At the forum’s opening ceremony in Brussels, the consistent meetings between Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Transport and the European Commission were emphasized, reaffirming their mutual commitment to strengthening partnership and enhancing transport connectivity through the Global Gateway initiative.

In his address, Marat Karabayev, the Minister of Transport, provided a detailed overview of the achievements and future prospects for Kazakhstan’s transport industry to the Euroforum attendees. He underlined the crucial role of Kazakhstan in facilitating the transit of goods between Europe and Central Asia.

The Minister also pointed out the substantial increase in cargo turnover, with transit traffic from China alone having doubled by the end of 2023 and the total volume of transit rising by 43%. Marat Karabayev suggested making Kazakh sites the primary and most sustainable transit route between Europe and Asia.

In the core segment of the presentation, the Kazakh Transport Minister stated that Kazakhstan aims to draw 40 billion euros in investments over the next five years to fund major infrastructure projects in the transport sector.

“During this period, we plan to reconstruct transit corridors covering a distance of 4.7 thousand kilometers and repair an equivalent number of roads that are integral to the TMTM framework,” the minister declared. “To accomplish these projects, we seek to raise funds under the Global Gateway initiative and invite European contractors to participate in a significant highway construction project in Kazakhstan.”

In the railway sector, plans are in place for the construction of new main lines spanning 1,300 kilometers and the modernization of existing infrastructure. These initiatives are expected to greatly enhance the transport capacity between Asia and the European Union.

In terms of civil aviation, there is a plan to transfer 22 airports in Kazakhstan to investors. This move is aimed at developing the industry and establishing Kazakhstan as a key continental transit hub.

To strengthen the maritime industry and create a container hub at the port of Aktau, investors are being offered 171 hectares for the development of terminal facilities. Additionally, there is an option to transfer the Aktau and Kuryk seaports to trust management under ship-or-pay terms.

Concluding his address, Marat Karabayev extended an invitation to European organizations and companies to participate in the upcoming New Silkway forum, which is scheduled to take place in June in Astana. He also proposed organizing an investment forum in September of this year to enhance the partnership between the EU and Kazakhstan in the transport sector.

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News Reporter