Uzbekistan joins transport corridor from China to Iran

5 April 2019 18:35 (UTC+04:00)

By Abdul Kerimkhanov

Central Asia is considered an integral part of the global transport and communication system. Uzbekistan has made a great contribution to the modernization and opening of new international roads in this region.

Uzbekistan joined the China-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway corridor, the press service of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy reported.

Representatives of the railway administrations of Kazakhstan, China, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan met in Almaty to mull further development of freight traffic along the common international transport corridor on April 4.

The parties agreed on the participation of the Uzbek side in container transportation along this route, as well as complex tariff rates. The agreement was enshrined in the protocol.

According to the Kazakhstan Temir Zholy press service, the volume of traffic along the China-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran corridor totaled 1,000 twenty-foot equivalents (TEU) in 2018. TEU is a conventional unit of measure for the capacity of cargo vehicles.

As the first deputy chairman of the board of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy Kanat Almagambetov noted, the flow of containerized cargo increased, especially to Uzbekistan and through the Bolashak station to Iran. With the connection of Uzbekistan, the corridor becomes much shorter.

During the negotiations, the sides emphasized the importance of timely delivery of goods to increase transportation. In this regard, special attention is paid to meeting the demand for fitting platforms. The parties pledged to jointly provide the full amount of shippers with rolling stock.

In addition, the meeting discussed issues of attracting additional goods to the Iran-China route, organizing regular container services and establishing tariff conditions along the China-Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran corridor for 2019 for loaded containers.

From April 2019, a regular feeder service is launched on the route Aktau - Alyat.

The total length of the route China-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran is about 10,000 kilometers. The total travel time is about two weeks, which is twice as fast as by sea, which takes 25-30 days.

The China-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway route is part of the North-South international transport corridor and the first logistics solution for speedy cargo delivery from the East China coast to the markets of the Persian Gulf.

In Turkmenistan, based on the needs of suppliers and carriers, there are two routes from Serkhetyaki: to Serakhs, to the southeastern border with Iran, or to Akyaili from there to the north of Iran.

The creation of this transport and transit corridor became possible after the construction of the international railway Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran. The heads of state of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran opened the road in December 2014.

Joint-stock company«O'zbekiston temir yo'llari» was formed on November 7, 1994, on the basis of the former Central Asian railroad located in the territory of Uzbekistan.

Today, the total developed length of the main roads of the company makes about 3,645 kilometers. More than 54,700 people work in the company. Annual goods turnover of the company makes about 90 percent of total goods turnover of all means of transport.

Diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and Iran were established on May 10, 1992.

In January-September 2018, the trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Iran reached $228.5 million, of which $135.8 million accounted for exports from Uzbekistan, $92.7 million for imports from Iran.

Uzbekistan exports to Iran cotton, non-ferrous metals, metallurgy products, petroleum and petroleum products, automobiles and vehicles, electronics, as well as products of the chemical industry, etc.

Iran, in turn, exports to Uzbekistan agricultural products, vegetable and animal fats, foodstuffs, textile and shoe products, chemical products, coffee, tea, pharmaceuticals, etc.

Diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and China were established on January 2, 1992.

The trade turnover between the two countries totalled $ 6.43 billion in 2018. Of this amount, $ 2.869 billion is Uzbek exports, as many as $ 3.559 billion is imports.

China received $ 2.1 billion due to an increase in construction in Uzbekistan. With this money, Uzbekistan has acquired special construction equipment from China. 

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Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94 

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