The President of Uzbekistan promoted regional connectivity at UNGA

Boy Frank

Representative for The Netherlands of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan.

On 23 September, 2020, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has addressed the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. He has proposed to establish the Regional centre for transport and communication connectivity under the auspices of the United Nations. 

The rationale behind the proposal is as follows: 

The new political situation in Central Asia and the processes of globalization require the expansion of interaction and the use of untapped opportunities. The important strategic location of the Central Asian countries requires effective use of the possibilities of international transport corridors.

Uzbekistan, which has taken a firm course towards modernizing the national economy, increasing its export potential and expanding sales markets for domestic products, is interested in further diversifying foreign trade routes, creating alternative, most efficient transit corridors that provide export products to promising international markets.

Based on the geostrategic location of Central Asia, through which the shortest routes connecting large international markets pass, Uzbekistan attaches strategic importance to the intensification of regional cooperation in the transport and communication sphere, advocates for the formation of an interconnected regional transport and logistics system that provides the shortest access to seaports and new external markets. In recent years, as a result of the new regional course of Uzbekistan under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, significant positive changes have been observed in this area.

One of the key initiatives of the President of Uzbekistan - adoption of the UN Resolution on Central Asia has received broad international support, and in June 2018, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled "Strengthening regional and international cooperation to ensure peace, stability and sustainable development in the Central Asian region." The resolution places a special emphasis on the development of transport infrastructure and transit corridors, strengthening the interaction of all types of transport, including through the opening of new roads and railways, as well as air routes.

Thanks to the efforts of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan  rail and road bridges Turkmenabat -Farab has been built which provided the Central Asian countries the shortest access to the Middle Eastern markets. Within the framework of the Ashgabat agreement, the formation of a sub-regional transport corridor Russia-Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman-India has begun.

The Hairaton-Mazar-i-Sharif railway is operating successfully. An agreement was reached to extend this highway to the Afghan city of Herat. The constructed Hairaton-Mazari-Sharif railway and the projected Mazari-Sharif-Herat highway will form a new transport corridor with access to the Iranian, Pakistani and Indian railways and to the ports of Chahbahar and Gwadar within the framework of the North-South project.   

Work on the construction of the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China railway has been intensified. This transport project is relevant in the SCO area, since the beginning of its operation will increase and expand trade and economic relations not only between the project participants, but also between all the countries of Central Asia with China. The railway will provide an opportunity to transport goods from China through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to the countries of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, thus it will become one of the shortest routes for the transportation of Chinese goods to European countries, and will also allow the development of transport and logistics infrastructure in Central Asia.   

In this regard, the establishment of the Regional centre for transport and communication connectivity under the auspices of the United Nations will be an important step towards further strengthening regional cooperation and expanding trade and economic cooperation with other regions.

The establishment of the Center under the auspices of the UN will allow for addressing the following tasks:

  • effective and mutually beneficial use of international transport corridors together with neighboring countries, as well as the formation of a single, branched and outwardly integrated transport space in Central Asia to strengthen interconnections;

  • intensification of joint efforts to develop existing and form new transport corridors, including the construction of a new railway in the direction "China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan", " Mazar-i-Sharif-Herat";

  • formation of reliable transport, including transit, corridors for the supply of foreign trade cargo to the largest markets in the world and the region;

  • creation of favorable conditions for the implementation of international transport by harmonizing and simplifying cross-border transport procedures, including border, customs, phytosanitary and veterinary control, in the implementation of international transport;

  • increasing the competitiveness of the CA states in the world market of transport services, improving the quality of transport services for foreign trade flows;

  • attraction of transit cargo flows from third countries, etc.

In addition, the Center will also help draw the attention of the world community to the initiatives of the President of Uzbekistan put forward at the international conference "Central Asia in the system of international transport corridors: strategic prospects and unrealized opportunities" in Tashkent in 2018. In particular, on the development of a Strategy for the development of regional transport corridors Central Asia, the adoption on its basis of a regional Program for the sustainable development of the transport system of Central Asia and the formation of the Regional Council for Transport Communications of the Central Asian Countries, which will become a coordinating structure in solving existing problems in the transport and logistics sector.

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