Kazakhstan becomes a transit hub between the East and West
Kazakhstan is becoming an important transit hub between the East and West. The country’s Nurly Zhol program and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative have contributed to the transit development.
The 8,500km Western Europe – Western China transport corridor goes through the territory of Kazakhstan and it is the shortest highway route which connects China with Europe, Central Asia and the Persian Gulf countries.
The delivery of goods using the highway takes less than two weeks. In 2018, more than 19 million tons of freight was delivered through the route.
Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Zhang Xiao said that the number of containers that were transited through the territory of Kazakhstan from China to Europe totaled about 1,000 in 2011 while in 2017 it was recorded at 200,000.
The expansion of Kazakhstan’s transit potential had a positive effect on the volumes of foreign trade turnover. Trade between Kazakhstan and China, for example, totaled US$1.5 billion last year.
In addition, more than 120,000 tons of freight was transported via the special economic zone Khorgos – Eastern Gate in the first three months of this year.
The freight volume grew due to the development of multimodal transportation and implementation of dry projects and the Nur Zholy checkpoint.
“The foreign trade turnover between China and Kazakhstan and Almaty region, in particular, totaled more than US$281 million in the first quarter of this year. Meanwhile, the trade turnover totaled US$105 million in the first quarter of 2018. This shows a decent increase,” said State Revenue Department of Almaty region, Gabit Orazov.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan is working on the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport route in order to increase the volume of transited freight from West to East through Kazakhstan.