Economic Cooperation Organization
ECO PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES
in Transport & Communication Sector
Transport system in ECO region
ECO objectives and goals in transport sector
Decisions/recommendations of Ministerial Meetings
-1st Ministerial meeting
-2nd Ministerial meeting
-3rd Ministerial meeting
Review of important developments
-1st Ministerial meeting
-2nd Ministerial meeting
-3rd Ministerial meeting
Country Reports; Status and trends.
Issues at stake
ECO in figures.
This brief publication is one of its kind ever brought out under the
supervision of the ECO Secretariat. It is undoubtedly far from perfection, which can
be further improved, both in terms of its contents and presentation. However,
incomplete information in transport development in member states has almost
restrained us to embark upon this adventure. The 10th anniversary of the expansion
of ECO from a 3-member to 10-member organization encouraged us to compile
whatever data and material we could collect from different sources and weave them
into an essay on the evolving transport system in the region.
The product understandably requires lots of improvement, particularly in the
field of more updated data and information on development strategies in the
member states. The publication will be revised and improved in the light of the
views of the member states as well as the general reader.
Finally, yet importantly, this publication may not have seen light without
the active support of the His Excellency Seyed Mojtaba Arastou, Secretary General
ECO and assistance of Mr. Fazli Sak, Programme Officer (Directorate of Economic
Research & Statistics) and Mr. Bijan Moshir-Vaziri, Programme Officer
(Directorate of Transport & Communications).
Mr. Mohammad Javed, Steno-Secretary was also a great help in collecting
some basic material on the decisions of the ministerial meetings in this sector as
well as typing the major part of publication.
Deputy Secretary General
(Transport & Communications)
Transport System in ECO Region
1. Today, it is universally accepted that external factors such as economic,
trade and population trends highly influence the achievements/developments in
transport and the related infrastructure. Rapid socio-economic developments
generate a high demand for infrastructure facilities and services, while limited
infrastructure or capacity, especially in various modes of transport and
communications, may well hinder further socio-economic development.
2. In ECO region, development of transport sector for regional cooperation
assumes greater dimension as seven out of its ten member states are landlocked
countries and remain dependent on transport for developing their economies. The
high transport costs have been negatively impacting their imports as well as making
their exports expensive. The development of transport system in ECO region,
therefore, is a sine qua non in creating supportive edifice to ensure integration of
the economies of the new member states with countries beyond ECO region. In this
spirit, ECO has been attaching top priority to the development of efficient and
seamless movement of cargo and passengers by road, air, and rail. Many useful
programmes in this regard have been chalked out, both using the indigenous
resources as well as the technical and financial support from international
3. In view of the realization of the significant role an efficient transport system
can play in shaping economies, the member states have been sensitive to ECO
policies and programmes. As a result, the ECO activities in this regard have been
much more than the activities in other priority sectors such as trade and energy.
Since the expansion of ECO from three to ten members, three Ministerial meetings
have taken place in this sector. The salient decisions taken at these meetings have
been included in the booklet to refresh our memories of past decisions and priorities
of the member states.
4. ECO achievements in this sector have been modest. Nevertheless, the
Secretariat is satisfied with the results given the odds and problems facing all
modes of transport in the region. It is a matter of pride that now the member states
have started a regular run of container train on Istanbul- Tehran- Tashkent- Almaty
route of Trans-Asian Railway main line. However, their efforts to start a similar
ECO passenger train for which a pilot run was made from 14 March 2002 to 17
March 2002 did not succeed. It is hoped that the technical problems surrounding
this important project would soon be resolved and, as planned, the train would start
running from October 2002.
5. In view of the importance of the decisions at the previous Ministerial
meetings, the Secretariat, under the guidance of the Secretary General, is placing
due emphasis on strong follow up mechanism to monitor, on regular basis, their
implementation. A recently prepared follow up report on the implementation of the
decisions of the three Ministerial meetings on Transport and Communications has
been included in this booklet for perusal.
6. A very preliminary look at the mutations taking place at the global level
which is involved in shaping and even creating new phenomena would show that
even the big economies are seeking shelters within various economic regional
grouping and blocks such as NAFTA, SAARC, EFTA, EU, ASEAN, APEC, etc.
This situation of course is, then, a reflection of the global atmosphere where small
economic entities are finding it extremely difficult to survive in a highly
7. This trend originated after the end of Second World War. However, with the
end of the cold war in late 80s geographically contiguous and culturally
homogeneous regions started evolving into groups and blocks. In this sprit, the
Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) established by Iran, Pakistan, and
Turkey in 1964 was restructured and revived under its present name of Economic
Cooperation Organization (ECO) in 1987. ECO was fully launched in early 1991 as
an inter-governmental organization with an aim to promote regional economic
cooperation. In November 1992, the Organization gained a new momentum, when
Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Central Asian countries of former Soviet republics
namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan decided to
join it. The new members shared cultural and historical affinities. In the new
environment, they saw new opportunities for raising the standard of living for their
8. As the new members of ECO endeavoured to open up to the outside world
and transform their economies from centrally planned to market oriented ones,
cooperation in the main pillars of economic structure e.g. transportation, trade,
energy and agriculture become pressing priority sectors of cooperation in the ECO
9. The accession of seven new countries to ECO was a significant event in the
life of the Organization. The region encompassed about 8 million sq.km comprising
one of the richest parts of the world. It is full of complementarities and potential in
terms of the opportunities offered by oil and gas, mineral resources, hydroelectric
power and human resources dynamics. To this end, various numbers of ECO
projects and programmes have been evolved since 1992 for integration of the ECO
economies into the global market place.
10. Because of its central geopolitical location, the ECO and its members, act as
an important bridge between this region and other regions of the world. All the ten
member states of the ECO are members of the organization of Islamic Conference
(OIC). The Caucasian and Central Asian member states of ECO have many deep
economic links with Russia and with the CIS, with whom they share lines of
economic communication and population intermingling since the Soviet era and
beyond. All those countries are members of OSCE. Three ECO countries such as
Pakistan, Turkey, and Kyrgyzstan are full members of WTO. Turkey is a bridge by
itself, sitting as it does, on two continents simultaneously; it is also a member of
NATO, the EU Custom Union and an associate member of the EU. Pakistan is a
member of the SAARC, which is a group of seven member states of the South Asia.
Iran is a member of OPEC and it has a leading role in the crucial waterways of the
11. Soon, ECO will be completing its first ten years of existence. During this
short period, ECO has come a long way in pursuing its goals/objectives. The return
of normally in Afghanistan this year came as a challenge for the ECO members to
demonstrate their regional solidarity to assist one brotherly state in its
reconstruction drive. ECO is taking concrete steps to contribute towards
development and stability in Afghanistan. The member countries have shown
unswerving commitment to work together for achieving progress and prosperity in
Afghanistan as well as in the region.
12. In 1998, three quarters of Central Asian countries exports were primary
commodities (in particular, oil and gas). Major export market for majority of them
is still the Russian Federation, which received one third of its exports. However,
lately Central Asia has started diversifying its export commodities and destinations.
New partners in trade include China, Turkey, and Eastern European countries.
13. All the Central Asian countries remain in transition and the advantages of
new trade opportunities cannot be optimized due to bottlenecks in physical
infrastructure, institutional capacity, and regional cooperation. Nevertheless, the
past two years witnessed considerable progress in stabilizing economic growth
across the region. The Caucasian and Central Asian member states of ECO took
significant strides towards market economy, particularly in the areas of
privatization and liberalization. On the other hand, the founding members namely
Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey suffered in varying degree from the global economic
14. The impact of globalization has been evident in the region with increasing
inter and intraregional trade. This has stimulated a demand for development of
infrastructure, creating new financing challenges, and increasing the focus of the
governments on efficiency and integration of all transport modes. In view of the
crucial importance of transport and communications for promotion of regional
economic integrations, detailed orientation of ECO in this field can be described as
ECO Objectives/Goals in Transport Sector
15. The Izmir Treaty which provided the basis for establishment of ECO, called
for "accelerating the development of Transport and Communications infrastructures
linking the member states with each other and with the outside world." To facilitate
this, the ECO Secretariat annually plans eleven to fourteen ECO and non-ECO
events. Besides, the member states in May 1998 adopted the Transit Transport
Framework Agreement (TFA), heavily drawing on TIR convention. TTFA could
become the key driver of all activities related to the removal of non-physical
barriers, to the harmonization of operations and regulations, and the accession by
member states to international transport conventions and standards.
16. The objectives for development of transport infrastructure in the region
were set out in the Quetta Plan of Action, adopted by the ECO Council of Ministers
in February 1993. These objectives were reinforced in the ECO's Long Term
Perspectives (Istanbul Declaration), endorsed by the 2nd ECO Summit, in July,
1993. Following this, in October 1993, the ECO Ministers of Transport and
Communications adopted the Almaty Outline Plan for the Development of the
Transport Sector in the Eco Region. This plan was the basis for the Program of
Action for the ECO Decade of Transport and Communications, and the Program,
adopted by the 2nd Ministerial meeting on Transport and Communications
(Ashgabat, March 14, 1998) and subsequently endorsed by the 8th Meeting of the
Regional Planning Council (Tehran, April 19-21, 1998) and by the 8th meeting of
the Council of Ministers (Almaty, May 9, 1998).
17. The challenges confronting ECO members in this field can best be
understood by looking at the geographical fault lines in ECO sub region. Seven out
of the 42landlocked countries in the World are located here. The shortest distance
for any of the landlocked countries to a coastal line is not less than 2000 km.
18. The challenges are clearly beyond the ECO capacity. The railway intensive
transport system in Central Asian Republics is in real bad shape. The infrastructure
is crumbling. The situation is slightly better in other member states. The system
needs huge investment to make it work efficiently. International traffic worthy
roads are scarce with plenty of missing links in the region.
19. Technical difficulties such as different gauges, different sizes of cargo
bogies, lack of bogie change facilities at border crossing points and absence of a
joint manufacturing and maintenance facility for rolling stock are gigantic.
Additionally, the introduction of new information technology in the region is
required to bring the transport system of the land locked developing countries to a
minimum acceptable level of efficiency. Unfortunately, the respective governments
do not have adequate financial resources to maintain or modernize rail and road
20. The methodology applied to achieve the ECO objectives in this field was
three pronged. Firstly, an attempt was made to identify the missing road and rail
links to build adequate infrastructure. Since the Secretariat had no financial means
to finance such a capital-intensive projects, member states undertook to complete
the missing links through their national budgets. It was decided that the ECO
priorities would get a prominent place in national development planning. Secondly,
through an elaborate system of expert level groups, workshops and accession to
international agreements and treaties were pursued to harmonize rules/regulations,
build common rail tariff policy and initiate seamless passenger and container train
etc. The objective was largely to remove logistic, administrative and legal
impediments basically encountered at boarder points. Thirdly, measures were
undertaken to strengthen institutional capacity both at the Secretariat and within the
member states to benefit from technical advice from international rail and road
associations as well as UNCTAD and UNESCAP.
