Uzbekistan to invest 4 bln in railway improvement

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 24 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova, T.Jafarov/

Uzbekistan will invest 4 billion to improve its railway system till 2015, Irib News reported on Monday with reference to Achilbay Ramatov, the head of Uzbek railways company, who visits Iran.

He said Uzbekistan constructs a 230 kilometer railway corridor which will connect Uzbekistan with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

Ramatov added that last year about 2.5 million tons of cargo were transported to Afghanistan through Uzbekistan, and this year the country expects 100 per cent increase in the index.

"We have constructed a 120 kilometer railway to Afghan Mazari-Sharif that will help to connect Uzbekistan with Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan," he said.

During the next 4 year Uzbekistan will electrify 1,000 kilometer of its railways, Ramatov stated adding that last year the country increased its railway cargo transportations by 25 percent.

"Uzbekistan is interested in transit of goods from Iranian Sarahs to Bandarabas," he said.

He added that Russia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgian and Turkmenistan have a discount of 30 percent for Uzbek cargo transportation and Tashkent want to get a discount from Iran.

Iran and Uzbekistan agreed to establish special private organizations which will be involved in good transportation and attracting of the investments between the parties.

These organizations may play a role in the development of Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan railway systems.

They discussed the issue of transiting Iranian trains thought the territory of CIS countries.

They agreed to discuss this issue at the trilateral meeting of Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan.

The head of Iran Railways Abdol Ali Saheb Mohammadi said there is a great potential for the cooperation between the railways of Uzbekistan and Iran.

Iran proposed Uzbekistan to participate in the electrification of Iranian rail ways.

He added that Tehran cooperates with Russia in this regard, but in case Uzbekistan makes better proposal they will be ready to cooperate with Tashkent in this regard.

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