Twice as fast and 15-30 times more containerized cargo deliveries: Russia and Eurasian countries are planning a large-scale development of the North-South international transport corridor. The project may involve states in Asia, the Persian Gulf, and East Africa and change world logistics. Details will be discussed on May 18th at the 14th Russia – Islamic World: KazanForum 2023 in the Russian city of Kazan. The event will bring together representatives from 72 countries. 

Islamic economy is markedly growing – the total volume of its assets has exceeded $3.5 trillion. New growth opportunities are opening up the development of trade with Russia, where 20 million Muslims live and there are niches that can be occupied by imports from Islamic countries. Many companies are already actively using the “northern” direction – the trade turnover of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation with Russian regions for the last three years has increased by almost 30% and exceeded $100 billion. 

Russia’s export opportunities to the Islamic world are also expanding, including Halal products. The prospects are in the development of industrial cooperation in the agrarian sector, the IT industry, energy, and industry. 

The success of the projects will be ensured by new logistics: high-speed, high-traffic, and “seamless” cargo delivery routes. To this end, it is proposed to create a unified transport framework in Eurasia, a network of modern international transport corridors connecting the central and southern countries of the continent. The main logistics project is the International Transport Corridor “North-South” (hereinafter – ITC “North-South”). It is designed to link Northern Europe, Russia, and the EAEC countries with the countries of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. 

The main advantages of the North-South ITC over other transport corridors are a significant reduction in the delivery time of goods (goods from Europe to India can be delivered twice as fast as through the Suez Canal), a wide choice of routes (through the Caucasus, Central Asia or the Caspian Sea), and the ability to choose a convenient form of delivery (the corridor includes the infrastructure of rail, road and water transport).

The variety of routes allows the North-South ITC project to connect with most of the broad transport corridors of Eurasia. The upgraded infrastructure will create a “seamless” transport network covering virtually the entire continent and many countries in Africa. 

Also Read: Russia to host Islamic World: KazanForum 2023

According to estimates of the “Eurasian Development Bank”, by 2030 the volume of container traffic on the ITC “North-South” routes could increase to 11.9 million tons per year or 662 thousand TEU (the volume of a standard twenty-foot ISO container), and the total cargo volume – up to 24.7 million TEU. 

Investment in the logistics infrastructure of the international corridor opens up great opportunities for Islamic business in the future. More than 100 investment projects totaling over $38 billion are already being implemented and planned for implementation until 2030 in the framework of the North-South ITC. 

Following the results of KazanForum 2022, the Eurasian transport framework has received another important infrastructure facility: the wholesale and distribution site of the “Agroexpress-Kazan” center – a service for the delivery of Russian food products to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, China, and the Middle East by fast container trains.  

A large logistic project is realized with the participation of the strategic vision group “Russia – Islamic world” and on the results of international agreements at KazanForum. Participants and experts of KazanForum 2023 will discuss new possibilities of ITC in the development of the economy and export logistics of Eurasia.

Within the “Logistics” track, there will be three sessions

  • “ITC “North-South.” Russia – East: logistics, import-export”; 
  • “Intersectoral cooperation “Logistics – production – trade” as a tool for expansion of foreign trade relations”; 
  • “Logistic services. Successful practices”.
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