Decisions/Recommendations of Ministerial meetings
21. First Ministerial meeting. Almaty (Kazakhstan)
(25-27 October 1993)
Agreed conclusions decisions and recommendations
- Enable trucks to travel from one end of the region to the other in
accordance with internationally accepted standards and by routes prescribed
by the member states.
- Expand and integrate national railway networks to permit transportation
by rail across the region.
- Expand air connections to provide air connection between the capitals and
major cities of each of the ECO countries at least once a week.
- Develop port facilities to handle the sea-borne trade of the region.
- Conclude bilateral or multilateral agreements within or beyond the region
that may be necessary to facilitate such transport including access through
new border and custom posts that may be established.
- Recommended the ECO Secretariat to submit the Outline Plan to the
Council of Ministers of ECO in the established order with the objective of
including in the National Programs of Transport Development and
providing own financing along with the possibilities of international
financing. Moreover, to carry out the Plan’s activities in cooperation with
related international organizations.
- Complete designing, construction of missing links and reconstruction of
existing parts of ECO Road Network at its own expense and with
international financial assistance.
- Study border-crossing and related custom problems with the objective of
bringing the border points in accordance with expected traffic density.
- Consider the possibility of acceding to International conventions on road
and rail transport modes in relation to facilitation measures. Complete the
preparation and signing of bilateral Inter-Governmental agreements on
International transportation of goods and passengers.
- Identify financing sources and start projecting and constructing of the
1. Kushka (Turkmenistan) – Hirat (Afghanistan) – Kandahar
(Afghanistan) – Chaman (Pakistan)
2. Serakhs (Turkmenistan) – Meshad (Iran) – Merman (Iran); 3.
Zahedan (Iran) – Mirjava (Iran); Meshad (Iran); Bandar
Turkaman (Iran) – Ghizil Atrak (Turkmenistan) – Ghazanjagh
(Turkmenistan). To provide shortest connections of landlocked
countries to Persian Gulf Ports and Ports of Karachi and Qasim
(Pakistan) in Arabian Sea.
22. Second Ministerial meeting. Ashgabat (Turkmenistan)
(14 March 1998)
Agreed conclusions decisions and recommendations
- Welcomed the draft Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA) as
formulated with assistance of the UNCTAD and considered during a
conference held on 18-20 November 1997 in Ashgabat with the
participation of the ECO member states.
- Recommended that to ensure timely implementation of the projects
included in the Programme of Action for ECO Decade on Transport and
Communications (1998-2007), the participation of the private sector in their
implementation be encouraged and funds from international financial
institutions be sought for specific projects of the member states on the basis
of bilateral and multilateral arrangements.
- Encouraged the member states to expedite national level actions on the
Regional Action Programme and to nominate national focal points and
priority projects, in accordance with the ESCAP request, if they had not
already done so.
- Recalled para 5 of the Ashgabat Declaration issued by the ECO
Extraordinary Summit held in Ashgabat in 1997 in which it was provided
that in view of the urgent need for the development of ECO region’s rolling-
stocks, close cooperation amongst the ECO member states be promoted for
manufacturing and repairing of locomotives, passengers carriages, freight
cars, containers and other railway equipment, using ECO countries’ own
resources as well as preferential credits of international financial institutions
issued under the guarantee of the governments of ECO member states and
other financial sources.
- Noted with appreciation the offer of the Islamic Development Bank to
sponsor a study on restoration of capability of the railway locomotives
belonging to the Central Asian members of ECO and to assist with the
establishment of cooperation among all the ECO member states for
maintenance and operation of their locomotives and rolling stock.
- Decided that implementation of para 5 of the Ashgabat Declaration should
be expedited and urgent measures should be taken to conduct the IDB study.
After the results of the IDB study are available, the Secretariat will set up a
High-Level Experts Group to examine and evaluate the recommendations
and evolve necessary actions.
- Decided to establish a Permanent Commission on Transport and
Communications in Ashgabat in pursuance of para 16 of the Ashgabat
Declaration. The member states were accordingly requested to nominate
their representatives for the Experts Group as soon as possible and inform
the Secretariat by the end of May 1998.
- Directed to prepare a compendium of laws, rules and procedures governing
road, rail and air-transport, customs rules and procedures, trade practices as
well as the postal and telecommunications network available in the member
countries. This information may also please be made available in a website
on Internet. Preparation of a directory of industries and services available in
the member countries, specifically in the Transport and Communications
- Decided to exchanging information in respect of training facilities available
in Transport and Communication sector in the member countries.
- Agreed that for undertaking consultancies, the potential available in
member countries would be utilized to the maximum and hiring of
consultants from the countries which are non-member of ECO be avoided as
far as possible.
23. Third Ministerial meeting. Islamabad (Pakistan)
27-28 April 2000
Agreed conclusions decisions and recommendations
- Decided to indicate the average speed of the container and/or block trains of
1000 km per day (24 hours) along the “East-West” and “North-South”
Transport Corridors at national level as the target value to be achieved in
- Highlighted that the completion of the Bafq-Meshhad, Kerman-Zahedan,
Bosphorus Tunnel Crossing, and other missing railway links were of vital
importance to the ECO Region. On the other hand, the importance of
construction of Chamman-Herat-Kushka railway link was also highlighted.
- Endorsed the decision of the 4th meeting of the Heads of ECO Railway
Authorities to set up an Experts Group to study and formulate a flexible
tariff policy for economical and efficient organization of railway
transportation in the ECO region. However, Turkmenistan delegation
expressed reservation regarding the above- mentioned decision.
- Decided to set up a committee consisting of countries, which have paid
their initial equity shares to resolve problems of the ECO Shipping
Company. This committee, in consultation with the ECO Secretariat and its
Legal Adviser, will revise the Articles of Association of the said company
in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations and make appropriate
decisions on the new status of the company.
- Emphasized the importance of ratification of TTFA by all signatory
member states at the earliest to make it operational within the year 2000 and
recommended to the relevant authorities in the Member States to designate
their representatives to the Transit Transport Coordination Council
according to Article-1 of the TOR of the TTCC by October, 2000 at the
- Recommended to the 1st meeting of the ECO Civil Aviation Authorities
and Heads of National Airlines held in Karachi on 12-14 February, 2001 to
(a) the expediency of further development of ECO Air project, as well
(b) the possibility for the non-signatory Member States to join ECO Air
(c) the possibility of introducing instead of ECO Airline an ECO Air
Pool within the ECO region particularly among the capitals and
major cities of the member states and among the popular tourist
centers in the region.
- Took note of the enormous potential for growth of postal business in the
ECO region and the scope for more closer collaboration between the postal
administrations of the member states to mutually exploit and avail the so far
unexplored opportunities in postal market. With a view to ensuring the
development of cooperation between them, it was decided that qualified
postal officials should in future be invited from each member country to
participate in the meetings of the Directors General of Telecommunications
and Postal Authorities. One full session should be reserved for discussion
on postal matters, in future meetings.
- Noted with appreciation the signing of the Technical Assistance Grant
Agreement between ECO and IDB concerning the Introduction of
Multimodal Transport Operations in the ECO Region on 11 September,
1999 and confirmed the obligations of ECO as envisaged in this Agreement
as well as requested the relevant authorities in the member states to
implement the ECO/IDB/ESCAP/UNCTAD Work Programme properly as
- Recommended to the member states to nominate their national
coordinating departments to deal with the above-mentioned
programmes/projects and corridors to facilitate smooth coordination with
the ECO Secretariat and furnish the particulars of their focal points to the
Review of Important ECO Decisions
24. Three Ministerial meetings held in 1993, 1998 and 2000 took far reaching
decisions. Nevertheless, some long-term issues have run from the first to the third
Ministerial meeting without making substantive progress. The long gestation period
and heavy capital investment needed for development of an efficient transport
system are mainly responsible for this sorry state of affairs.
25. On its own the Secretariat has been following the methodology to monitor
progressive implementations of the decisions by asking a) member states to
undertake completion of the missing links through their national budgets, b) pursue
harmonization of rules/regulations, removal of logistic, administrative and legal
impediments basically encountered at border points.
26. The 1st Ministerial meeting on Transport and Communication, which was
held in Kazakhstan on 25-27 October, 1993 basically focused on the identification
of a vision allowing an unimpeded movement of vehicles and railway equipment
from one end of the region to the other in accordance with the internationally
accepted standard and the rules prescribed by member states. The meeting
succeeded in defining a strategy contained in the Outline Plan contained in Quetta
Plan of Action as well as in the Istanbul Declaration. The meeting set out certain
targets and sincerely believed that given the political support and genuine need for
the six landlocked countries for access to coastal area, the goal poles would be
maintained. In this context, national governments were requested to ensure
construction of missing links with regard to road and railway tracks at their own
expense and where possible with international financial assistance.
27. Nevertheless, the 1st Ministerial meeting set out very high targets and too
ambitious deadlines. For instance, construction of missing road and rail links were
to be completed by 2000, accession to International conventions on road and rail
transport modes in relation to facilitation measures to be carried out by 1994,
completion of multilateral convention on transit regulations and a common system
of Customs procedures in the region in accordance with international laws and
conventions to be created by July 1994. No doubt, the high target forced a pace
which was perhaps then needed to galvanize the newly expanded ECO into a fast
28. In line with the decisions of the meeting missing road and rail links in ECO
region were identified and the first edition of ECO road and rail network maps was
published. The process could not continue due to non-acceptance of the said edition
on political grounds by some countries. The member states were encouraged to
resolve their differences on this matter.
29 In order to implement multilateral convention on transit regulations and
create a common system of customs procedures in the region, the Transit Transport
Framework Agreement (TTFA) was devised in consultation with UNCTAD. The
same was adopted in May 1998. A lot more efforts were taken to finalize eight
annexes covering decisions taken by various expert groups meetings under the
jurisdiction of the Transport sector.
