China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan sign agreement on co-op in constructing railway

Agreement on cooperation on the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway construction project was signed in Samarkand city by officials of China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the press service of the Kyrgyz president reported.

The agreement was signed by Minister of Transport and Communications of Kyrgyzstan Erkinbek Osoev, Minister of Transport of Uzbekistan Ilkhom Makhkamov and Chairman of the State Committee for Development and Reform of China He Lifen, who took part in a video conference format.

In June of this year, the Kyrgyz side outlined a preliminary route for the construction of a railway that will run through three key points: Torugart – Makmal – Jalal-Abad. The development of an appropriate feasibility study for the project will be completed in December this year.

The construction of the Kyrgyz section will allow connecting the railways of the three countries, which opensaccess to the Persian Gulf countries, Turkey and connect China with the European transport network.

According to experts, the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway will not only create the southern corridor of the Second Continental Transport Bridge, but also open up new markets for manufacturers of the three countries.

According to the preliminary parameters of the project, the shortening of the route from East Asia to the countries of the Middle East and Southern Europe will be about 900 km, and the time reduced by 7-8 days. In addition, the construction will ensure the development of the transport infrastructure of the countries of Central Asia, primarily the inner regions of Kyrgyzstan.

For the first time, the idea to build a railway through the mountainous regions of Kyrgyzstan appeared in 1996-97. Since then, negotiations have been going on at different levels of the three participating countries about the routes of the road, about the transfer point for changing the wheels of trains and other issues.

All three countries are interested in the implementation of this project, and the signing of the Agreement is a serious step towards the realization of the project. However, another important issue remains – funding.

Photo: Press service of Kyrgyz President,
Sept. 15, 2022