SCO head urges Caspian countries to cooperate in transport infrastructure development
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and "Caspian Five" countries (Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan) need to intensify cooperation in the sphere of transport infrastructure construction, particularly railways, SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov said on the sidelines of the first Caspian Economic Forum, cited by the SCO website, TASS reports.
"Considering the proactive growth of e-commerce at the regional and global level, the need for accelerated delivery of goods to consumers, primarily by the railway transport, grows by many times," Norov said.
"SCO members and countries of the Caspian Basin need to solve a range of existing issues in such environment in order to boost railway traffic," he added. "First of all, construction of the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China railway should be accelerated," Norov said. "This railway can become an important link in the SCO transportation chain over time," he noted.
"It is important to engage Afghanistan in the process of forming regional transport arteries," he continued. "This will serve as one more factor for stabilization of the situation in this country," Norov noted.
"Joint efforts should be concurrently focused on development of the infrastructure of logistical centers connecting different kinds of transport, upgrade of existing networks and transportation assets, and acceleration of processes of harmonization and unification of transport standards and phytosanitary rules," the official said.