Activation of multilateral external cooperation between the Central Asian states based on friendship, good neighborliness and mutual benefit meets the interests of fraternal peoples and contributes to the development of trade, economic, transport, transport and communications, fuel and energy, cultural and humanitarian relations.
Senior lecturer at the Faculty of International Economic Relations of the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Perhat Charyev told CentralAsia.news about the partners of the republics, important documents and big projects.
The international cooperation
Currently, the Central Asian countries are implementing international cooperation in the field of transport within the framework of international organizations and programs. These are the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program (CAREC), the UN Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), Caspian summits, Caspian forums, Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia, transport and transit projects implemented within the framework of cooperation «Central Asia + 1».
Meeting of Central Asian Leaders
The First Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia took place in the Republic of Kazakhstan in March 2018. In November 2019, it was held in the Republic of Uzbekistan, in August 2021 — in Turkmenistan, in June 2022 — in the Kyrgyz Republic. In September 2023, the Republic of Tajikistan hosted the Fifth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia, which became a necessary step in improving transport and logistics communications in the countries.
The participants of the summit signed an agreement on strengthening the Interconnectedness of Land Transport in Central Asia. The main goal of this agreement is to create favorable conditions for the development of international land transit in the region.
At the Fifth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia in Dushanbe, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov noted: «We propose to consider the possibility of launching a Central Asian transport and logistics platform, the main task of which could be to consider the issues of creating transport hubs in the region, forming new and increasing the efficiency of existing transit corridors, optimizing and harmonizing customs, migration and other procedures along international transport routes passing through the territories of our states».
First meeting of transport ministers
On the sidelines of the summit in Dushanbe, the participants of the first meeting of the ministers of transport of the Central Asian states signed the Dushanbe Communiqué, another important document related to the transport sector. It specifically mentions the following:
— the parties recognize the important role of transport and logistics in ensuring international trade and interconnectedness between the Central Asian countries as the basis for promoting sustainable trade, economic growth and sustainable development;
— the parties will strengthen cooperation using bilateral and multilateral platforms to develop and improve integrated transport routes and communications between the Central Asian countries and other states;
— the parties recognize the need to widely use the capabilities of logistics services of the Central Asian countries to ensure interconnectedness in the field of transport between the states of the region and other countries;
— the parties will continue to create the necessary conditions for the development of transport and logistics services, the creation of warehouses, production facilities in the Central Asian countries to strengthen trade ties between the states of the region and other countries.
Currently, the Central Asian states — Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan — are jointly participating in several large transport projects.
Among them are the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran international railway, the Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman transport project, the «Caspian Sea — Black Sea» international transport corridor along the Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania route, the project China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey from the Asia-Pacific region to Europe through Central Asia and the Caucasus, the European multimodal transport corridor, the Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran and Tajikistan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Turkey transport corridors. They have opened a direct route for the Central Asian countries to the commodity markets of the Middle East, as well as to the countries along the Indian Ocean coast.