Karaismailoğlu: A freight train from China to Europe will cover 10 thousand kilometers in at least 20 days if Russia prefers the Northern Trade Road. If he uses the Southern Corridor via the Suez Canal by ship, he can travel 20 thousand kilometers and reach Europe in only 45 to 60 days. However, by train, 7 thousand kilometers are covered in 12 days via the Middle Corridor and Turkey. That's how advantageous and secure the Middle Corridor is in the global trade between Asia and Europe. These developments, which are of key importance for our region, provide opportunities for us to keep the freight flow that prefers other routes here by making the Middle Corridor route even more effective.
Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu pointed out that they prioritize the liberalization of bilateral and transit transportation and said, “If this step is adopted by our friends, our trade will increase and our nation's access to products will be cheaper and faster. We also attach great importance to the signing of the Combined Transport Agreement, which we are negotiating within the framework of the Organization of Turkish States. Caspian Sea shipments lead us to use combined transportation solutions.” said.
Karaismailoğlu attended the Turkey-Uzbekistan-Azerbaijan Transport, Foreign and Trade Ministers Meeting held in Uzbekistan. Karaismailoğlu: “The transportation infrastructure; With the awareness that it is the locomotive of economic development, we implement our priority projects for our country and region. In particular, we attach great importance to the Middle Corridor, which will make unique contributions to the economy, development and welfare of our countries. Turkey assumed important responsibilities by transforming into a strong logistics and production base in the Middle Corridor, between Asia and Europe. Located at the center of the historical Silk Road stretching from China to London, Turkey's critical value in international trade has been proven once again. The Ever Given Ship's 6-day closure of the Suez Canal caused irreparable damage to global trade. Hundreds of food, oil and LNG ships had to wait. This event cost the world economy $9 billion a day.” made its assessment.
We Can Turn the Middle Aisle into a Primarily Preferred Alternative
Karaismailoğlu also pointed out that the Russia-Ukraine war brought into question the security of the northern line, and said that all calculations also revealed the great advantages of the Middle Corridor's unrivaled advantage. “If a freight train from China to Europe prefers the Russian Northern Trade Route; He covers 10 thousand kilometers in at least 20 days,” said Karaismailoğlu, and continued his speech as follows: “If he uses the Southern Corridor via the Suez Canal by ship, he can travel 20 thousand kilometers and reach Europe in only 45 to 60 days. However; the same train covers 7 thousand kilometers in 12 days over the Middle Corridor and Turkey. That's how advantageous and secure the Middle Corridor is in the global trade between Asia and Europe. These developments, which are of key importance for our region, provide opportunities for us to keep the freight flow that prefers other routes here by making the Middle Corridor route even more effective. I would like to underline that we have limited time to evaluate the opportunity windows and that we need to respond quickly to the emerging demand. In order to identify problems and produce solutions, we must make our partnership and coordinated work more productive as friendly and brotherly countries. Thus, it can make the Middle Corridor a more profitable and fast alternative. Even when the problems in other corridors are over, we can turn the Middle Hall into a preferred alternative first. As you know, we attach special importance to the development of transportation and communication infrastructures, which are the lifeblood of large economies.”
We Always Proceed with the “Win-Win” Principle
Stating that 20 billion dollars of transportation and infrastructure investment has been realized in the last 183 years in a planned manner, Karaismailoğlu noted that thanks to these investments, uninterrupted railway access is provided with the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway line and the Marmaray under the Bosphorus. Minister of Transport, Karaismailoğlu, said, “With our investments such as Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, 1915 Çanakkale Bridge and Istanbul Airport, which are among the most important projects in the world, we have settled in the center of human and freight mobility in our region. Within the scope of our Transportation and Logistics Master Plan, we have infrastructure projects that we will complete until 2035 and 2053 to support our region. The trade volume between Asia and Europe exceeded 2021 billion dollars in 828. Within the framework of our 2053 planning, we aim to increase the share of each of us from this cake by working in partnership with you, and to raise our region to a position that has a voice in the world. With these goals, Turkey's logistics capability; environmentalist, sustainable, efficient and low-cost, that is, we will bring it to an advantageous position in every sense. We know that these will bring added value not only for us, but also for all friendly and brotherly countries; We always proceed with the principle of 'win-win'," he said.
We Will Increase the Share of Railway 10 Times in International Freight Transportation
Karaismailoğlu stated that they always try to keep their transportation and communication strategies up-to-date in the light of global and regional conditions, and stated that they aim to increase the total railway network to over 2053 thousand kilometers by planning a total of 8 thousand 554 kilometers of new railway routes until 28 within the framework of the Transport and Logistics Master Plan. Karaismailoglu; “In this context, we aim to increase the share of railways from 30 percent to approximately 198 percent in freight transportation, by allocating the largest share of the $5 billion investment we plan to make in the next 22 years to the railway sector. Thus; We will increase the share of the railway 10 times in freight transportation abroad," he said.
We must take measures to increase the competitiveness of the route along the middle corridor
Explaining that as Turkey, they are working with the mind of the state, with all resources and with a superior effort to obtain the maximum benefit from Asia-Europe trade, Karaismailoğlu emphasized that it is vital to take measures to increase the competitiveness of the route along the Middle Corridor. Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Karaismailoğlu: “In addition to investing in new projects for our region, we should also work to improve the existing railway system and eliminate bottlenecks. As Turkey, we express that we are always ready to show will and work to identify and improve bottlenecks. As our friendly and brotherly countries know very well; We are as strong as we can act together. Another obstacle to the competitiveness of the Middle Corridor that we need to focus on is the Caspian Sea crossings. Due to high costs and limited cargo capacity, transportation over the Caspian Sea is far from preferable. Last month, as Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, when we came together for the purpose we are here today, we formed a working group to solve the problem. I believe that the measures to be taken by this working group will also benefit the countries that do not have a coastline on the Caspian Sea. Therefore, I would like to state that we are always open to the contributions of our Uzbek brothers to this process.”
Close Cooperation in All Fields of Transportation Continues
Underlining that close cooperation between Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey continues in all fields of transportation, Karaismailoğlu said: “We also attach great importance to the signing of the Combined Transport Agreement, which we are negotiating within the framework of the Organization of Turkish States. Caspian Sea shipments lead us to use combined transportation solutions. Our Heads of State have instructed us to conclude this agreement. With the implementation of the agreement, it will be possible to use the appropriate mode of transport on every route, not just road or rail.” made its assessment.
We expect an increase in road and rail transportation between our countries
Karaismailoğlu pointed out that it would be beneficial to come together by completing the internal evaluation processes related to the joint studies that can be carried out regarding the bottlenecks in the Middle Corridor: “We expect both road and rail transport to increase with the increase in the trade volume between our countries. If we, as the countries of the region, do not carry these loads, the transporters of other countries will benefit from this mobility. We, on the other hand, will lag behind in the competition, and we will not be able to seize important opportunities for our countries and nation. It is our priority to transport the cargoes between our countries by our carriers. I kindly request you to consider these issues while making your internal evaluations.”