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Kazakhstan to increase cargo transit on China-Europe route

4 August 2015 16:54 (UTC+04:00)
Kazakhstan to increase cargo transit on China-Europe route

By Aynur Karimova

Kazakhstan Temir Zholy national railways company plans to transit 42,000 containers on the China-Europe-China route, and this figure is almost 40 times more than in 2011.

This remark was made by company President Askar Mamin at a meeting dedicated to the Transport Workers’ Day on August 3.

Mamin said that the additional volume of container transportation from China to Europe and vise-versa in 2014 allowed for an increase of revenues from transit traffic by 13.7 percent compared to 2013, Kazakhstan’s Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund reported.

"Thus, transit traffic accounted for 25 percent of the company’s total revenues," Manin noted. "The task is to increase this figure to 50 percent in the medium term."

Over 2,100 container trains will pass through Kazakhstan Railway lines in all directions in 2015, Mamin added.

China emerged as a major economic player in Central Asia, driving billions into promoting Chinese-Central Asian trade. According to International Monetary Fund estimates, these investments reached $50 billion last year.

The trade volume between Europe and China is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2020, as the necessary transport infrastructure is being created in Kazakhstan, which is an active part of China’s multibillion-dollar Silk Road project.

China's policy in Central Asia is desirable for the region's countries, in particular for Kazakhstan, a landlocked country located in the heart of Eurasia with no access to the world oceans.

With its advantageous geographic position, a crossroad in between Europe and Asia, Kazakhstan wants to attract the maximum amount of China-Europe trade via land route through its own territory.

In this regard, an agreement between Beijing and Astana signed in late May – to establish a free trade zone in all major cities along the railway network running from China to Europe via Kazakhstan – is an important achievement towards the realization of the Silk Road project.

Such an agreement shows Kazakhstan's desire to play an active role along the Silk Road and to become a main transit country linking Far East countries to Europe.

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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