Middle Corridor Poses Flagship Project Of Cooperation For Many States - Expert

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 13. Internationalexpert on Asian economics Raza Syed in his article for The Times ofCentral Asia portal, called the Trans-Caspian InternationalTransport Route (TITR, or Middle Corridor) a flagship cooperationproject for many countries, especially in light of the currentgeopolitical situation in the world, Trend reports.

"New transportation corridors through which commodities and rawmaterials can be safely and quickly exported by all modes oftransportation are a vital task for many countries today. TheMiddle Corridor falls under these criteria, and in recent yearsthis route has experienced a new round of development as itconnects East and West, bypassing Russia, which is undersanctions," Syed notes.

He pointed out that this route covers 11,000 kilometers ofrailroads and includes ten seaports. The route starts in China inthe port of Lianyungang, passes through Xi'an to Urumqi, throughKazakhstan (dry ports of Khorgos and Dostyk and ports of Aktau andKuryk), Azerbaijan (port of Alat), Georgia, and then through theBlack Sea continues to Europe.

"It is important that this route is multimodal, i.e. rail, sea,and road transport can be used. The current capacity of theTrans-Caspian International Transport Route is 6 million tons peryear, and by 2025 it is planned to reach 10 million tons per year the potential of the Middle Corridor is large," the expertnotes.

The geography of the route is constantly expanding, and thenumber of TITR Association members has increased to 25 companies(11 countries).

Syed in his article relies on a recent World Bank researchconfirming that from a trade and economic point of view, TITRprimarily allows diversifying trade routes and improving transportaccessibility for Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan.

"World Bank analysts forecast that under the scenario assumingimproved operational efficiency of the Middle Corridor, by 2030 thevolume of traffic through the Caspian Sea will triple from 2021 to11 million tons. About 4 million tons will be due to the projecteddemand for container transportation," the expert recalls.

He also quotes estimates by the European Bank for Reconstructionand Development, according to which the capacity of the TITR couldbe increased to 26 million tons by 2040, which would requireinfrastructure investments of 18.5 billion euros for Central Asiancountries.

The Asian Development Bank will provide a grant to develop astrategy for further development of the TITR route in 2024.
"In essence, the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route is arevival of the Great Silk Road in modern realities, including sucha relevant component as the Digital Silk Road, as the upcomingconstruction of a fiber-optic communication line along the CaspianSea bed will ensure the creation of a new digital telecommunicationcorridor between Europe and Asia," Syed emphasizes.

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