BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 2
By Klavdiya Romakayeva - Trend:
A joint action plan (road map) for the construction of the Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar railway has been adopted as a result of the high-level Uzbek-Afghan-Pakistani talks held in Tashkent on Tuesday, Trend reports citing the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan.
According to the information, the road map provides for the organization of a joint international expedition for laying the route of the future railway, conducting geodetic, hydrogeological, and topographic studies.
The parties will also agree on the development of a preliminary feasibility study for the project, mechanisms for financing pre-project studies, and the start of construction of the railway.
Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan Sardor Umurzakov said that work in this direction should begin in March this year.
To date, the leadership of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, International Development Finance Corporation (US) have expressed interest in the joint implementation of this project.
It is noted that Central Asian states and Afghanistan do not have direct access to international seaports. They incur significant transport and transit costs, which are 2-3 times higher than those of countries with free access to sea communications.
Under these conditions, the construction of the Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar railway will significantly reduce the time and cost of transporting goods between the countries of South Asia and Europe through Central Asia.
Thus, the full implementation of the transport and infrastructure potential of Afghanistan will reduce the time for transporting goods from Uzbekistan to Pakistan from 35 to 3-5 days. At the same time, the export of Uzbek products may triple.
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