30. The 2nd Ministerial meeting (1998) basically called for follow-up of the
long term plans approved by the First Ministerial meeting. These included timely
implementation of all projects included in the Programme of Action for ECO
Decade on Transport and Communications (1998-2007), as well as in the Almaty
Outline Plan such as participation of private sector in Transport development
projects and construction of missing road and rail links. Most of these infrastructure
projects were undertaken by respective member states as the Secretariat was neither
mandated nor had the financial and technical capacity to carry out such capital
intensive projects. The Secretariat merely worked as a “book keeper” to monitor the
activities of the member states in this respect. Uzbekistan completed 203 km rail
line (Uchkuuduk – Nukus). Kazakhstan strengthened 305 km rail track (Aktogai-
Druzhba). Iran and Pakistan took similar work to make their railways more
efficient. A lot more was done to strengthen road system in Iran, Pakistan and
31. Specifically, the Second Ministerial meeting called for a study by the
Turkish authorities to formulate recommendations for bringing ECO road network
in line with the prevalent international standards. In this regard, a mention was
made to highlight identification of locations and constructions of “minimum road
infrastructure requirements (e.g. filling stations, vehicle service workshop, motels,
capes etc). Also, a draft Directory of ECO Road Network (in English and Russian
languages) specifying the existing and planned road infrastructures. Unfortunately
both the proposed assignments have not been carried out due to lack of interest both
on account of the relevant Turkish authorities and the ECO Secretariat. Two years
ago on the eve of the 11th RPC, the Turkish authorities were requested to indicate
the cost for undertaking the study. The matter was not pursued further. Even the
draft Directory could not be completed for the same reason.
32. In fact, it was not a good decision for the member governments to identify
locations for filling stations, workshops, cafes, and motels, etc. This should have
been left to the private sector as market forces alone could have determined the
most suitable locations and the number of facilities needed. The governments’
interventionist measures are no longer acceptable to the private sector and mainly
for this reason no member state took interest in pursuing the study. On the other
hand, the draft Directory could have been published as it meant mere compilation
of information already available in the Planning Divisions of the member states.
Perhaps, somewhere lurked serious doubts about its end use.
33. Another decision provided for development of rolling stock in the region
through promotion of close cooperation among member railways in the fields of
manufacturing, repairing locomotives, passenger carriages, freight cars, containers,
and other railway equipment. The proposed study was initially delayed as it got
linked up to completion of an IDB funded study on the Introduction of Multimodal
Transport Operation. Later, UNDP sponsored a pre-feasibility study on the current
status of rolling stock in member railways, their capacity for maintenance and
manufacturing and an assessment of the potential for cooperation in maintenance
and manufacturing among member railways. UNDP, due to lack of necessary
funds, declined to sponsor the 2nd phase of the study. In fact, joint manufacturing
and maintenance of rolling stock was considered pre-mature given the current state
of cooperation among member railways. Immediate technical assistance in the
following areas were recommended;
- Railway data exchange systems - to assist in achieving the objective of a
common information system.
- Tariff and pricing – to assist member states in the development of a common
approach to evolve competitive tariffs and fares.
- Passenger ticketing systems and freight way bills system.
34. The above recommendations did not receive any response from member
states. The subject still enjoys some priority with majority of member states.
Therefore, ECO Secretariat plans to hold a workshop on the issue in 2003, subject
to the approval of the 13th RPC.
35. The meeting also encouraged all member states to consider speedy
accession not only to all the transport conventions listed in the UN-ESCAP
Resolution 48/11 but also to the Convention on Transit Freedom Status (Barcelona
Convention, 1921), Transit Trade Convention of Land-Locked Countries (New
York Convention, 1965) and the International Convention on Simplification and
Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Kyoto Convention, 1973). The Secretariat
circulated copies of these Conventions among the member states and on regular
basis, kept urging the member states to sign and ratify these conventions.
Considerable progress is in evidence.
36. In line with another decision of the meeting, efforts were and continue to be
made to collect laws, rules governing the use of roads, rails customs and postal
facilities. Those available were placed on ECO Website. With regard to use of local
consultant, the Secretariat has already received a formal undertaking from UNDP
for employment of consultants from ECO member states.
37. Also a decision was taken to promote HRD and training as part of ECO
measures to improve transport system in the ECO region. However, no specific
action was carried out by the Secretariat to implement this decision due to lack of
requests from member states. Nevertheless, ECO-UNDP Capacity building project
as well as ECO-IDB/UNESCAP/UNCTAD Multimodal Transport Study envisaged
many such opportunities.
38. The Ministerial meeting also called for early implementation of the
IDB/UNESCAP/UNCTAD/ECO Multimodal Transport study project, initiated in
1998. The project has taken off with much difficulty. Local consultants have now
been appointed for Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
Nominations from Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Iran are
awaited. The delay in selection of local consultants has delayed the subsequent
developments including scheduling of workshops in member states, engagement of
international consultant and release of funds by IDB for the project.
39. The key recommendation of the meeting was the finalization of the Transit
Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA). As directed, the endorsement of the 8th
meeting of the COM (Almaty, May 1998) was obtained for the Agreement.
40. The 3rd Ministerial meeting, held in April 2000, took stock of many issues
discussed earlier in the 1st and 2nd Ministerial meetings on Transport and
Communications. Prominently among those included completion of rail and road
missing links, publication of a detailed directory for drivers of the road transport,
early operationalization of PCTC, circulation of ECO Road and Railway Network
Maps as well as ratification of TTFA and early implementation of
ECO/IDB/UNESCAP/UNCTAD Joint Project on Introduction of Multimodal
Transport Operations in the ECO region.
41. In addition, the meeting set up an Experts Group to study and formulate a
flexible Tariff Policy for economic and efficient organization of railway
transportation. An Expert Group, which was set up to implement this decision,
recommended an MOU on ECO Railway Tariff Policy instead of adoption of
ECORTP. A draft MOU was circulated among member states and so far only
Kazakhstan Railway authorities has furnished its comments. There is a need for a
flexible rail tariff policy but it has to be determined on the basis of commercial
viability and easy use of concerned railways officials/operators. The task is not easy
as it involves harmonization of the existing tariff policy in six CARs with other
42. Any forward move on the Turkish proposal regarding introduction of ECO
Multimodal Quota for Road Transport Permits and harmonization of bilateral road
permit prices was for stalled as the proposed meeting of the concerned Working
Group was postponed at the request of Turkey in 2001. The matter was not pursued
in the 12th RPC held in March 2002.
43. The 3rd Ministerial meeting also called for setting up of a committee to
resolve some outstanding issues of ECO Shipping Company. The said Committee
was set up in 2002 which looked into the affairs of the Company. Its report
suggested that the changes effected in the Articles of Associations were not in
violation of the original Articles of Association. Pakistan as a signatory country
which had paid (besides Iran) its due share, contests this report.
44. Another decisions related to establishment of a Permanent Commission on
Transport and Communication. The 3rd Ministerial meeting on April 27-28, 2000
(with Turkmenistan abstaining) approved the Terms of Reference of the
Commission. TORs were devised to provide technical advice to the Directorate
(Transport and Telecommunications). Also PCTC was expected to expedite
implementation of all transport issues as well as active ECO involvement at
planning level in Member States; eliminating non-physical barriers and resulting in
increased harmonization of national legislations and regulations in the transport
sector within the framework of Ashgabat Declaration. The expectations seem too
lofty to fit the present scenario.
45. The establishment of this additional institution (PCTC) is likely to have
serious implications for the existing Directorate (Transport and Communications).
It seems that this aspect has not been seriously considered.
46. Except that Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan,
Turkey, and Iran have nominated their representatives to PCTC, there has not been
any active support for scheduling of the meeting of PCTC, which is essential to
operationalize PCTC. Partial hospitality by the Secretariat has failed to elicit a
favourable response to this effect. The meeting, as a result, has been postponed
thrice. The establishment of PCTC needs to be reviewed in the light of these
47. The decision to develop an ECO Air project was reviewed at the level of
Heads of National Airlines in February 2001. A new idea emerged in its place,
which called for a Framework Agreement for enhancing cooperation among
member states. Work with regard to compilation of views of member states in this
regard is underway.
48. The Ministerial meeting also considered the implementation of the Plan for
Development of Telecommunication in the ECO region, particularly, accession of
the members states to TAEFOS. TAEFOS now works to the mutual satisfaction of
its members which include Iran, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and
49. The meeting also took note of the enormous potential for postal business in
the ECO region. It was perhaps an over statement as the subsequent inquiries
revealed that there was not enough business to initiate Urgent Mail Service (UMS)
among member states. Nevertheless, Kazakhstan has now offered to hold the 13th
meeting of the Directors General of Telecommunication and Postal authorities in
October 2002. The meeting is likely to look into issues related to the development
of postal sector in the ECO region.
50. The Ministerial meeting recommended to the Member States to nominate
their national coordinating departments to deal with the Project Working Group
(PWG) on Transport and Border Crossing Facilitation under UNESCAP/UNECE
Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) and Global Rail
Corridors Task-Forces’ activities as well as ECOI/IDB/ESCAP/UNCTAD Work
Programme on the Introduction of Multimodal Transport operations in the ECO
region to facilitate smooth coordination with the ECO Secretariat and furnish the
particulars of their focal points to the Secretariat was realized. So far Azerbaijan,
Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkey countries have conveyed their names
to the ECO Secretariat.
51. The potential for cooperation matches the challenges available in Transport
sector in ECO region. A little more conversion of political will and commitment
into concrete support for agreed decisions will bring us closer to realization of our
goals in this priority sector. Also, if member states may pause as they move along
the path of consolidation of regionalism to reflect on their decisions in the light of
new experiences and priorities and also if they are willing to cast away the
unnecessary burden to refocus their energies on doable priorities, the destination
will no doubt draw nearer.
52. The following paper on status and trends in the development of transport
infrastructure has been prepared in accordance with the available information for
countries of the ECO region.
War has not only devastated the existing infrastructure and deferred
maintenance in Afghanistan but also prevented new investment from taking place,
which would have raised the services above the prewar levels. In fact, it is difficult
to understate the low base from which reconstruction will begin. Major
infrastructure bottlenecks need to be removed in order to stimulate early economic
recovery and growth in Afghanistan. Immediate challenges include establishing
communications systems, removing major transport bottlenecks and re-establishing
safe emergency air traffic services.
The national road network is in poor condition. Significant numbers of
bridges and causeways are damaged or destroyed. For example, 128 km of the 227
km Torkham–Jalalabad–Kabul road (crucial both for trade and for relief shipments)
is so damaged that it takes 4 days for a truck to make a return trip between
Peshawar and Kabul, a journey that used to take less than a day. The extent to
which roads are seeded with land mines is unclear, but this is likely to be a
significant problem in the short term. Few rural villages have all-weather road
Petroleum storage facilities around major urban centers have been destroyed
and transport costs of imported fuels are inflated by the high costs of road transport.
Natural gas used to be a major export, but gas fields have ceased to operate and
wells have been capped.
Urban infrastructure is also severely damaged or destroyed: about 40% of
roads are damaged and communications facilities are seriously underdeveloped.
