HomeBusinessKazakhstan and Uzbekistan to invest in Trans-Afghan Railway

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to invest in Trans-Afghan Railway


Astana, 8 March 2024(TDI): Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to invest in Trans-Afghan Railway, agreeing to establish a joint venture to advance the initiative, on 5 April, Friday.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan respectively, have met and announced a significant step forward in the development of the Trans-Afghan railway project.

Moreover, the leaders also discussed ensuring stability and security in the Central Asian region during their meeting.

The heads of state gave instructions to increase trade turnover, form a long-term program of industrial cooperation, and implement infrastructure projects in transport and energy.

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Economists believe the project, proposed by Uzbekistan back in December 2018, will boost Afghanistan’s economy. It aims to extend Afghanistan’s rail network from Mazar-e-Sharif to Kabul and then to Nangarhar province.

From there, the railway will cross Torkham and enter Pakistan at Peshawar making a total of around 760 km, thus linking Central Asia with South Asia.

In Pakistan, goods will be transferred to the Pakistan rail system and shipped to the seaports of Karachi, Gwadar, and Qasim, the agency reported.

Once in operation, the proposed joint venture will provide cargo terminals on the Kazakh-Chinese border and cargo transportation along the China-Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan route, as well as developments of the Trans-Afghan route.

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For the time being, the only main line railways in Afghanistan are one line across the northern border from Uzbekistan, two short cross-border lines from Turkmenistan and a line from Iran.

President Tokayev indicated that Kazakhstan can contribute by ensuring a steady supply of materials for railway tracks and providing rolling stock, such as locomotives and freight cars.

The Kazakh-Uzbek portfolio currently includes 60 collaborative projects with investment exceeding $2.5 billion and the creation of more than 13 thousand jobs.

Progress is also forging ahead on the construction of an International Centre for Industrial Cooperation and engaging new partners such as Afghanistan to enhance regional stability.

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