Kazak rail head pledges to strengthen Eurasian freight links
The head of Kazakhstan’s national railways has outlined the country’s ‘great measures’ for revamping its transport and logistics infrastructure, as it looks to strengthen its position on the Trans-Eurasian rail freight routes.
Kanat Alpysbaev, Chair of JSC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, said new lines would enable the creation of a railroad configuration ‘optimising domestic and international transportation’ along the China-Europe, North-South and Trans-Caspian rail corridors.
Speaking at the ‘Prospects of Global Transport Communication – Eurasian Potential’ conference in the Kazak capital, Astana, Mr Alpysbaev also highlighted the role of SEZ Khorgos-Eastern Gate, a mainline hub of modern logistics operations situated on the Kazakhstan-China border, and the Kazak Caspian Sea ports of Aktau and Kuryk, as critical elements of the Eurasian transport system.
The conference, which was also attended by Askar Mamin, First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan; Raimonds Vëjonis, President of Latvia, and Edvins Bērzins, President of Latvian Railways, was partly held to mark the National Day of Latvia.
Kazakhstan already has a strong cross-border rail freight relationship with its Baltic neighbour, with transit traffic through both countries up by 15 per cent in the first half of this year on the corresponding period last year. Two pilot services from Germany to China via Latvia were also launched in May and June.
Mr Alpysbaev said Kazakhstan was taking ‘great measures’ to improve the throughput of transit and its multimodal infrastructure, as well as eliminating any administrative barriers which prevent the routes being competitive, including those linking to the key Baltic ports. He suggested Latvia take a more active part in the development of Khorgos-Eastern Gate, create a multimodal port tariff policy and improve services to attract customers to transit routes through the two countries.