Access to telecommunications is one of the lowest in the world with only 2
telephones per 1,000 people.
For a mountainous, landlocked country like Afghanistan, roads and airports
are vital for transport, for international trade, to facilitate national integration, and
to avoid supply bottlenecks that create inflation. The road network comprises about
5,800 kilometers (km) of national roads, of which 3,100 km are primary highways
including 2,400 km roads that were originally paved. The national primary road
network largely consists of the ring road (Herat-Kandahar-Kabul-Mazar-i Sharif-
Shibergan-Maimana-Herat) and the six international links to neighboring countries.
The remaining network of 2,700 km secondary national roads and 15,000 km
provincial roads is either gravel or earthen.
The coverage and condition details of tertiary road network consisting of
village access roads are not known, except that these roads are all unpaved. More
than two decades of conflict combined with a prolonged lack of maintenance has
resulted in damages to long sections of roads, critical structures, bridges and other
significantly high transportation costs. According to the last condition survey
undertaken in 1994, 17 percent of the network was in good condition, 35 percent in
fair condition, and the remaining 48 percent in poor condition. Based on recent
information some sections of the network, the road conditions have deteriorated
The first priority is to restore normal traffic operations on the main road
network, facilitating transport movements on key import/export links and main
corridors. A second early priority is to begin construction of the missing section of
the Ring Road (Herat to Shiberghan). To break the historic isolation of minorities,
it is also critical to initiate as soon as possible work on the Central-Afghanistan
roads connecting Kabul to Hazarajat, and Hazarajat to Herat and to Mazar-e-Sharif.
Given the weak capacity of the private sector in Afghanistan, the initial
emphasis should be on utilizing local enterprises as subcontractors to large
international contractors, thus exposing local businesses to the quality of work and
international standards required in the reconstruction of the regional highway
network. At the same time this would provide on-the-job learning while the
responsibility for quality of works remains with the international contractor.
This would allow building of local capacity to undertake major road
rehabilitation work with low cost and at low risk, while ensuring fast
Poor access to villages in rural areas is a key constraint to rural
development. A tremendous potential exists for generating employment
opportunities while addressing rural isolation through a labor-based rural access
road construction program. Further studies are needed to define such a program.
One option could be the establishment of a rural access fund, initially financed by
grants, to provide for labor-intensive investments that improve accessibility at the
rural level in response to the priorities set by villagers themselves.
Technical assistance is urgently needed to facilitate speedy implementation
and better define future years of the road program. These involve construction
supervision, defining future institutional and financing arrangements for the road
sector, supporting the local construction and consulting industry, preparing a
national highways strategy, and ensuring road safety.
Civil aviation has always been an important transport mode because of the
size and geography of Afghanistan. An efficient air transport system will facilitate
reconstruction, especially during the period when internal security is being
stabilized. Immediate priorities for the first year include;
(i) installing Emergency Air Traffic Services (ATS) for both international
and domestic air traffic, which would also generate income from over-flying
(ii) designing and tendering of contracts for rehabilitation of airports and
(iii) strengthening government capacity to manage the sector and regulate
Over the next 2.5 years emergency rehabilitation will be needed at key
airports (Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Kunduz, Mazar-e-Sharif, and Jalalabad), as well
as reinstatement of basic communication and navigational aid facilities to enable
minimum air traffic services. However, the bulk of rehabilitation investments could
The telecommunications sector in Afghanistan is virtually destroyed. The
nation’s network of phone lines is in the critical state of disrepair and is barely
functioning, and a limited few have access to radios. Adding together the analogue
and wireless local loop networks suggests a country teledensity on the order of 2
telephones per 1,000 (14 phones per 1,000 in Kabul, 0.6 phones per 1,000 in the
rest of the country). To bring limited geographic and population coverage
telecommunications service to a position of modern telecommunication
infrastructure is one of the key reconstruction objectives. As part of the
infrastructure reconstruction programme the GSM network was launched in
Afghanistan in April 2002 providing services for five major cities of the country.
However, constraints such as poverty of the population, severe destructions and
lack of financial resources present major challenges for telecommunications
development in Afghanistan.
Investment in telecommunications, in both the short and long term, is likely
to be dominated by the private sector but urgent policy framework issues need to be
resolved in the short term to facilitate investment and service expansion.
International experience, even in post conflict conditions, suggests that
telecommunications investment needs minimal government expenditure. Sustained
periods of 100% annual growth in subscriber numbers can be achieved in the first
years of a competitive mobile market. A teledensity of 10 per 1,000 (a realistic
target for the next 2 years) would require private investment conservatively
estimated at around $200 million, with competitive private investment taking the
Establishing a regulatory and contractual environment that promotes
competition and new entrants is key to the rapid expansion of telecommunications
services. Donor support will be required mainly for technical assistance and
capacity building along the following lines:
(i) providing legal services to support the AIA in critical areas of regularizing
contracts of incumbent operators; and
(ii) supporting early work on sector reform, regulatory design, and tendering of
In most sectors, the magnitude of required investment will increase with the
shift from rehabilitation to system expansion and modernization. But investment is
highly sensitive to the supporting policy framework, development of delivery
capacity (private and community as well as public), and progress toward cost-
Examples of the transition from recovery to development for infrastructure
(i) Roads: moving to upgrading of secondary and tertiary road networks to
reduce isolation of rural communities; continuing expansion of village
access; continuing restoration and possible expansion of national road
(ii) Civil Aviation: repairing and retrofitting of terminal and supporting
infrastructure at Kabul and key regional and smaller airports;
(iii) Telecommunications: expanding wireless-based services in urban and
rural areas (target teledensity of 50 per 1,000 by year 10), primarily
through private sector investment and delivery, but with potential for
subsidy schemes to promote access in isolated rural areas;
Republic of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan Republic covers and area of 86,6 th. km. Azerbaijan adjoins in
the North with Russian Federation (length of the border 390 km.), in the West with
Armenia Republic (1009 km.), in the Northwest with Georgia (480 km.), in the
Southwest with Republic of Turkey (12 km.), and in the South with Islamic
Republic of Iran (765 km.).
The geopolitical location of Azerbaijan makes it natural bridge between
Europe and Asia and one of the key points in the shortest transport corridors in the
Main priorities in transport policy are:
- Accelerated integration of transport to the international transport system.
- Harmonization of legal transport regime with the norms of international
- Development of multimodal transport.
- Development of information network together with application of
modern means of telematics to control transport process.
- Adoption of unified laws allowing efficient and cost-effective
transportation of freight and passenger.
TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe – Caucasus – Asia) has a special
value for Azerbaijan in connection with the transportation of large volume of
freight from Europe, USA, and the states of the South – East Asia to Baku. It also
presents significant alternative for transport communication through the Russian
Federation. In connection, Azerbaijan can establish long-term stable relations on
service of transit freight traffic. It is necessary to note that some steps concerning
TRACECA corridor are already being taken under TACIS Program (Program of
Technical Cooperation with CIS Countries), which had been worked out by the
European Economical Community to render assistance for development of
harmonized and strong economical and political communication between the
European Community and new independent states.
In 1996 Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkmenistan agreed on
cooperation in the field of regulation of the transit traffic between these countries
with the purpose of improved usage of the transport corridor Europe – Caucasus –
Asia through Azerbaijan. This agreement provides state guarantee for safety of
transported goods, simplification of customs procedures and reduced fares for
goods transport by 50 percent. Due to all this the volume of cargo carriage in 1997
has increased in comparison with 1996 by 2,5 times.
Azerbaijan also signed an agreement with Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova
about creation of Euro–Asian transport corridor (Ilyichevsk-Poti-Tbilisi-Baku).
Azerbaijan also cherishes interest in “Silk Road” which is the natural prolongation
of Cretan corridor connecting Europe with Black Sea proceeding towards Central
Asia through Georgia-Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan-Kyrgyzstan and further through
China to the countries of South - East Asia.
Azerbaijan is in close contact with "TACIS-TRACECA" to realize more
than 20 projects: staff training, work out model of transport laws and codes,
simplification and computerization of customs procedures, renovation of railway
and sea transport, improvement of highway conditions, forecasting of regional
traffic on multimodal transport systems etc. In 1996 within the project "Prior
Investment Research and Pilot Express-Train" it put into operation a pilot – train on
route Baku – Tbilisi – Poti and thus provided a new kind of container transport
The Baku International Marine Port has worked out the investment project
of renovated ferry crossing and development of dry-cargo part of port with a
container terminal. Under the projects of Technical Assistance financed by TACIS,
1,5 mln. ECU is allocated for feasibility study report of activities on renovation, 2,0
mln. ecu for repair and purchase of handling machinery for Baku International
Seaport and 0,7 mln. ECU for purchase of spare parts for ferries. The credit
allocating is planned in amount US $ 30 mln., including US $ 18 mln. for the ferry
terminal by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Azerbaijan is taking measures on activation and stimulation of investment
process for development of transport infrastructure.
There is planned renovation of motorway Baku – Alyat – Kazi - Magomed
– Kursamir – Evlakh – Gazakh – border of Georgia. TACIS has allocated 1,9
million. ECU to prepare feasibility study report. The European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development will allocate the credit in amount US $ 30 mln.
With purpose to provide efficient and regular work of transport complex of
Republic and full development of transit flow of goods, the special attention is
given to improvement of exploitation and further development of all types of
transport, its infrastructure, strengthening of material and technical base.
Transit corridors in Azerbaijan
The two major transport corridors cross Azerbaijan:
- North to the South (Russia - Azerbaijan - Iran and further to the
countries of Middle East);
- West to the East (Europe - Georgia - Azerbaijan and further through
ferry crossing by Caspian Sea to the countries of Central Asia, China
and the Far East).
Annually about two millions tons of freight are transported through the
North - South corridor by road and railway transport, and about three millions tons
on the West - East corridor in both directions. The countries of Central Asia and
also Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan successfully use this transport corridor.
Besides the Europe-Caucasus-Asia corridor, country has recently activated
the work on signing an International Cooperation Agreement, which had already
been signed by Russia, Iran, India, and Kazakhstan. The creation of favourable
conditions for successful functioning of this corridor will allow improving structure
of transport costs and increasing cargo carriage from Europe to Iran – India and the
countries of the Southeast Asia.
Cooperation in the field of road transport
For integration of road transport of Azerbaijan to the global transport
network it is necessary to improve transport policy. Now, Azerbaijan is a full-right
member of ECMT (European Conference of Ministers of Transport). Besides,
Azerbaijan is the member of many international transport organizations:
international marine organization (IMO), international organization of a civil
aviation (ICAO), international union of railroad (IUR), international union of road
transport (IRU), European Conference of Ministers of Transport. The Azerbaijan
Forwarders Association was established in Republic which furthermore became a
member of international association of forwarding agents "FIATA" on 1997.
