Kazakhstan is discussing participation in the construction of Trans-Afghan railways.

Country: Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is discussing participation in the construction of Trans-Afghan railways.
26 April 2024

El Dala reports: Kazakhstan has declared its readiness to participate in the implementation of projects for the development of the Trans-Afghan corridor: the construction of railways from Termez to Mazar-i-Sharif to Kabul to Peshawar and from Herat to Kandahar to Spin-Boldak. The project will allow for a nearly 10-fold reduction in the delivery time of goods between Central and South Asian countries, as well as reduce the cost of freight transportation. This was reported by the press service of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan.

The expansion of regional transport capabilities was discussed during the visit of the Kazakh delegation to Afghanistan. As Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Serik Zhuma​​ngarin, reported, Kazakhstan is ready to participate in the construction of the Trans-Afghan highway by supplying materials for the upper structure of the railway track, sleepers, and fasteners of its own production.

According to government data, over the past three years, the volume of export shipments from Kazakhstan to Afghanistan has been steadily increasing: in 2023, the volume of shipments by rail amounted to 2.7 million tons, of which 1.5 million tons were flour and grain. This is 14% more compared to the level of 2021. The forecast for the coming years is a 40% increase in exports. By 2030, a threefold increase in shipments is expected.

In turn, representatives of the national company KTZ presented the export and transit opportunities of Kazakhstan to increase mutual freight traffic.

"Today, a pilot project has been launched to organize a new multimodal export route from Kazakhstan through Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and then by sea to the port of Jebel Ali in the UAE. The new route is organized with the participation of KTZ Express. The exporter is the Kazakhstani company Bio Synergy Co, and the delivery partner is the Pakistani National Logistics Cell (NLC). Cargo loading has begun in the Pavlodar region, which is aluminosilicate hollow microspheres. In Almaty, the cargo will be transshipped into containers and transferred to the trucks of the Pakistani partner. Then, by road, through Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to the port of Karachi in Pakistan. From there, two containers will be shipped by sea to the port of Jebel Ali in the UAE," said Bauyrzhan Urynbassarov, Managing Director of KTZ.

According to him, the expected delivery time for goods to the destination is 20-25 days. Successful implementation of the pilot project is expected to lead to active development of this direction and attract significant volumes of freight traffic along the new route.

It is worth noting that Afghanistan is currently the main market for Kazakhstani flour. In the agricultural season of 2022/2023, Kazakhstan sent 895 thousand tons of wheat and 1.7 million tons of flour (in grain equivalent) to Afghanistan.

Some experts also consider the market of Pakistan, which borders Afghanistan, as promising. The population there is growing, and the country's own grain production does not meet its needs.

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