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Kazakhstan to Strengthen Position as Key Transit Hub in Eurasia

ASTANA – During his state-of-the-nation address on Sept. 1, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said Kazakhstan should bolster its role as a vital transit hub in Eurasia and aim to become a full-fledged transport and logistics power, according to the Akorda press service.

Tokayev has directed the government to increase the share of the transport and logistics sector in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to at least 9% within the next three years, leveraging the country’s competitive advantages.

Given Kazakhstan’s strategic location, connecting the global North and South as well as West and East, Tokayev emphasized that the transport and logistics industry should serve as one of the pillars of economic development. However, he noted that key challenges in the industry need to be resolved first.

“First, several major railway projects, including the Dostyk-Moiynty, Bakhty-Ayagoz, Darbaza-Maktaaral railway sections, and the Almaty bypass line should be implemented without delay. Kazakhstan will maintain its transport cooperation with Russia and China,” said the President.

Tokayev underscored that realizing Kazakhstan’s full transport and logistics potential relies on maintaining good relations with all neighboring countries.

“The full exploitation of our transport and logistics capacity is of strategic importance as we anticipate rapid growth in trade flows between China, Europe, Russia, and Central Asia,” he added.

Trans-Caspian International Transport Route

The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) is expected to significantly enhance the country’s transit potential. Traffic volumes along this route could potentially increase fivefold, and Kazakhstan plans to collaborate with partner countries like China, Azerbaijan,  Georgia, and Türkiye.

“A new dry port at the Bakhty railway crossing is in planning, along with the accelerated construction of a container hub in Aktau and the expansion of port facilities on the Black Sea along the Middle Corridor. Kazakh terminals in the Chinese city of Xian and the Georgian port of Poti are already under construction,” Tokayev said.

Maritime and railroad infrastructure 

President Tokayev also highlighted the need for a comprehensive maritime infrastructure development plan, focusing on the Kuryk seaport, which should evolve into a full-fledged logistics cluster.

The country also aims to double the capacity of the North-South international railway corridor, granting access to the Persian Gulf ports.

“To effectively integrate into international routes, it’s crucial to offer a full range of logistics services. The airports of Astana, Almaty, Shymkent, and Aktobe need to become multimodal centers that provide competitive, high-quality services for cargo consolidation and distribution,” Tokayev explained.

Regarding industry development, he emphasized that an appropriate tariff and regulatory policy is needed, along with private investment.

“We need to complete the transformation of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) into a fully operational transport and logistics company as quickly as possible. It’s also essential to address issues in road construction, including the poor quality of work, high levels of corruption, and low competition, which plague the sector,” said the President, instructing the responsible agencies to take action by the end of this year and to reconstruct over 4,000 kilometers of roads by 2029.

Source : The Astana Times