On 21 September 2023, the first meeting of the High–level Working Group on the Multimodal Corridor “Tajikistan –Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan–Iran-Türkiye” (TUTIT) + China was held in Dushanbe under the auspices of the ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization).
As previously reported, in accordance with the recommendation of the “Ankara Declaration” adopted by the 11th Meeting of ECO Transport Ministers (2 February 2022), it was decided to establish a “High-level Working Group Meeting responsible for the development of the strategy and implementation of the Tajikistan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Türkiye Highway Development Project” (TUTIT) and a multimodal corridor”.
In addition to high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Transport of Tajikistan, the first meeting of the Working Group was attended by:
- Iran – Director General of the Department of Foreign Trade of the Iranian Railways Shahram Jafari
- Iran – Foreign Ministry Advisor Syed Rukhola
- Türkiye – Deputy Director General of the Department of International Relations of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Aziz Aksu
- Türkiye – Expert of the Turkish Ministry of Trade Anil Evmez
- Uzbekistan – Chief Specialist of the Department of International Transportation and Logistics of the Ministry of Transport Sohib Kodirov
- Uzbekistan – Leading Specialist of the Center for the Study of Transport and Logistics Development of the Ministry of Transport Mahmudjon Tohirov
- Turkmenistan – Begli Suyunov, Head of the Marketing Research Department of Logistics and Freight Lines of “Demiryollary” [Turkmen Railways] company
- Turkmenistan – Head of the Department of Foreign Economic Relations and Contracts of JSC “Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan” Aimyrat Shiriev
- ECO Transport and Communications Director Akbar Khodai
- ECO Program Manager Uktam Shomurodov.
- representatives of China
The meeting discussed the development and promotion of this international transit corridor in order to increase cargo transportation and simplify trade procedures, especially for countries without access to the sea.
“Today, thanks to the efforts of the Republic of Tajikistan and with the support of the People’s Republic of China, a 92 km long Kalaikhumb–Vanj highway construction project is being implemented, which will contribute to the further development of the China–Tajikistan–Uzbekistan–Turkmenistan-Iran-Türkiye multimodal corridor,” the Minister of Transport of Tajikistan Azim Ibrohim said. According to him, one of the important issues of the development of this corridor is the digitalization of transit documents/procedures.
Ibrohim noted that Tajikistan is making every effort to develop the role of transport and logistics in ensuring international trade and connectivity between the countries of the region. He emphasized the importance of multimodal corridors in strengthening trade ties between the countries of the region and beyond.
Ibrohim recalled the First Meeting of Transport Ministers of Central Asian Countries, which took place on September 13, 2023 in Dushanbe. During the meeting, the ministers discussed the importance of transport and logistics in ensuring the sustainable development of international trade and transport services between the countries of Central Asia. They also signed the Dushanbe Communique, which outlines their commitment to strengthening transport connectivity in the region.
Ibrohim expressed hope that the representatives of the countries participating in the TUTIT + China High-level meeting would be able to reach an agreement on the following:
- Effective use of the TUTIT corridor
- Strengthening transport connectivity
- Increasing cargo transportation
- Harmonization of border crossing procedures for multimodal transport
- Attracting investment for further improvement of transport infrastructure
- Conducting a test run along the route to identify bottlenecks and problems
Participants of the meeting signed a Protocol of Intent based on the results of the negotiations.
The TUTIT corridor is a new route for the transportation of goods from China to Türkiye via Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. It was first presented on October 18, 2022, at the International Conference “Logistics and its advantages in the development of transport links between Tajikistan and the countries of the region”. The opening of the corridor was announced by the Minister of Transport of Tajikistan, Azim Ibrohim.
The TUTIT corridor is expected to reduce distances and costs for cargo transportation compared to existing corridors. It will also contribute to the revival of the Great Silk Road and regional economic integration.
The Tajikistan government is implementing a project to automate the control system and introduce online positioning of cargo movement on the territory of Tajikistan. The government is also considering the introduction of electronic waybills, electronic queues, and other opportunities to simplify procedures and processes.
In April 2023, at the 10th Meeting of Ministers of Transport of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries in New Delhi, India, Ibrohim called the TUTIT project very important in terms of achieving sustainable development goals. ///Ministry of Transport of Tajikistan
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