Azerbaijan has also acceded to six international conventions on sea
transport: Chicago convention on air transport, customs convention on the
international transport of goods under cover of TIR carnets (TIR Convention),
convention on road safety, agreements on international cargo transport (AICT),
international passenger transport (IPT), European Agreement on Main International
Traffic Arteries (AGR), European Agreement concerning the Work of Crews of
Vehicle’s engaged in International Road Transport (AETR).
Table-1 Capacity of Transit Carriage (th.tons)
Year Transit Transported by
Railroad Marine Container
1995 - - 43 11,2
1996 - - - 14,1
1997 2200 1500 1570 14,0
1998 4000 3200 3070 10,7
1999 4600 3500 3100 8,8
2000 6000 5000 5000 10.7
2001 6947 6300 6300 7,6
2002 7500 7400 7400 -
2003 7800 7550 7550 -
2004 8100 7700 7700 -
2005 8500 7800 7800 -
Problems of development of transport
Azerbaijan has outdated carriage rolling stock of automobile transport. In
order to solve this problem the necessary investments and state assistance are
About 70 forwarder’s organizations in Azerbaijan are operating separately
without appropriate harmonized mechanism. It results in uncontrolled activity,
different negative events, and "control" of transport market of the Republic by
foreign carriers. Therefore, these forwarder’s organizations were combined under
the aegis of Forwarders’ Association.
No road in the Republic meets the international standards. Full renovation
and construction of new highways with appropriate service infrastructure is
Table-2 Volume of container transportation in Azerbaijan (ton)
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Type of transport
Railway 11161 14100 14027 10652 8845 10711
Sea 2380 - 200 - 300 -
Total 13541 14100 14227 10652 9145 10711
Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran has a total of 5,170 kilometers (3,214 miles) of dry border with her
neighbouring countries, of which 1,740 kilometers (1,081.7 miles) with the central
Asian Republics; 1,280 kilometers (795.5 miles) with Iraq; 470 kilometers (292
miles) with Turkey, 830 kilometers (515.8 miles) with Pakistan, and 850 kilometers
(528.3 miles) with Afghanistan. Iran's water frontiers in Persian Gulf, and Gulf of
Oman are about 1,880 kilometers (1,168.4 miles). The beautiful green, rainy coastal
line of Caspian Sea in the north is about 630 kilometers (391.5 miles), therefore
Iran has about 2,500 kilometers (1,553.8 miles) of water frontier which is a great
At present, the country's telecommunication network is active with 7,782
thousand telephones in operation, and by the end of the Third Development Plan,
this figure will amount to 15,000 thousands.
The number of rural areas having access to telecommunications is 19,887,
and up to the end of the Third Development Plan will rise to 35,000, therefore; all
the rural areas of Iran with 20-families or more will have access to
The number of public phones in operation will increase from 75,666 at
present to 120,000 by the end of the Third Development Plan.
The number of mobile phones in operation will increase from 450,000 at
present to 3,000,000 by the end of the Third Development Plan.
The expansion of the country's transferring information network is presently
in operation with 180-cities under its coverage and about 11,000 ports of X.25
which will rise to 27,000 ports in 400 cities.
Plans for development of infrastructure
The plans include the following;
- Implementation of the long distance inter-city optical fiber network
countrywide, in order to substitute the optical fiber in main route of long
distance network instead of radio system.
- Implementation and expansion of countrywide information-transferring
network with the acceptable speeds (28.8 kilobytes for general
subscribers, and 64 kilobytes to 2-megabytes for the customers and
subscribers who requested higher speeds). Manufacturing and offering
advanced telecommunication equipment at home.
In the post sector, the development plans with priorities and infrastructure
schemes are as follows:
- At present, 300 million pieces of mail are dispatched by the postal
network, and by the end of the Third Development Plan it will rise to
- The number of urban postal offices from 1,500 at present will rise to
2,500 by the end of the Second Development Plan. (This number will
develop in Third Plan).
- The number of rural postal offices from more than 3,500 in the Second
Plan (including the post and telecommunication joint offices) will rise to
10,000 by the end of the Second Development Plan. (This number will
increase in the Third Plan).
- The numbers of rural and urban post-boxes are 26,500 at present, which
is predicted to rise to 33,000 during the Third Development Plan.
Priorities of post sector
- Redevelopment and improvement of the postal network.
- Expansion of the postal network.
- Substitution of postal services for people's referrals to the state offices.
- Utilizing the mechanized system for sorting and postal exchanges.
- Automation of post offices.
- Development and expansion of the post-bank.
- Transit of international regional mail.
- Utilization of 10-digit postal system in the country.
- Combining the post and Telecommunication offices in rural areas.
Planning for initiation of seven mechanized postal centers, postal research,
coding, and development of urban and rural postal units.
Roads and Transportation
The length of Iran’s roads network, including free ways, highways, feeder
and rural roads, is about 166,000 kilometers. With the exception of free ways,
which were constructed through implementation of the cooperative law, the
existing road networks have been generally constructed through government
development budget. The main railroad lines in the country is about 6067
kilometers in length of which Bafq-Bandar Abbas, Mashhad-Sarakhs railroads are
some of the most important routes.
The operational airports with programmed flights have been increased to 44
airports. One of the most important project which is currently underway in air
transportation is the construction of the Imam Khomeini (R.H) International Airport
of which the first phase has been envisaged for the relocation of 4.5 million
The capacity of trade ports is 36.4 million tons annually. In water transport,
the important project underway is the construction of Amir-Abad Port, which will
be built with the goal of developing the transit transportation. In water transport,
development of container transportation and the protection of marine environment
are two important measures that are to be pursued.
Priorities in the roads and transportation projects and schemes:
- Promoting the maintenance and safety of the country's present network
- Promoting the use of public transportation for transferring the
passengers on the roads.
- Enhancement of passenger and cargo transferability by railways.
- Eliminating the bottlenecks of the present railway network and
completion as well as development of the railway tracks with private
- Adaptation of sea and port operations in the country's trade exchanges.
- Promoting greater facilities for relocation of passengers through the sea.
- Increasing the number of international and operational airports, and
upgrading the acceptance capacity of transiting airplanes through the
- Enhancing the maintenance of the country's present road network
(highways, main roads, minor roads, rural roads), for safe keeping of the
- Development of road networks in the framework of transportation
demand, technical and economical justifications, through continuation
of executive operations and completion of the roads under construction.
- Construction of highways with participation of the private sector.
A brief list of the investment plans in regard to infrastructure affairs during the
first six months of 1999 is presented.
Post and Telecommunications
1. Radio communications.
2. The study of frequency spectrum planning.
3. The substitution of postal equipment.
4. Construction of distribution and exchange center, post institute, and the
5. To equip the country's postal unit.
6. To equip the centers administratively.
Roads and Transportation
1. Upgrade the level of roads in heavy traffic and change main ways to
2. Building new ways in the frame word of transportation demand and in
accordance with economical justifications.
3. Enhancement of safety of traffic in roads through deletion of accident-
4. Substitution of present transport vehicles with state of the art
5. Building of terminals of goods, passengers, and welfare complexes and
by the non-governmental sector.
6. Establishing and implementation of Transportation Services Information
Center for transport users.
7. Establishment and implementation of railways particularly Bafgh-
Mashad and Kerman-Zahedan.
8. Reconstruction and building of double railway systems for the present
networks, especially in busy routes.
9. Reconstruction of railway fleet.
10. Partnership of the private sector in developing the transportation section
has yet to be accomplished in building and development of highways.
11. Preparing the country's trade ports to receive giant ships.
12. Encouraging merchandise owners to use container ships in marine
13. Construction of Amir-Abad Port (in the northern part of the country) in
order to facilitate the transit transport of the central Asian countries.
Table-1 Investment Programme on Roads and Transportation
Routes Constructed Under construction
Ghazvin-Zanjan 186 Km -
Tehran-Saveh 112 Km -
Qom-Kashan 104 Km -
Zanjan -Tabriz - 288 Km
Kashan-Esfahan - 185 Km
Tehran-Chaloos - 121 Km
Bandar-Abas Bypass - 32 Km
Mashad-Baghcheh - 40 Km
Esfahan-Western Bypass - 90 Km
Table-2 Transport Industry
Total length of road: 81112 km
Total length of railway line (no electric): 6150 km
Total length of railway line (electric) : 146 km
Total No. of railway wagon : 18000 cars
Locomotive fleet(no in operation) : 269
Total no of port's : 11(3 in north, 8 in south)
Total no of port's : 1113 in north , 8 in south
Total berth of port's : 101 berths'
Type of berths' : G.cargo, container, bulk cargo
Table-3 Freight Industry -Road Transport/Cargo Fleet, (1998-99)
Total number of vehicles: 178040
Active vehicles: 116519
Non-active vehicles: 61521
Note 1 : Only vehicles with loading capacity of 3 tons and more are included
Note 2 : active vehicles are lorries and trailers with more than 10 trips per year
Table-4 Freight Industry Origin Destination Survey for domestic
Total weight of goods carried /per year: 111 million tons
Domestic Bill of Lading issued: 10335000
Total ton/km produced: 57472935000 ton/km
Average load per tripe: 10.7 tons
Average distance per trip: 506 km
Average price of ton/km: 86 Rials
Table-5 Imports by mode of transport: (1998-99)
Maritime shipping: 14960 thousand tons = 96.44%
Road transport: 344 thousand tons =2.26%
Rail transport: 198 thousand tons = 1.3%
Total import: 15232 thousand tons
Table-6 Domestic transport (inflow) of imports: (1998-99)
By road transport: 10888 thousand tons=74% of
By rail transport: 3755 thousand tons =26% of
Total inflow of import: 14693 thousand tons
Table-7 Import and export classified by sea/land borders: (1998-99)
Share of ports in import: 94.4%
Share of land borders in import: 3.6%
Share of ports in export: 86.8%
Republic of Kazakhstan
The development of a transport network in Kazakhstan under the USSR was
carried on primarily to exploit rich natural resources of the Republic and the
transportation of these resources to the main industrial centers of the Union, as well as
to provide links from the Central Asia Republics and Kazakhstan to Central and
Eastern parts of Russia.
Due to the long distances and involved to special character of the freight, the
main mode of transportation in Kazakhstan is railway, which accounts for 85 percent
of cargo and 30 percent of passenger traffic. The existing railway network (6.4 km per
1000 km2) is insufficient for the normal functioning of the economy of the state.
