Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan’s collaboration in transport and logistics is a prerequisite for improving connectivity across Eurasia. The newspaper UzDaily has published articles with the views of experts of the leading think tanks of Uzbekistan on transport cooperation with Turkmenistan.
Ares Bayazitov, chief researcher at the International Institute of Central Asia, shared his opinion in an article entitled “Transport connectivity of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan – a window to Europe”.
“Closer cooperation between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in the transport and logistics sphere can contribute to expanding the possibilities of multimodal transit cargo transportation along the Trans-Caspian route with the use of the potential of the port of Turkmenbashi,” the expert believes.
In 2021, international freight traffic increased by 17%, which amounted to almost 2 million tons. From January to May 2022, there has been an additional growth in international traffic between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, cargo transport has already reached 800,000 tons, or 14% up.
According to Bayazitov, the integration of digital technology into the transport and logistics sector might help address problems like idle goods at border crossings, inconsistencies in standards, limited checkpoint operating hours, and inefficient border crossing procedures.
“To facilitate the conditions for the import/export of goods on the territory of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the countries expressed interest in: 1) establishing digital data exchange, developing cooperation between customs and other authorities of the two countries; 2) developing container transportation from China to the European Union, etc. These measures will allow increasing cargo traffic between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan,” says Lobar Umarova, Chief Researcher at the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of Uzbekistan.
Moreover, a Memorandum was signed on further strengthening cooperation between railway agencies of two counties aimed at increase export-import transportation by rail, the development of logistics corridors and mutual transit potential.
In particular, the parties expressed their readiness: a) organize container cargo transportation along the multi-modal transport corridor “Asia–Pacific countries–China–Kyrgyzstan–Uzbekistan–Turkmenistan–Azerbaijan–Georgia–Turkey–Europe” and back; b) develop cargo transportation along the route “Turkey-Iran–Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan” and back.
Umarova recalled the important initiatives of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan aimed at strengthening regional and interregional connectivity.
The UN General Assembly has adopted Turkmenistan-supported resolution on “Strengthening ties between all modes of transport to ensure stable and reliable international transportation for sustainable development during and after the coronavirus pandemic”, and a special resolution initiated by Uzbekistan “On strengthening connectivity between Central and South Asia”.
Uzbekistan supports the establishment of a Regional Center for the Development of Transport and Communication Connectivity under the auspices of the United Nations, which is designed to act as a regional body for the regulatory framework, technical norms and standards, actively promoting the implementation of measures and the use of various tools and solutions in the organization of international transportation of participating countries.
The initiatives and approaches of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan within the framework of Consultative Meetings of the heads of Central Asian states on the development of cooperation in the transport and logistics sector complement each other.
At the Second Consultative Meeting (2019), the President of Uzbekistan proposed to establish a Regional Council for Transport Communications of Central Asian countries. And at the third consultative meeting, Ashgabat called for the creation of a government five-sided working group to study the possibilities of forming new transport and communication routes in the directions Central Asia–Caspian-Black Sea region with access to Southern Europe, as well as Central Asia–Middle East.
“These proposals have found a positive response and support among the Central Asian states. As a result, the countries of the region are currently jointly working on these initiatives for their further implementation,” the expert notes. ///nCa, 17 July 2022