A Quadrilateral meet on cross-border connectivity comprising Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran-India was held here to attract Indian businesses and investments to Eurasia using the eastern route of the North-South Transport corridor.
The meeting was organized by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in India together with the Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations in India and JSC “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy Express” (Kazakhstan railway express) with the support of the Indian Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The key purpose of the meet was to inform the Indian business community about the logistical capabilities of the Eastern branch of the “North-South” transit corridor and to attract Indian business circles to the wider use of this route.
Plans are afoot to link Gujarat's Mundra Port with Bandar Abbas and connect it to Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railway network and onwards to Eastern Russia. The idea is to not only access markets of this landlocked region but also create a corridor to import natural resources from the region in a shorter period than being done currently, according to officials.
Ambassador of Kazakhstan to India Bulat Sarsenbayev acquainted participants with the State of the Nation Address of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev “Growing welfare of Kazakh citizens: Increase in income and quality of life”.
He gave an analysis of the high potential of the Eastern branch of the “North-South” route and encouraged the Indian business community to make wide use of it.
The President of JSC “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy Express” Dias Iskakov presented detailed information about the possibilities of this route and the experience of Kazakhstan in its use. There were also presentations by the private sector.
The meet was also attended by officials of the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Shipping of India, the diplomatic corps, the management of the seaport of Mumbai, the Association of Commerce and Industry of India, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chambers of Indian Importers and others.
The Indian side was also represented by representatives of more than 30 large transport, logistics and business companies. A number of bilateral meetings were held during the event.
An Agreement on transport and forwarding services by rail between JSC “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy Express” and Indian logistics company Tuberose Logistics was also signed at the meet. The document provides for concrete steps by the two sides to develop cooperation. The parties also agreed to implement a pilot supply of goods on the route Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran-India until the beginning of the next year.
Joint Secretary Eurasian Division, Ministry of External Affairs of India Manish Prabhat drew attention to the high potential of the route. Chief operating officer of Special Economic Zone “Khorgos – Eastern Gate” Hicham Belmaachi, General Director of Goodrich company Sanju Kollappapillai Mani and Chief executive- railways KEC International limited logistic company Rakesh Gaur shared their experience on transport logistic cooperation with Kazakhstan.
The wide use of this connectivity route will significantly reduce the time of cargo delivery and, accordingly, increase the trade turnover between the two countries by two or three times (the current Kazakhstan-India trade turnover is about $ 1 billion).