There are 52.5 km of public roads per 1000 km2. Due to low level of
motorization and poor quality road pavement, there are no highways of sufficient
standard to comply with international standards. Only around 10 percent of roads can
accommodate trucks with the axle load of 10 tons. In 1992, the State Programme for
development of transport and communications in Kazakhstan up to year 2010 was
prepared. However, those measures envisaged in the Programme for 1993-1996 were
not implemented due to the economic situation.
The level of development of telecommunications in Kazakhstan is
characterized by a constant gap between supply and demand due to long-term
insufficiency in investment in this area. There are 13.8 telephones per 100 citizens of
the Republic and in rural areas 7.3 telephones. Telephone services are mainly of low
quality. Since 1992, modernization of the network and reorganization of management
structures has been implemented. During this period modern digital systems have
been introduced in a number of regional centers. Also construction project and high
speed fiber-optical communication lines have been initiated. The number of
international lines increased from 10 to 783.
Strategy of infrastructure development:
The main strategic directions of transport infrastructure development are as
- Development of a national transportation network, which should be
integrated with the international transportation system and provide
Kazakhstan an outlet to tide water;
- Modernization of existing railways and roads, inland waterways and
sea ports, airports and air navigation infrastructure taking into account
the development of a rational system of international transport and
communications between Europe and Asia and between Central Asian
countries; OEC members;
- Development of manufacturing and repair capabilities for railway
rolling stock, (freight and passenger), road transport, (trucks and
automobiles) by conversion and reorientation of exiting production
- Development of national transport capability and integrated
- Consumer oriented improvement of structure and management of
transport, reduction of the share of transport costs in total production
costs in order to increase the competitiveness of Kazakhstan goods on
international markets by improved efficiency in operations.
Main objectives in the context of development of telecommunications are as
- Intensive development of telecommunication network for public use
and development of digital network, in order to integrate all services;
- Linkage of the national telecommunication system into the
international network and development of country's international
- Development of telecommunication industry, production, scientific
research, and development of telecommunication services.
Support strategy for the regional infrastructure development:
New approaches to infrastructure development are determined by the
following conditions: market reforms in the Republic which is being integrated into
the world economic system; evolvement of state sovereignty under the existing level
of infrastructure development.
These conditions necessitate the provision of support to the development of
the region in the following areas:
- Rationalization of the railway network in order to reduce
- Construction of modern freight handling terminals and development of
multimodal transportation systems in order to service industrial,
commercial and trade centers;
- Rehabilitation of the main road routes and development of road
transport, which should confirm to international standards;
- Development of transportation corridors, (including inter and intra
regional) to facilitate external economic relations;
- Modernization of air navigation equipment;
- Development of satellite communication services and information
Scale and priority projects of infrastructure development programme
During 1992-1996, more than US$ 500 million has been spent for the
development of transport and communications, of which US$ 234 million has been
used for the development of telecommunications in the ten regions of the republic.
The rest was utilized for the acquisition of rail passenger cars, buses for urban
transportation and spare parts. In 1996, credit agreements for US$ 131 million were
additionally signed for the development of Druzhba station on Kazakhstan-China
border, for the development of Actay port on the Caspian Sea and for the purchase of
spare parts. About 90 percent of the resources have been met from foreign credits.
The remaining 10 per cent was carried out by low interest credits and by self-
financing of the enterprises.
Electrification of the railway link Arys-Shu-Almaaty, development of
Druzhba station, construction of a passenger railway car repair works and some other
activities were carried out under self financing.
In 1996, the State investment programme for 1996-1998 was adopted and
plans for transport development up to 2005 were prepared. These envisage dramatic
growth in infrastructure investment. Overall volume of investment during this period
will reach US$ 4.9 billion, of which US$ 2 billion were expected to be utilized before
the year 2000:
- railway transport development 38 percent
- road transport and road infrastructure 23 percent
- air and water transport 27 percent
- development of telecommunications 12 percent
Foreign credits and direct foreign investments by foreign companies are
expected to constitute the main source (70 per cent) of the total inflow.
The railway development programme envisages three main activities:
- Modernization of the existing network and organization of multimodal
- Establishment of repair works for railway rolling stock and equipment;
- Development of a network for rationalization of traffic flows.
Using direct foreign and national investments from companies, in the private
sector, it is planned to develop a multimodal transport system and repair works. Direct
investment inflow is now hampered by the lack of reinvestment opportunities and the
preparation of projects. Technical assistance, which is provided to Kazakstan by
international organizations and banks, will overcome this problem in two or three
During the period covered by the plan, 762 km of new lines will be
constructed. These railway lines will substantially reduce transportation costs thus
lowering production costs and will assist government control of its transportation
network. It will also provide for the development of resources. National and
international companies will carry out the construction of the new rail links jointly. To
this end, the Government has enacted measures, which provide privileges during the
constriction and operation of new facilities. These measures will guarantee
profitability and return on invested capital.
During the implementation of the first stage of the Programme for motor
transport development, it is envisaged to replace the obsolete vehicle fleet which does
not accord with environmental standards as well as to develop national vehicle
manufacturing factories on the basis of the existing enterprises.
Initially the fleet of buses is being expanded and renovated using the available
credits. Additionally, the purchase of a limited number of trucks for interregional and
international transportation will take place. Vehicle manufacturing plants are being
established jointly with the main foreign firms; these plants are to produce buses for
different purposes, trolleybuses and small trucks.
The Concept for the development of a multimodal transportation system in the
republic is being prepared with the technical assistance of the EU under the
TRACECA programme. After preparation and adoption of the Programme,
development will be supplemented by the projects, which cover automobile transport
in the multimodal transportation system. This Programme is going to be implemented
with the help of foreign companies and national private sector.
The situation in road transport in the republic dictates that rehabilitation of
existing roads of national significance, which are used for interregional and
international traffic must start first.
The length of such roads is 17.4 thousand km, 71 percent of which have light
or transitional type of pavement, 211 km are unpaved.
It is envisaged that the following roads Tashkent - Almaty - Khorgos (Chinese
border); Almaty - Akmola; Aralsk - Actiubinsk - Uralsk will be rehabilitated first.
Large investments for road network reconstruction in Western Kazakhstan are
planned in connection with the exploration of oil reserves as well as in relation to the
necessary to restore roads near the Caspian Sea, the water level of which continues to
The total amount of investments in the road network should reach US$ 1,051
million by 2005; this amount will finance 70 per cent of the work, the rest of resources
will come from international sources. The question of construction of toll roads using
private investment is being studied. Rehabilitation of roads will be done
simultaneously with organization of modern road services according to the
international requirements. It will also take into account the necessity of the
development of multimodal transport.
Inland water transport:
Reconstruction of Aktau on the Caspian Sea is the primary objective of water
transport development in Kazakstan. This port is the most important sea gateway,
which connects the republic with the rest of the world by waterway via a network of
canals to Russia. This problem is also related to rising water level in the Caspian Sea.
The credit agreement for port reconstruction worth US$ 54 million was signed
with EBRD, an additional credit worth US$ 20 million for the reconstruction of the
protective dam and breakwater is now being negotiated. It is planned to attract foreign
investors in order to develop the fleet of "river - sea" type vessels on a leased basis.
The technical and economic feasibility study was prepared for the purchase of 10 such
vessels by the year 2000.
The republic's river network (4 thousand km in 1980) used to provide
transportation for up to 11 million tons of various cargoes. Due to the considerable
reduction of volumes the river fleet is now in a difficult situation. A programme of
river fleet privatization is being implemented. The reconstruction of installations is
planned in order to keep them in working condition.
In air transport following is need to be done: reconstruction of the majority of
airports, purchase of new aircraft, rehabilitation of the existing aircraft repair plants
and air navigation infrastructure. In Almaty, Aktau, and Akmola it is planned to build
new or reconstruct existing international airports. Measures are being taken to provide
international flights in Kazakhstan airspace for foreign airlines; this will reduce the
length of existing air routes by up to 3000 km.
Structural reform of civil aviation now is being carried out. A number of
private companies have been established. Airports are now separated from the national
air company "Kazakstan Aue Joly"; A state company "Kazairo navigatsiya" has been
established in order to provide air traffic control.
The biggest airport, in Almaty is going to be managed by "Lufthansa". There
are similar offers for other airports.
It is planned to modernize the aircraft fleet with "Boeing" aircraft. During the
next ten years, the need in investment in the development of civil aviation is estimated
at US$ 1.2 billion in foreign credits and direct investments.
In 1996-1998 it is planned to expand existing international stations in Almaty
and Akmola and construct a third international station in Western Kazakhstan. It is
planned to change from analogue to digital systems in all regional centers.
Existing physically obsolete systems and cables are to be substituted with
fiber-optical telecommunication lines (FOTL) in order to eliminate the imbalances
between commutation equipment and basic main line networks.
Major importance is attached to the development of the national link of Trans-
Asian European (FOTL), which will reach from the border with China over four
regions of the Republic to the boarder with Uzbekistan. Making this international line
operational will provide sustainable international telecommunications with all
countries of Asia and Europe.
The line, which is under construction, will be connected with the Russian
FOTL, which connects the Far East with the European part of Russia.
In order to develop digital telecommunication of zonal and local telephone
systems it is planned to link the lines of zone and main networks. The cellular
communication network, which will service 18,880 customers in all regional centers
of the republic, is being developed.
The establishment of joint ventures is developing the manufacturing of
telecommunication equipment with foreign companies on the basis of existing
production capacities and conversion.
During the initial period the production of a limited number of
telecommunication equipment, radio spare parts, and microchips is planned; in the
future national the telecommunication industry will be developed on the basis of wide
integration with leading foreign companies and firms.
Total length of Kyrgyz railway is 424,6 km, covering 323,4 km in the North
and 101,2 km in the South, including 219.2 km of station tracks, 92,6 km of
approach/branch lines. The freight car fleet amounts to 2457 units and passenger
car fleet to 471 units.
A core issue in transport strategy will be the formation of North-South
trunk-railway, towards Balykchy-Kara-Keche-Djalal-Abad direction with outlet
to China. Having connected together the existing dead-end railroads of the northern
and southern industrial areas of Kyrgyzstan into unified network, this trunk-railway
will ensure reliable interregional transport communication. The construction of
trunk railways will require considerable funds and foreign investments. After
implementation of the entire project of trunk-railroads, Kyrgyzstan will have the
following two alternative outlets to the international network of railroads:
Torugart-Jalal-Abad-Andijan to the Turkmenistan and the Caucasus with
an outlet to Southern and Central Europe or to Iran and the Near East to the Persian
Torugart-Balykchy-Bishkek-Lugovoye-Arys-Aktau that will allow
access via Pre-Caspian port Aktau to all basic directions from Asia to Europe and
Kyrgyzstan has already commenced the implementation of this project
starting with the construction of the first stage of the railway line Balykchy-
Kochkor-Kara-Keche. Regarding construction of Kyrgyz section of the Andizhan-
Djalal-Abad-Torugart-Kashgar railway, negotiations are underway with the
Chinese counter parts.
