Eurasia is unifying again, says Nursultan Nazarbayev
BEIJING. KAZINFORM - The First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Yelbasy, Nursultan Nazarbayev, talked about Kazakhstan's transit and transport potential at the opening of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Kazinform correspondent in China reports.
"Eurasia is unifying again. As two thousand years ago, the most diverse uttermost parts of our continent are networked together. In a short time, we jointly managed to build economic corridors that bypassed challenging natural landscapes and geopolitical contradictions. Thanks to the state-of-the-art logistics, mutual understanding of states, goods from Southeast Asia can reach the cities of Northern Europe within just two weeks. The foundation of this is pragmatism, pursuance of prosperity," said Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Nursultan Nazarbayev recalled that Kazakhstan is favorably located in the very heart of Eurasia as the shortest overland route connecting Asia and Europe runs across the country.
"To unleash the existing transit potential, we have implemented our national program Nurly Zhol with the One Belt One Road. Over the past decade, Kazakhstan has invested around $30 billion in the development of infrastructure, transport and logistics assets and competences. Nearly 3,000 km of national railways, 12,500 km of highways have been modernized and placed in service. The domestic air and sea ports have been reconstructed. As a result, [we] have created a modern competitive transit hub in the country in a short span of time. All these roads run across our country, across Central Asia, across our neighbors, to other countries," said the Leader of the Nation.
Nursultan Nazarbayev reminded that the plan for integrating the Nurly Zhol Program with the Silk Road Economic Belt has been successfully accomplished since 2016.
"The Western Europe - Western China top-class transcontinental highway has connected Europe and China through Russia and Kazakhstan. Our country has built a logistics terminal at China's Port of Lianyungang in the Pacific Ocean. The Kazakhstan - Turkmenistan - Iran - Persian Gulf Railway that has been put into operation is gaining momentum," said Yelbasy.
As Nursultan Nazarbayev highlighted, Kazakhstan's ports of Aktau and Kuryk are handling the increasing cargoes transshipped from China to Central Asia, to the South Caucasus and further to Turkey and Europe. Last year alone, the ports of Aktau and Kuryk handled 6.5 million tons of transit cargoes, which has never been before, and over 15,000 containers. The volume of containers doubles every year. 6,500 trains have passed, of which 57% went through Kazakhstan.
"Using railways across Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and our other neighbors, we can reach the countries of South Asia and Afghanistan. As a result of effective distribution of rail freight traffic on Kazakhstan-China border, an entire city - the Dry Port of Khorgos - was built; it has now become a cargo handling center. 11 transcontinental routes - 5 rail and 6 road ones - are crossing the territory of Kazakhstan. Energy supplies from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan to the markets of Asia and Europe are carried out through Kazakhstan's network of main oil and gas pipelines," Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
It is to be recalled that the leaders of 37 state and government are participating in the Forum.