A New Silk Road is Created

Date of event: 
Wednesday, 3. December 2014

President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, together with the Presidents of Turkmenistan and Iran, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and Hassan Rouhani, attended the opening ceremony of the international trunk-railway Uzen-Bereket-Gorgan.

According to the press service of Akorda, presentation of the new trunk-railway Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran was held at Akyaila station in Turkmenistan. Nazarbayev congratulated Berdimuhamedow and Rouhani on the completion of the railway construction. "Last year, together with the President of Turkmenistan we solemnly placed in service the Kazakhstan section. Now this trunk connects the three States”, - said the President of Kazakhstan.

Nazarbayev said that the commissioning of the international trunk railway opens up new vistas for the economy of the region. "In our countries the importance of the regional market will increase, as well as the Asian markets-oriented production", said the head of State.

Berdimuhamedow emphasized the economic and social importance of the new railway line. "Over seven years, huge amount of work has been done. Now this road will contribute to prosperity and enhancing good-neighbourliness", - said the President of Turkmenistan.

Rouhani described the urgency of cooperation between countries, creation of conditions for development of mutual trade. "This railway not only connects the three States, but also provides access to the Persian Gulf, Russia and China", said the President of Iran.

Then, on the border of Turkmenistan and Iran the Presidents of the three countries participated the ceremony of break-of-gauge laying of "golden top of a rail". After moving to the Iranian side the leaders held a tripartite meeting during which they noted the strategic importance of the new traffic arteries.

The parties discussed new initiatives for development of transport and logistics capability including construction of automobile roads and railways, and logistics centres. In addition, they considered the issues of cross-border cooperation, establishment of free economic zones and investment cooperation.

The heads of the states agreed to establish a working group which will determine directions of increased trade, and will also examine the prospects for cooperation in the transport and logistics sector.

The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, stressed: "Today, we actually created a new Silk Road routing across our three countries and China to the Pacific Ocean. Kazakhstan has long been waiting for and dreaming about access to Iran and the Persian Gulf, and finally this trunk-railway is commissioned. We - Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran - have opened the 900 km-long road, connected all the Central Asian countries and Kazakhstan with the Persian Gulf countries through Iran."

N. Nazarbayev said about the economic prospects associated with the railway infrastructure development: “Firstly, life always flourishes near railways, people can find employment, the country develops. Secondly, increasing trade among the three countries. Thirdly, development of transit to all other countries of the world."

The length of the railway line on the territory of Kazakhstan is 146 km, Turkmenistan - 470 km, Iran - 70 km.

The route will provide an opportunity for transshipment of 10 million tons cargo. The upcoming commissioning of the railway spur Zhanaozen - Kyzylgaya - Bereket - Etrek - Gorgan will expand trade and economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Persian Gulf countries, countries of the South and South-East Asia and Africa.

The heads of three states signed the Agreement on the trunk-railway laying in 2007. However the construction work began in 2009. The Kazakhstan party fully completed the track laying on its section as early as in November, 2011.

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