Table-1 Facts on Railway System of Kyrgyzstan (2001)
1. Length of main Routes (km)
2. Length of Auxiliary/sub Routes (km) 65.636
3. Total operational Length (km)
4. Under Construction
5. Total Personnel
6. Number of Wagons
Passenger coaches 421
Freight Wagons 2351
7. Number of Stations 27
8. Number of Border 5
(*) Border Stations; Lugovaya, Karasu, Kyzyl-Kiya, Uchkurgan, Djalal-Abad.
These days the emphasis has shifted railways modes of transport to road-
based transport system. 79 percent of the freights and more than 80 percent of
passengers are now taken care of road-based transport. The government is attaching
priority to the existing and alternative transport infrastructure. Top priority in this
regard is given to the development of infrastructure that connects Kyrgyzstan with
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China.
Within this mode, private sector has been encouraged to take a dominant
place in carrying out major volume of transportation. As of January 2002, there
were about 264900 vehicles, including 5547 of freight vehicles, 189679 of
passenger cars, 55129 of special cars and 14545 of buses.
Table-2: Exchange of permit forms of the Ministries of transport of selected
ECO member states
No Country 1999 2000 2001 2002
1. Azerbaijan 50 30 50/- 50/-
2. Iran 102 100 89/38 500/-
3. Turkey 100 100 100/25 50/12
4. Kazakhstan 1000 5000 5000/4958 1000/-
3rd countries 300 420 200/120 200/-
5. Uzbekistan - 200 - -
Priority directions of motor transport development:
- Development of interstate motor transportation links;
- Integration of national motor transport into the international motor
transportation system of freight traffic on the basis of establishment of
national normative/standard base of industry branch according to
- Increase of competitiveness among motor carriers;
- Improvement of policy and strategy of management of motor transport
in terms of market economy;
- Assistance in establishment and activity of enterprises of various
patterns of ownership in motor transport with attraction for both
domestic and foreign investors;
- Establishment of conditions for development of competition in the
market of motor transportation freight traffic and services;
- Development of scientific and technical advance, equitable and mutually
advantageous cooperation with foreign scientific and technical
- Development of research-and-development plan of motor transportation
The establishment of transit transportation systems and outlets to the global
sea-lanes are urgent issues for the Kyrgyz Republic and other Central Asian
Expansion and development of international trade and economic relations
increasingly depends on the status and level of motor roads in the Central Asia and
neighbouring countries, particularly in mountainous areas.
Kyrgyzstan attaches great importance to the issue of revival and formation
of the Great Silk Road routes and takes active measures on its formation. However,
international requirements must be met as the country lies within the network of the
regional Asian highway.
- Irkeshtam - Sary-Tash-Osh –Bishkek 898 km
- Bishkek - Naryn - Torugart - 539 km
- Kordai (Georgiyevka) - Bishkek - Chaldovar 110 km
- Osh - Andijan highway section 5 km
Five highways of the Kyrgyz Republic are included in the ECO transport
and communications Action Program for the decade period of 1998 - 2007. Four of
them are included in the network of priority roads of the country and Kyrgyzstan
takes measures on projection, construction, and reconstruction of these highways.
Bishkek - Osh highway is part of regional Asian highway Irkeshtam - Sary-
Tash –Osh - Bishkek - Kordai (Georgiyevka of the Republic of Kazakhstan),
provides an outlet in the south to China and in the north to Kazakhstan.
Bishkek - Naryni- Torugart is the second highway by its importance and
significance ensuring transit across the territory of the country to the North - South
direction from China (“Torugart” frontier point) in the South, and up to the
inhabited locality Kordai in the Republic of Kazakhstan in the North. In 1998, at
the expense of the grant of Islamic Development Bank was developed the
feasibility study of rehabilitation of this highway. The project documentation on
implementation of reconstruction works for initial pass-over sections of the road for
the amount of US $ 15 million.
Also at the expense of the grant of Islamic Development Bank, the country
was prepared to launch the feasibility study of rehabilitation of Taraz-Talas-
Susamyr road (located in the highland valley) and included in the ECO roads
Kordai – Bishkek - Chaldovar highway is a part of Almaty-Bishkek-
Tashkent-Ashgabat international trunk-highway. This highway will become a basis
for formation of the infrastructure of the motor transportation corridor en route in
the East - West strategic direction.
Civil aviation is an integral part of the unified transport system. Its special
role is defined by a possibility to provide much greater speed of passenger, freight
and mail air service on long-distances in comparison with the other modes of
At present, the system of civil aviation includes the following air/aviation
• “Manas” international airport,
• “Kyrgyzstan aba joldoru" national air carrier,
• “Kyrgyzaeronavigation" state enterprise.
Besides, there are 13 private airlines carrying out air service by both domestic and
international air flights to the CIS and foreign countries.
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
The economic strength and social well being of a country greatly depends
upon the level of development achieved in its infrastructure of which transportation
forms an integral part. It is, therefore, important to understand the basic
transportation needs of a country, which relate to the carriage of passengers and
freight within a local area that is extended to include inter-city, inter-provincial, and
finally international movements. This portion however, is limited to the
transportation of overland freight within Pakistan and at the border crossings,
especially related to the ECO region.
Geographically the whole region is divided into a number of formidable
mountain ranges that act as physical barriers mainly running east to west. Despite
these intimidating divides, there are accessible corridors that allow passage of
travelers and goods. The famous “Silk Route” from China to Europe passed
through this region while a part of this lucrative trade also branched southwards
towards the Indian sub-continent. With such a rich legacy where folklore and
common legendary heroes abound, it is understandable to once again bridge the gap
that temporarily separated the region for almost 150 years.
Overland transportation and distribution:
Except for Turkey, Iran and Pakistan the other seven ECO member
countries are land-locked. The importance of overland transportation with access to
the major sea ports of the former RCD member states for the future prosperity of
the ECO region as a whole therefore, is quite apparent. There is a concerted effort
to develop the region as a whole, especially the land locked countries, which have
rich mineral, fossil fuel and agricultural resources. All this will require an efficient
and cost effective transportation system to cater for the envisaged increase in
business opportunities. It will therefore, be necessary to touch the whole range of
opportunities that have drawn the ECO member states closer to one another during
the last decade. The whole range of overland transportation and distribution
While inland waterways is an important and inexpensive means of
transportation this region unfortunately, is not blessed with such a natural
“thoroughfare”, except on the shores of the Caspian Sea, which serves a small area
connecting eastern Azerbaijan with northern Iran and western Turkmenistan. Even
though the mighty Indus traverses the complete length of Pakistan, it carries
negligible traffic, as the unpredictable and seasonal flow of water is not conducive
to ensure its position as a serious mode of transportation.
The rail network in Pakistan is Broad Gauge and covers about 8,500 km of
track with 737 stations, 575 locomotives (almost all over 25 years old), over 25,000
freight wagons (mostly out-dated) and about 2,000 passenger coaches. The main
line connecting Karachi with Peshawar is almost 1,800 km and allows a top speed
of 120 km per hour for modified coaches and wagons. With the exception of about
350 km between Lahore and Lodhran where electric locomotives are used, diesel-
electric locomotives serve the rest of the network.
International Rail Connections:
There are presently four railway stations that handle international traffic, which
a) Taftan in the province of Baluchistan lies on the Iranian border. A Standard
Gauge connects Mirjaveh, the Iranian border town with Zahidan less 120
b) Chaman in Baluchistan where cargo is transferred to / from road vehicles
for carriage between Spin Buldak, the Afghan border town and beyond, as
there is no rail service in Afghanistan. Chaman is almost 125 km from the
southern city of Kandahar.
c) Landikotal in the province of NWFP (North Western Frontier Province)
from where road vehicles carry cargo between Jalalabad, Kabul and beyond.
The Landikotal / Torkham border crossing caters for the majority of the
traffic under the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement
d) Wagah in the province of the Punjab has a well-developed rail link with
India, which also has a Broad Gauge network. The Wagah / Atari border
crossing now is not operational since the suspension of the rail service by
India in February 2002.
With an efficient and well-operated rail system, the movement of large volumes of
freight over long distances will be fast and cost effective compared with the same volume
moving by road. With the possibility of private investors operating freight trains, in the
near future it is expected that this commercially oriented service would attract a
substantial volume of business both from the domestic market and tonnage representing
sea-borne trade. With the need to promoting trade and cultural links within the ECO
region and the need to provide a cost effective access to international markets it is
necessary to reexamine the plan to introduce a rail system in Afghanistan.
While Turkey and parts of Iran have a rail link with Europe this mode of
transportation is unfortunately, not available to Pakistan and the rest of the sub-continent
as there is a stretch of about 400 km that needs to be constructed between Zahidan and the
city of Kerman.
The establishment of a railway system in Afghanistan is to be seriously
considered. The old proposal of the late 70’s is to be re-examined. The short stretch of
less than 150 km between Chaman and Kandahar may be considered as Phase I of this
The missing rail link of about 300 km between Zahidan to Kerman in Iran is to be
considered for construction, as it would connect Pakistan and the rest of the sub-continent
with Europe. At the same time, it would provide an alternative overland route between
the ECO region and Europe.
The network of roads provides the greatest flexibility to the movement of
passengers and freight in a country. The optimum density of the road network is
considered to be in excess of 0.5 km. per square km. The total road network in Pakistan is
in the region of 188,000 km, which gives a density of less than 0.2 km per square km.
There is therefore, a need for further development of the road infrastructure.
Road Traffic between Pakistan & ECO Countries (in tonnes)
1999 2000 2001
National Foreign National Foreign National Foreign
Flag Flag Flag Flag Flag Flag
Afghanistan 12,148 27,200 14,000 25,029 15,000 35,314
Azerbaijan - - - - - -
Iran 3,186 25,777 5,079 33,990 16,085 78,140
Kazakhstan - - - - - -
Kyrgyzstan - - - - - -
Pakistan - - - - - -
Tajikistan - - - - - -
Turkey - - - - - -
Turkmenistan - - - - - -
Uzbekistan - - - - - -
15,334 52,977 19,079 59,019 31,084 113,454
1999 2000 2001
National Foreign National Foreign National Foreign
Flag Flag Flag Flag Flag Flag
Afghanistan - - - - - -
Azerbaijan - - - - - -
Iran 33,986 78,623 29,157 87,471 35,924 92,377
Kazakhstan - - - - - -
Kyrgyzstan - - - - - -
Pakistan - - - - - -
Tajikistan - - - - - -
Turkey - - - - - -
Turkmenistan - - - - - -
Uzbekistan - - - - - -
33,986 78,623 29,157 87,471 35,924 92,377
Note: Trade between Pakistan and the Central Asian Republics were negligible by road but some traffic
moved by air.
