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EU-Central Asia transportation forum to conclude

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EU-Central Asia transportation forum to conclude

EU-Central Asia transportation forum to conclude

The EU-Central Asia Transport Connectivity forum concludes today in Brussels, the objective of which was to attract European investment towards the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR).

The TITR has been operating since 1879, but since Ukraine’s invasion, has seen an 86% YoY increase in transport volume, as companies previously reliant on the Northern Corridor (which connects Asia and Europe through Russia) seek alternative routes to avoid sanctions.

Geopolitical necessity has drawn attention to the TITR’s economic potential. The route is around 3,000 km shorter than the Northern Corridor and offers access to untapped markets. The TITR cannot entirely replace the Northern Corridor overnight, and major upgrades are required, which the EBRD estimates could cost over Moreover, there is the question of ensuring smooth border crossings between countries with varying levels of political cooperation. However, the World Bank recently estimated that with the correct investment, by 2030, travel times from China to Europe could half, and freight volumes triple.

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Not only will participating TITR countries stand to gain from the vast opportunity this represents. For Europe, reducing Russia’s revenue streams whilst fostering relationships with neighbors is a tantalizing offer. Expect further engagement from financial and political stakeholders as investment opportunities become concrete.

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