11 Mar 2024 15:14

Trans-Caspian International Transport Route freight could surge to 10 mln tonnes - Kazakh president

ASTANA. March 11 (Interfax) - Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) freight could surge to 10 million tonnes, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.

"The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, also called the Middle Corridor, is becoming more important for global trade. The amount of cargo transported along this route has significantly increased. It doubled to 1.7 million tonnes in 2022 and went up 65% to 2.7 million tonnes in 2023," Tokayev said in an interview with the Azerbaijani APA agency ahead of his visit to Baku.

"In the future, we anticipate this volume will reach 10 million tonnes, supported by both demand and technological capabilities. Consequently, Astana and Baku are jointly implementing comprehensive measures. A notable example is the Roadmap signed in November 2022 in Aktau, aimed at synchronously eliminating the so-called 'bottlenecks' and developing the Middle Corridor across the territories of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey for the period 2022-2027," Tokayev said.

He highlighted the need to modernize sea ports along the Caspian coast. Additionally, a joint venture called Middle Corridor Multimodal Ltd. was formed by Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia to increase cargo transportation volumes. This venture will provide services in a simplified "single window" format.

"We're bringing in advanced digital technologies along the route. We've teamed up with the Singaporean company PSA for their expertise in creating a digital corridor. Plus, we're working with global leaders like Huawei, Wabtec, and Alstom to innovate railway transport, making it more competitive and efficient," he said.

Tokayev said it further development of the route and connecting it with other transport corridors would create additional opportunities for broader trans-regional integration of the South Caucasus and Turkey with Kazakhstan, Central Asia, the EAEU, and China.

"Overall, the TITR holds significant potential, and the role of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in this project is crucial. Expanding this artery will not only boost trade but also solidify our countries' position as a vital link between East and West," Tokayev said.