Sapa Gurbanberdiev, a leading specialist of the Economic Society “Türkmen logistika ulgamy”
One of the strategically important directions of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy is the development of transport and communication links at both the regional and international levels to achieve the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development for the period up to 2030. The Program for the Development of Transport Diplomacy of the President of Turkmenistan for 2022-2025 aims at the effective realization of the transport potential and strengthening the position of Turkmenistan as a regional center of international transport and transit corridors, writes Sapa Gurbanberdiev, a leading specialist of the Economic Society “Türkmen logistika ulgamy” in his article in Neutral Turkmenistan Newspaper.
An important event for the promotion of Turkmenistan’s transport diplomacy was the International Scientific and Practical Conference “Sustainable Transport: Contribution to Sustainable Development” and an exhibition on the occasion of the World Sustainable Transport Day celebrated for the first time on 26 November. The conference and the meetings held on its sidelines demonstrated Turkmenistan’s commitment to sustainable transport and confirmed country’s place as an important link on the Great Silk Road, the expert says.
He highlighted the following key developments in Turkmenistan’s transport sector:
In a significant step towards strengthening regional connectivity, Turkmenistan has inked a series of agreements that will enhance its role as a critical hub for international road transport. These agreements underscore the country’s commitment to revitalizing the ancient Silk Road and fostering economic cooperation across Eurasia.
Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan Cooperation: The first meeting of representatives of the Joint Turkmen-Kazakhstani Working Commission on Transport and Transit Transportation and Logistics, which took place on 26-27 November in Ashgabat, is of particular importance. The parties consolidated the outcomes of the negotiations in a Memorandum on Transport Connectivity signed by the Agency for Transport and Communications under the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The document will contribute to the expansion and promotion of cooperation in attracting cargo flows across the territories of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, including the adoption of joint measures to create favorable tariff conditions, synchronize infrastructure development, introduce digital solutions for the exchange of preliminary and other information, etc.
Turkmenistan-China Intergovernmental Cooperation: During the 6th meeting of the Turkmen-Chinese Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee, an agreement was signed between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on international road transport. A new bilateral agreement between Turkmenistan and China on international road transport will facilitate seamless cargo movement across the Eurasian landmass. This agreement aligns with China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, promoting trade and economic ties throughout the region.
Turkmenistan-Finland Cooperation: During the business forum “Investments and Development of Turkmenistan” held in London in November, the Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan and Finnish logistics company Nurminen Logistics Oyj signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC). The document aims to streamline international freight transportation through the transport and transit corridors of Turkmenistan, Finland, and other Scandinavian countries. The MoC encompasses information exchange, consultations on multimodal transport, and various meetings.
Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan- Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan corridor: The role of Turkmenistan as the most important link on transport and transit routes is also evidenced by the fact that during a working trip to Azerbaijan, the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications of Kyrgyzstan discussed the possibility of transporting cars going to Kyrgyzstan in transit through Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan by ferry from the port of Alat along the Caspian Sea to the port of Turkmenbashi. In addition, work is underway on the opening of the southern transport corridor, which will go from the south of Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan, then to Turkmenistan, onward via Caspian Sea to Russia. It will be a seamless multimodal corridor using various modes of transport, which will begin to connect with each other through digital document management.
Turkmenistan-Iran Cooperation: Transport cooperation remains a cornerstone of the long-term partnership between Turkmenistan and Iran. The Kazakhstan–Turkmenistan–Iran railway, a crucial link in the international North–South transport route, has reduced delivery times from China to Iran by 12 to 14 days, boosting trade flows. Additionally, the Tejen–Serakhs–Mashhad railway provides direct access to Iran’s transport networks. The International Seaport of Turkmenbashi and Iranian Caspian Sea ports further enhance cooperation in this sector. The construction of the Etrek–Gumdag highway will further strengthen transport ties between the two countries.
Turkmenistan-Russia Cooperation: Russian Railways Logistics (RZD Logistics) has significantly increased cargo transportation through Turkmenistan, exploring the possibility of exporting flour in containers to Iran and India via Turkmenistan in 2024.
By developing international cooperation, Turkmenistan continues to improve its transport and logistics infrastructure. In this regard, it should be noted a new parking lot is available for international transport operations in the country. The parking lot is located on the 16th kilometer of the Ashgabat-Mary highway of the Parking Center of the Economic Management under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan. All conditions have been created in the parking lot for high-quality maintenance of vehicles engaged in international transportation, as well as their drivers.
Thus, it is quite obvious that Turkmenistan is becoming a major international logistics center. ///nCa, 4 December 2023