Officials of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan discussed developments of efficiency of Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor on the 4th Meeting of the Ministers of Transport of the Turkic Council on 17 April 2019 in capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek with reference to the press-release of Turkic Council.

Secretary General of the Turkic Council Baghdad Amreyev moderated the ministerial meeting, which was hosted by Minister of Transport and Roads of the Kyrgyz Republic Zhanat Beishenov.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Infrastructural Development of Kazakhstan Berik Kamaliev, Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of Turkey Selim Dursun, Head of Department for Regulation of Transport at the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan Javid Najafov and State Secretary responsible for Transport Policy at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Hungary László Mosoczi also attended the ministerial meeting.

In his opening speech, Secretary General Baghdad Amreyev emphasized the important role that transport plays in the socio-economic development of the Member States.

He told that transport is one of the core areas of interest for the ongoing cooperation among the Member States.

Secretary General underscored the significant developments in the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor taking place in the last couple of years, particularly the reduction of logistical expenses along the corridor, facilitation of customs procedures in Aktau Port due to Single Window System and reduction of port charges, which made the transport operations faster and cheaper, opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.

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He also noted the completion of projects such as the Marmaray Rail Tunnel, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and Eurasia Tunnel, reconstruction of Bishkek-Naryn-Torugart Road and ongoing development of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project.

Highlighting that the Trans-Caspian Corridor is the common future of all Turkic Council Member States Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of Turkey Selim Dursun called on the Parties to take necessary steps to phase out administrative and bureaucratic obstacles hampering the efficiency of the corridor.

The deputy minister asked the parties to work together in overcoming the practical difficulties encountered in road transport operations, border crossing points and Caspian Sea crossing to render the corridor seamless and sustainable route.

Deputy Minister Dursun also informed the Parties that Turkey, in cooperation with Azerbaijan and Georgia, has conducted for the first time a rail shipment from Mersin, Turkey to Baku by means of a single consignment note under the Unified Railway Law (URL) efforts of the UNECE.

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Reflecting the instructions of the Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev during the Summit in Cholpon-Ata where he pointed out the necessity to work intensely to simplify the tariff policies and administrative procedures, Vice Minister of Industry and Infrastructural Development of Kazakhstan Berik Kamaliev informed that the government has already optimized the transport tariffs along the Trans-Caspian Corridor.

He also said that the development of logistic centers is one of the main components of foreign economic and trade relations of Kazakhstan with Turkic Council Member States and stressed the necessity of providing efficient transport logistic infrastructure for the competitively of the corridor.

Head of the Department for Regulation of Transport, Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan Javid Najafov updated the participants on the ongoing transport projects and modernization of transport-logistic infrastructure of Azerbaijan.

He mentioned that Government of Azerbaijan attaches particular importance to the optimization and facilitation of the measures for increasing the efficiency of Trans Caspian Corridor.

State Secretary responsible for Transport Policy, Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Hungary László Mosoczi emphasized that the Government of Hungary is open for cooperation with Turkic Council Member States.

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Highlighting the Turkic States’ transit potential, State Secretary stated that Hungary with its close EU relations may work as a collecting and distributing point at the western end of the Trans-Turkic route.

He also stressed that Hungary welcomes the developments of bilateral collaboration and exchanges in the field of international road transport with the Turkic Council Member States.

During the meeting Deputy Director General of the Baku International Sea Trade Port Akbar Karimov made a presentation on the current state of cooperation among the Turkic Council Sister Ports, as well as on their potential to attract freight flow in China-Europe axis, in his capacity as the host of the last Sister Ports meeting.

At the end of the meeting the representatives of seaports of the Turkic Council Member States signed the Additional Protocol allowing “Port Kuryk” LLP to become a party to the Turkic Council Sister Ports process.

Parties agreed to convene the 5th meeting of Ministers of Transport of the Turkic Council in Budapest, Hungary in 2020.

After the ministerial meeting, Secretary General and the Heads of Delegations held a joint press conference on the outcomes of the meeting and their joint future projections.