New transport corridor to enhance China-Central Asia cooperation

The newly established Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China transport corridor crosses three countries, with a total length of over 950 km. It is functioning efficiently as one of the most important road transportation channels between China and Central Asia.

Since its official launch in February 2018, the new route through northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has substantially facilitated exchanges of goods by reducing time and costs of cargo deliveries. The transport corridor is the shortest way connecting land communications of Uzbekistan and China, said Rustam Azimboyev, deputy general director of the Uzbek-Chinese joint venture (JV) Silk Road International.

"It used to take eight to 10 days to transfer goods between China and Uzbekistan through Kyrgyzstan, but now the new transportation route only takes two days," Azimboyev said.

Along the new corridor, Uzbek goods such as cotton yarn, agricultural products and fruit juices are transported to China, while production and processing equipment, components and home appliances are transported in the opposite direction, according to Azimboyev.

Bilateral trade between China and Uzbekistan has grown rapidly in recent years thanks to the improvement of transportation infrastructure. In 2018, two-way trade increased by 48.4 percent year-on-year to 6.26 billion U.S. dollars. Now China is Uzbekistan's largest trading partner, largest export destination and largest source of imports.

Moreover, with the Uzbek government prioritizing exports in its external economic policy, more and more Uzbek companies are seeking a share in China's huge consumer market.

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