The Central Asian countries highlighted the important role of transport and logistics as a basis for promoting international trade, economic growth and sustainable development. This is stated in the Joint Communique adopted today (13 Sep) following the First Meeting of transport ministers of the countries of the region, which took place in Dushanbe, the Ministry of Transport of Tajikistan reports.
The meeting, which was chaired by the Minister of Transport of the Republic of Tajikistan Azim Ibrohim, was attended and addressed by the Minister of Transport of the Republic of Kazakhstan Marat Karabayev, the Minister of Transport of the Republic of Uzbekistan Ilham Makhkamov and the Director of the Agency of Transport and Communications under the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Mammetkhan Chakiyev.
Ibrohim, on behalf of the Government of Tajikistan, welcomed the ministers and delegations of the countries of the region to the first meeting of transport ministers. The meeting is taking place in accordance with the Roadmap for the Development of Regional Cooperation for 2022-2024, which was approved last year by the heads of Central Asian states. It is one of the side events held by Tajikistan under its chairmanship in the mechanism of Consultative Meetings of the heads of Central Asian States.
“Sustainable socio-economic development, improving the welfare of the population, tackling employment problems and much more directly depend on the effective functioning of the transport system of each country and its connectivity with its neighbors,” he said.
“The transport system of Central Asia is rightly regarded by many researchers as an important element of the international transport system”, he went on saying.
Ibrohim underlined that it is time for the countries of the region to achieve high efficiency of the ongoing reforms in this area. “This can be achieved only by joint coordination of the transport system of all countries of the region without exception,” he said.
In this regard, he believes that the creation of a new high-level platform will serve to discuss issues related to the sustainable development of the transport industry and accelerate the integration of national transport systems into the international transport mechanism.
The transport ministers of Central Asian countries expressed their proposals for strengthening and expanding cooperation in the field of land transport in Central Asia. They agreed that all the countries of the region are interconnected, and responding to new features and challenges, they should strengthen solidarity and interaction, work together to solve the problems.
Following the meeting, a joint communique on cooperation in the field of transport and logistics was signed. The parties recognize the important role of transport and logistics as the basis for the rapprochement of countries, the promotion of international trade, economic growth and sustainable development.
“The parties note the importance of addressing current and emerging issues in order to maintain and develop intermodal and multimodal cross–border and transit transport services between the countries of Central Asia, as well as strengthening and expanding supply chain opportunities for the countries of the region through multimodal corridors,” the communique says.
It emphasizes the need to make extensive use of the capabilities of logistics services of Central Asian countries to ensure connectivity in the field of transport between the states of the region and other countries.
In this regard, as stated in the communique, the countries “will strengthen cooperation using bilateral and multilateral platforms, the purpose of which is to develop and improve integrated transport routes and communications between the countries of Central Asia and other states. The parties will build up the capacity of bilateral working groups on transport as an important tool for developing cooperation in the field of transport and logistics in the region.”
To this end, the Central Asian countries intend to create the necessary conditions for the development of transport and logistics services, the creation of warehouses and production facilities in the countries of the region in order to strengthen trade relations between the states of the region and other countries.
At the meeting, the ministers also approved the draft Agreement “On strengthening the Interconnectedness of land transport in Central Asia”. It is expected that it will be signed within the framework of the Fifth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of Central Asian States, which will be held on 14-15 September in Dushanbe.
The main objectives of the Agreement are to create favorable conditions for the development of international land transport, to ensure a competitive environment in the transport services market in the Central Asian region, to increase efficiency and form new international corridors, including multimodal ones, to simplify the process of transportation and transit by land transport, the development of modern transport and logistics services, the introduction and use of innovative technologies, including digitalization of the process of transportation by land transport, promotion and development of the practice of using environmentally friendly modes of transport.
It is worth noting that the First Meeting of transport ministers of Central Asian countries create a favorable climate for discussing issues related to transport and logistics and further coordination of cooperation, strengthen the potential of bilateral working groups on transport as an important means of developing cooperation in the field of transport and logistics in the region.
In recent years, structural changes have taken place at the multilateral level in the priorities of the transport strategy for the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, stimulating the development of multimodal transport corridors through new forms of financing, development of transport infrastructure, ensuring sustainable development, sustainable urban development, integrated road safety and the implementation of a new climate agenda. These trends and changes require taking into account the national transport strategy of the Central Asian States for its further implementation.
Within the framework of the First Meeting, bilateral and multilateral meetings of transport ministers will also take place.
The ministers will visit the Akiya Avesto motor transport enterprise, the Istiqlol complex, the Nurek hydroelectric power station and the construction of the Dushanbe – Bokhtar highway. ///nCa, September 13, 2023 (Photo: Ministry of Transport of Tajikistan)
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