Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan expanding co-op in railways transport - deputy minister (Interview)

Uzbekistan Materials 8 June 2022 08:00 (UTC +04:00)
Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan expanding co-op in railways transport -  deputy minister (Interview)
Natavan Rzayeva
Natavan Rzayeva
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 8. Active work is underway in Uzbekistan to create alternative transport and logistics routes, Deputy Minister of Transport of Uzbekistan Abdusamat Muminov told Trend.

According to him, in March 2022, a working meeting of business representatives, large transport and logistics companies, forwarding organizations and government agencies of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan was held in the country’s city of Termez to talk over transportation along the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route.

"As a result of the meeting, more than 10 documents on cooperation between the transport companies of the three countries were signed and coordinators from each side were identified to resolve issues arising in the logistics process," Muminov said.

According to the deputy minister, active work is also underway with the Chinese, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish sides to develop the international multimodal APAC (China) - Central Asia - the Caucasus – Europe route.

Muminov noted that in the railway sector, Uzbekistan has strengthened cooperation with six countries participating in the transport corridor (Azerbaijan, China, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Georgia).

According to him, during a recent meeting between the heads of the railway administrations of these countries, an agreement was reached to extend the existing discounts on railway tariffs for 2022.

Muminov further noted that in 2022-2026 Uzbekistan is expected to increase the number of foreign and local tourists to 5 million people, and the volume of exports to $600 million.

“It is planned to increase the number of regular international flights through the Bukhara airport; construction of 255 large and small hotels, organization of 60 new tourist routes,” Muminov said.

Muminov also expressed hope that the development of air transportation will result in increase of passenger flow on urban flights.

Speaking of transport, according to the Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan for 2022-2026, the following is planned for this sector:

- development of a unified transport system in conjunction with all modes of transport, creation of conditions for the possibility of daily trips on scheduled transport routes between major cities;

- improvement of the public transport system and development of its infrastructure in the city of Tashkent and regions;

- increasing the attractiveness of intercity and suburban railway routes; development of the market for transport and logistics services and infrastructure, bringing the level of electrification of the railway infrastructure to 60 percent and the accelerated development of the road network;

- expansion of "green corridors" and transit opportunities in the transport system for foreign trade, as well as an increase in the volume of transit cargo turnover up to 15 million tons;

- increase in the number of international aviation.

"Also till 2026, Uzbekistan plans to gradually increase the share of private and low-cost airlines in local transportation to 25 percent; increase in the number of domestic flights from 48 to 80 per week and the number of connecting flights from 4 to 8; continue to subsidize new and existing local air travel destinations based on social needs," Muminov explained.

According to Muminov, a concept for the modernization of transport and logistics services in Uzbekistan is currently being developed.

"Within the framework of this concept, transport and logistics systems and infrastructure between 18 large, 22 medium and 80 small cities will be developed," Muminov said.

He also said that a phased transfer of transport documents for international cargo transportation (e-Permit, e-TIR, e-CMR) into electronic format is envisaged.

He noted that within the framework of the concept, it is planned to reduce the cost of cargo transportation by up to 30 percent.

"It also provides for the development of existing container terminals on the basis of public-private partnerships and the growth of container traffic by rail at least twice," Muminov said.

According to him, in 2022, 21 projects are being implemented in the field of transport and road infrastructure of Uzbekistan.

“At the same time, the possibility of implementing 37 promising investment projects is being worked out”, the deputy minister noted.

According to the results of the development of the transport sector in 2021, the profit of the railways of Uzbekistan increased by 11 percent compared to 2020, the aviation sector - by 62 percent, passenger transportation by rail and air - by 74 percent, cargo transportation by rail - by eight percent, air - by 38 percent.