Astana, Kazakhstan, Nov. 28
By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:
The participants of Silk Wind project are discussing the issues on removing the administrative barriers and a through rate amount in Tbilisi today, National Secretary of TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission Marat Saudov told Trend over telephone from Tbilisi today.
"Silk Wind project participants - delegations from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey [representatives of the railways, seaports, freight forwarders] are in Tbilisi now and discussing the details," he said. "Around eight meetings have been held. The matter rests in reducing the administrative barriers and a through rate amount on the route."
Saudov stressed that it is very important for Kazakhstan to develop the Caspian direction.
"This is the Caspian route for Kazakhstan," he said. "This is the shortest way to the Black Sea. It is very important for the country without any way to the open seas. The essence of this project for us is to get a way to the railways of Turkey and Europe."
At the same time, he recalled that the Silk Wind project is a difficult route as it includes the combined transportation (railway, sea ports, several borders).
"That's why it is necessary to determine the tariff formation for the competitiveness," he said. 'The most important thing is that all parties express their understanding of the issue."
According to Saudov, Kazakhstan conducts thorough preparation. Aktau seaport is being expanded. The construction of the Zhezkazgan - Beyneu railway is underway. This will reduce the movement of goods from China to the Caspian Sea by almost 1,000 kilometers.
"As for Azerbaijan, it is building a new port Alat, which will exceed the capacity of the Baku port," he said. "Azerbaijan even adopted a special program "From Beijing to London". Georgian ports of Poti and Batumi are being expanded. All sides understand that attract cargo from other routes depends on the effective activity of all Silk Wind participants.
"We hope that we will determine the principles of transportation, major discounts during our meetings until May 2014," he said. "It is planned to sign an agreement between the parties in Astana within the Astana Economic Forum. It will reflect the final decisions on the issues being discussed today."
Silk Wind project aims to commission the China-Kazakhstan-Caspian Sea-Caucasus-Turkey-Europe container train.
Silk Wind project was proposed by Kazakhstan within TRACECA project on Logistics Processes and Motorways of the Sea ("Logmos").
Silk Wind scheme envisages that the containers are transported by railway from China to Aktau, and from there by ferries to Baku and then by railway - to the Georgian ports.
Afterwards, they are also transported to the ports of Turkey or Ukraine by ferries. In the latter case, Silk Wind is combined with the Lithuanian-Ukrainian transport corridor Viking.