – Incheburun (Iran). Work is actively underway to create an international integrated logistics network, in particular, measures are being taken to join the agreements on the TRACECA and North–South international corridors.

Today, the international multimodal route of the Asia–Pacific Region – China – Kyrgyzstan – Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan – Azerbaijan – Georgia – Turkey - Europe and back, the so-called CASCA+, is developing rapidly. This abbreviation is formed from the abbreviated names of the regions Central Asia, South Caucasus and Anatolia. The "+" sign indicates readiness to accept new potential participants interested in transportation along the route, the ultimate goal of which is to connect the states of Southeast Asia, in particular China, with Europe.

It should be noted that the CASCA+ route is a continuation in a qualitatively new format of the international multimodal route of the Asia–Pacific region/China – Kyrgyzstan – Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan – Azerbaijan – Georgia - Europe, created at the meeting of the heads of railways of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in Tashkent on December 20, 2019. Turkey joined the route in December 2021.

One of the main objectives of the route is to ensure transport connectivity between the countries of Central Asia and Europe. For example, in December 2022, a block train consisting of 46 wagons and 91 units of 20-foot containers was sent from Uzbekistan to Bulgaria. He followed the Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan- Azerbaijan- Georgia-Europe/Bulgaria route with a length of more than 4,000 km. The efforts of the railway departments of these countries are aimed at ensuring that container trains on this route depart regularly.

Despite the multimodality of the route, which runs through the territory of the two seas and many countries, thanks to friendly relations, mutual understanding and close cooperation between the participating countries, it is possible to effectively use its capabilities. It should be noted that since the launch of the route, about 30 thousand containers in 20-foot equivalent have been transported. Turkmenistan plays a key role in this route and its share in transportation during this period amounted to 9 thousand containers in the direction of import, 12 thousand containers in the direction of export and 9 thousand containers in the transit direction. The goal of the route operators is to increase the volume of container traffic to 30 thousand containers in 2023.

Noting the existence of unrealized opportunities for intraregional transport communication, the Chairman of the Agency "Turkmendemiryollary" stressed the systematic work on turning Central Asia into a combined, highly efficient transport hub and expressed hope for deepening further mutually beneficial cooperation with the countries of the OTS in strengthening transport connectivity. In his opinion, this meeting in Istanbul will give a new impetus to transport and logistics relations and contribute to the achievement of a number of agreements aimed at increasing cargo turnover.


Photo: Turkmendemiryollary

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