Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey have agreed to form an international multimodal transport corridor, Uzbekistan’s transport ministry has announced.
The heads of the transport departments of the four countries held talks within the framework of a ministerial meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), held in Tashkent on November 2. A protocol on establishing the cargo transportation route was signed.
At a wider extent, the document provides for the organisation of cargo transit between Asia-Pacific region countries and European Union member states along the corridor.
The four countries at the meeting backed the application of competitive tariff rates and favourable conditions for rail transit. In addition, the parties are to work together on unifying regulatory and technical standards.
Under Uzbekistan’s 2030 Strategy, Tashkent is committed to further integration into international transport and logistics networks.
Uzbekistan is also backing the creation of a multimodal transport corridor running from Russia to Kyrgyzstan via a route that crosses the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan and Uzbek territory.
Importantly for the three Central Asian countries on the route, the corridor would allow for trade flows to and from Russia—and also to and from Europe via Russia—without the necessity of using road and rail links that reach the Russian border through Kazakhstan. Kyrgyzstan in particular regularly complains about gridlocked traffic at its border with Kazakhstan as Kazakh officials fail to process lines of cargo-laden trucks at the pace that Bishkek expects.
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