The Caspian Sea is located at the crossroads of continental routes, quoting a speech made by the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the Caspian Economic Forum in Awaza.
"The territories of the Caspian littoral states have direct access to South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region in the east, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the Near and Middle East (via Iran) in the south, and the coast of the Baltic Sea via Russia further to the north. This opens up prospects for creating sustainable routes along all four major geographical azimuths, the Turkmen leader said.
It was also noted that the Caspian littoral states need to establish a good system of transport communication between themselves, build a modern port infrastructure, and ensure efficient logistics.
More active work should be carried out on cooperation plans in the transport sector, with clearly defined action algorithms and realistic deadlines, the head of state said. He made emphasis on the idea of creating a Caspian regional logistics center, designed to become a structure coordinating joint activities in the formation and efficient use of new transport and transit corridors connecting Asia with Europe.
It was noted that the Caspian Economic Strategy of Turkmenistan is based on the implementation of large-scale and long-term projects in such areas as energy, industry, transport and trade. In this context, the establishment of effective trade relations of the Caspian region with foreign markets is of particular importance.
The Turkmen head of state went on to say that it is necessary to actively interact with the UN Economic Commission for Europe, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the World Trade Organization, and other specialized international structures, to speak at these platforms based on a common, agreed position.
Also, positive work experience of a number of regional international associations: the Organization for Economic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Commonwealth of Independent States should be studied, he said.
Turkmenistan shares land borders with Kazakhstan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, and has maritime borders with Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Iran via the Caspian Sea.
Ashgabat considers the development of large-scale North-South and East-West transport corridors, an increase in the capabilities of the Central Asia-Gulf communication network, and the development of transport links in the Caspian-Black Sea region to be priorities for its policy. These projects concern the expansion of transport and communications between the countries of Central Asia with a further access to the markets of Europe, Southeast Asia, Middle East.
In particular, sea freight transportation in the Caspian Sea is becoming increasingly important in the external economic relations of Turkmenistan.
Industrial, agricultural and automotive equipment, as well as metal products, timber and mineral fertilizers are delivered to the country via these routes, while polypropylene, coke and other petroleum products, as well as chemical and building industry products are exported.
World media monitoring