Interview: Central Asia transport corridor to boost regional economy: Uzbek businessman

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-03 18:26:48|Editor: Li Xia
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TASHKENT, April 3 (Xinhua) -- The newly established Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China transport corridor will significantly facilitate transport and create favorable conditions for regional economic growth, said an Uzbek businessman in the transportation sector.

The transport corridor, which connects landlocked Uzbekistan with the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou via the northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi, provides the shortest land route between Uzbekistan and China via Kyrgyzstan, Rustam Azimboev, deputy general director of the Uzbek-Chinese joint venture Silk Road International said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"It will significantly reduce transport costs, customs among other fees, as well as cargo delivery time by seven to eight days from East Asia to countries in the Middle East and Southern Europe," Azimboev added.

Silk Road International started to use the corridor for cargo transportation as soon as the company was set up, said Azimboev, adding that the rolling stock fleet of the joint venture is equipped with various modern vehicles with a carrying capacity of up to 26 tons.

"Over the past period, more than 150 round trips have been done with export and import cargoes. The main route of transportation along the new corridor lies through Tashkent-Andijan-Osh-Irkeshtam-Kashgar and way back. Export goods, such as cotton yarn, dried agricultural products, juices, etc have been transported from Uzbekistan to China. In the opposite direction, production and processing equipment, components, project cargoes and others are transported," he said.

Azimboev said the transport corridor has provided a good opportunity for the region's further development, in particular, by attracting goods from other countries.

"In 2018, Silk Road International used the corridor to transport goods along the routes of China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan-Afghanistan and China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan. Customers of these shipments were satisfied with the delivery time, cost and quality of services rendered," he said.

Azimboev said the corridor will also contribute to the implementation of China's Belt and Road Initiative, a mega-project of historical significance that will boost trade, economic and humanitarian cooperation for the benefit of the development and prosperity of the participating countries.

He believes that setting up preferential railway tariffs for domestic transportation of export-import and transit cargo to and from the Kashgar station in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, as well as optimizing the functioning of border checkpoints will be another powerful impetus for the further development of the new corridor, which will at the same time increase its attractiveness for the participants of foreign trade operations.

It used to take eight to 10 days along the old route to transport cargoes from Uzbekistan to China, while it takes only two days along the new routes.

The first cargo motorcade along the new Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China transport corridor was actuated on Feb. 25, 2018.