Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.27
By Viktoriya Zhavoronkova, Temkin Jafarov- Trend:
Central Asian states confirmed their willingness to reach out to economic markets in the Gulf region by stressing the importance of implementing the international transport corridor.
The 'corridor' is comprised of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Oman and Qatar.
The issue was discussed during a meeting by presidents Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan and Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan earlier this week in the Uzbek capital Tashkent.
The agreement signed by the five concerned countries - Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Oman, Qatar - on the implementation of the corridor, connecting the Central Asian states with the Gulf ports in the most optimal way, was signed in April 2011. The project of the corridor envisages the creation and development of sea, motor and railway transport infrastructure and facilities.
"Over 820 trucks carrying 12 million tonnes of cargo from this five states passed through Iranian territory in 2012," Sayyid Faraj Shahidi, the Iranian Embassy trade attaché told Trend. The Iranian diplomat said there are plans to increase this figure to 50 million tonnes.
Shahidi believes that cargo transit through Iran may simplify the transportation of goods between Europe and Asia.
"This project will improve communication and transportation between the countries concerned and the Caucasus, Europe and Asia Russia," Shahidi said.
"The idea of this corridor is a logical result of efforts directed by the formation of a modern transport and communication infrastructure," said Shiri Shiriyev, Turkmen ambassador to Uzbekistan, to Uzbekistan's state news agency.
Observers believe this route will provide Central Asian countries with access to new solvent markets, with the possibility of the Russians and the Chinese joining this project in the future, thus adding an greater economic attractiveness to this corridor.