Homeland and Global Security Forum
Organiser: Crans Montana Forum, Brussels, 19-21 October, 2016
Panel session: The 21st century silk roads: global trade and global security
Remarks by TurkPA Secretary General Jandos Asanov
Dear Chair of this session Mr Jianzhong Lu, Founding Chairman, Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce of the People’s Republic of China,
Dear Mr Daniel Warner, Chair of the Advisory Board, Crans Montana Forum,
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to extend my gratitude to President of the Crans Montana Forum Mr Pierre-Emmanuel Quirin for inviting me to attend such an august gathering. I am glad that TurkPA and Crans Montana Forum are going to sign a Memorandum of Understanding right after this session thus paving the way for future constructive interaction.
I used to work in Brussels as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Kazakhstan here. So it is a good occasion for me to return to this nice town and refresh my memories.
The Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking Countries (TurkPA) was set up back in 2008 on the initiative of President of Kazakhstan Mr Nursultan Nazarbayev and this is the parliamentary dimension of cooperation among Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and Turkey. TurkPA acts strictly in line with the United Nations’ Charter and acts in a very transparent manner.
This year is a special year for TurkPA since Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan mark the 25th Anniversary of their statehood.
The age old Great Silk Road occupies a significant part in the history of the TurkPA member-countries. For example, Central Asia served as a bridge between the Orient and Occident. The Silk Road represented the first mighty wave of globalisation of humanity; along with the trade exchange people living in various parts of the world exchanges with ideas, knowledge. For example, paper, porcelain, which is known in the West also as china, gunpowder spread to the world from China via the Silk Road.
Therefore TurkPA member-states supported the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative launched by the People’s Republic of China in 2013. The countries of the region are keen to take the advantage of their transport and transit potential. For example, the new economic policy of Kazakhstan prioritizes the development of transport infrastructure and logistics. In 2014 the state allocated more than $2.5 billion, and between 2015 and 2017 it will allocate $3 bln annually from the National Fund. Overall Kazakhstan plans to invest $20 bln by 2020 in the development of the transport industry.Diversification of railway links is underway in Kazakhstan. To the southern EastWest corridor in the last 10 years the northern and central East-West lines were added. The Kazakh section of the Western China – Western Europe International Motorway Transit Corridor – which is around 2700 km – is almost operational. Recently a railway link on the eastern shores of the Caspian that link Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran has become operational. Azerbaijan also wants to utilise its transport and transit potential through linking Russia and Iran on the so-called North-South corridor. Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway link is about to be commissioned.
Commissioning of Marmarai project in 2013 by Turkey that links Europe and Asia opened vast opportunity to the global trade and economic cooperation. There are many routes and connections in the world and one of them is the transit potential of TurkPA space, which offers up-to-date services. TurkPA countries are spread in a vast geography. Therefore the membership of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in the Eurasian Economic Union and membership of Turkey since 1995 in the customs union of the European Union would facilitate interaction and cooperation among the regions and regional trade blocs.
I once again would like to thank the hosts for their excellent arrangements and cordial hospitality.