There are presently five international road border crossings in Pakistan, which are
listed below. It is unfortunate, that no data is available to indicate the volume of traffic in
each of these locations.
a) Taftan / Mirjaveh on the Iranian border is an important crossing as the road
traffic between the two countries and the limited movement to other ECO
countries (other than Afghanistan) passes through this customs station.
b) Chaman / Spin Baldak has traditionally been less significant of the two border
crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This could change in the future as it
is the closest custom station located on the route from the new port of Gwadar to
Afghanistan and beyond to the northern ECO states. The road traversing the short
but steep Kojak pass needs to be widened to improve the flow of long vehicles
once the envisaged traffic materializes. Quetta, the provincial capital of
Baluchistan and the southern city of Kandahar in Afghanistan are to enhance their
image as the two important commercial staging centres on the shortest route to
Central Asia, provided of course, the security concerns in Afghanistan are
satisfactorily brought under control.
c) Landikotal / Torkham is the main border crossing between Pakistan and
Afghanistan. This facility should continue to play an important role in the future
trading pattern that is emerging. Cargoes originating from the provinces of Punjab
and NWFP would move on this route together with the sea-borne traffic from
Karachi to and the northern regions of Afghanistan and beyond to Tajikistan,
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
d) Sust on the Highway between Pakistan and the Chinese province of Xingiang is
presently involved with the movement of the limited flow of goods between the
two countries. The all weather road through the formidable Karakoram Range is
able to carry long vehicles despite the fact that the Kunjrab Pass is over 16,000
feet. The road is being further improved to cater for the envisaged increase in
traffic well into the 21 centaury. It is possible to carry freight on this route to
Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan lying on the eastern flank of the region comprising of
e) Wagah / Atari border crossing between Pakistan and India remains closed since
February 2002 except for the small tonnage of Afghan exports, consisting of dried
and fresh fruits to Indian.
The government of Pakistan has emphasized the need for greater trade and
interaction within the ECO region. A number of long term steps have already been taken
with the development of the new deep-water port at Gwadar. It has sanctioned funds to
undertaking an engineering survey in Baluchistan with a view to establishing a rail link
from the new port to the existing railway track leading to Afghanistan and Iran. There is a
need to examine the possibility of developing an alternative route via the Karakoram
Highway via the China route, which would provide the right of way for this traffic. The
Government of Pakistan would have to progress this subject with the Chinese
Good air connections and modern communication links would be another
important factor to be considered for the regions’ prosperity. Easy international access
and unhindered traveling within the region would all act as a catalyst towards achieving
its objective. The will to bringing about a change for the better is however, the most
important element that would make the difference between success and lost opportunities!
Proposed rail links from the new port of Gwadar to the Quetta /
Taftan railway line. Baluchistan, Pakistan
Map 2 – Iran
Map 3 – Air Connections from Pakistan
Republic of Tajikistan
Transport sector in Tajikistan is an integral part of its economy and plays an
exceptionally important role. After independence Tajikistan has turned from a region of
inadequate roads into country of modern transport infrastructure.
Road transport is the most popular mode, used for movement of cargo and
passengers to almost all regions in Tajikistan. However, during the period from 1991 until
2000 the number of road vehicles (except motorcars) tended to decrease which affected
the dynamics of cargo and passengers traffic and as a result the turnover in road transport
sector rapidly decreased. At present, 72,7 percent of the whole fleet of road vehicles
consists of private motorcars. Licence system serves as a basis for the motor transport
Most of the road fleet is made of all-purpose trucks with an average loading
capacity. There is a strong demand for dump trucks, wagons, refrigerator vans and tank-
cars. Existing supply of trucks in the home market is inadequate. The available stock does
not comply with the commercial and technical world standards.
Effective operation of road transport can be ensured with proper infrastructure,
including motor roads. Total length of the national motor roads exceeds 30000 km, 13612
km. of which are intended for general use. Motor roads density amounts to 0,095 km/km2
and 2,27 km/thousand people.
Motor roads network controlled by the Ministry of Transport is 13624 km,
including 10157 km. with asphalted concrete pavement, 2539 km. with blacktop and
gravel pavement, 928 km. with soil pavement. The bridges have a total length up to
36567 running meters.
Most of the roads pass through mountain areas; due to the lack of the ground,
these roads are paved close to mountain sides or along mountain rivers. They, thus,
remain permanently damaged by landslides, landslips, stone falls, floods and other natural
During the last years, motor roads in Tajikistan were characterized by rapid
decrease of the pavement loading capacity. Most of them (more than 80%) were planned
and paved several years ago for the axial load up to 6-tons. The road transport fleet has
now undergone many changes. Nowadays, modern trucks and buses are with axial load
exceeding 10 tons. Their maintenance cause intensive damage to the existing roads.
Annual maintenance control confirmed that only 20 percent of all motor roads
could be considered durable. Most of them have dangerous defects. Up to 30 percent of
road, bridges and overpasses in Tajikistan do not meet the modern load capacity
standards (average loading 30 tons), about 7 percent of them are considered to be unsafe.
The railway transport is distinguished by high transportation capacity with low
transport costs, regular traffic, and large investments for construction of railways, which
can be reimbursed only with the great quantity of transport flows.
Still the railways plays a great role in the national economy and includes three
sections: Northern in Sugd region, Central in Dushanbe region and Southern in Khatlon
region. All these sections are isolated. Connection between them can be established only
via the territories of other countries (Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan). The role of railways
in local transport infrastructure is significant, about 90 percent of external freight
forwarding is carried out by rail. During 2000, the share of rail transport amounted to
By the end of 2000, the freight cars fleet had 2015 units, including 442 box cars,
234 goods trucks, 522 open wagons, 106 tanks, 212 isometric and 499 other types of cars.
The average working life of these cars is 32 years. Already the average age of these cars
was 23 years.
The situation is the same with the passenger cars fleet, which included 300 units
(139 compartment cars, 117 carriages with numbered reserved seats, 10 sleeping-cars, 11
restaurant cars, 15 baggage cars, 4 special technical cars, 2 generator cars and 1 inter-
regional car). The average age of each car makes about 19.6 years.
There are 860.5 km. of rails. Every 3-year a renewal is required, that is equal to
the annual repair of 180 km. of wooden sleepers. Every 9-year a mid-life repair is
required, that is equal to 90 km. of wooden sleepers and 45 km. concrete ties. In addition,
each 12-year period major repair has to be carried out, that is equal to 93 km. of wooden
sleepers and 44 km. of concrete ties. Due to the lack of financial support, all required
repair works could not be carried out during the last three years.
Locomotive fleet includes 57 diesel locomotives with the average age of 20 years;
21 of them were to be written off by January 2001. Power supply, signaling, and
communication in railway transport have been operated for a long time without any
reconstruction or repair works. Part of the equipment has become out of date. Lines of
communication (cable and air), power lines, and substations 6-10/0,4 kilovolt were
constructed more than 25 years ago. Main supply line Bekabad-Kanibadam has been
operating for more than 38 years, with an average working life up to 20 years. Existing
main communication cable at the stations of Khoshadi and Kurgan-Tube was constructed
in 1972 and has been operative for 28 years with an average working life up to 25 years.
Foreign investments are needed for improvement of transport infrastructure in
Tajikistan. Up today feasibility studies for projects Zigar-Hostav-Shkev and Shagon-
Zigar, Kulyab-Kalay-Humb motor road have been produced. These projects will be
implemented with the loans from IDB, Kuwait Fund and other international co-financing
institutions. ADB will provide US $ 20 mln. for rehabilitation of motor road Dushanbe-
Kurgan-Tube-Dangara-Kulyab, that makes 76 percent of the total cost of the project.
ADB intends to provide Republic of Tajikistan with US $ 40,0 mln. loan for realization of
Construction and rehabilitation of motor roads in major directions, forming of
modern transport corridors and attraction of traffic flows will help to eliminate economic
isolation, ensure stable economic development, industrial and agricultural production,
Table-1 Facts on Railway System of Tajikistan (2001)
1. Length of main Routes (km)
2. Length of Auxiliary/sub Routes (km)
3. Total operational Length (km)
4. Under Construction
5. Total Personnel
6. Number of Wagons
Passenger coaches 280
Freight Wagons 1813
7. Number of Stations 36
8. Number of Border 4
(*) Border Stations; Pakhtaabad, Khoshady, Nau, Kanibadam.
Republic of Turkey
Turkey is located between Asia and Europe serving as an intersection of trade.
Transport sector has a significant role in economy since the country is surrounded by sea
on three sides and covers an extensive area of 814,578 sq. kilometers. Transportation is
gaining even more importance now with globalization.
Transport sector consists of land, sea, air and rail transport. There is no inland
water transport in Turkey except Lake Van ferry operation.
Transport has been the locomotive and major contributor to economic growth,
competitiveness and employment.
In Turkey, railways was the main driving force of Turkey’s economic
development following the foundation of the Republic in 1923 until 1950s. The railway
network was about 4,000 route km in 1920s, and while national policies favoured railway
transportation in the first two decades, the network grew to about 7,000 km.
After 1950s transport policy changed, giving more emphasis to highway
transportation and resulting in a rapid expansion of the national road system. The road
network expanded from 18000 km in 1920 to 63,167 km in 2001 including 1851
motorways, 31,376 km state roads, 29,940 km provincial road excluding village roads
and forest roads.
The development of the road transport was further encouraged by three factors
during recent decades:
• rapid development of the domestic automotive industry after the 1970’s.
• an infrastructure investment program which resulted in the construction of
1300 km of motorways in the 1980s.
• failure of successive Governments to adopt policies which would either
require or allow the publicly owned railway industry effectively to respond
to a competitive transport market structure dominated by private sector
The highway led the domestic freight transport with a share of 89.10% in 1999,
the ratio is 4.36% for railway, 4.76 for maritime and 0.185 for airways. 96% of the
domestic passenger transport in Turkey is by road.
Turkish road network is 354,382 km in total. International Highway network of
Turkey, called E-Road, spreads across the country from west to east and north to south.
Infrastructure and operations are separated in road transport like in other countries.
The government is fully responsible for the construction and maintenance of the
road infrastructure through General Directorate of Highways within Ministry of Public
Works and Housing, Highway operators are completely private.
During the establishment of the Turkish Republic in the 1920s, State intervention
in economic activity was widely used to foster economic development. In 1924 private
railways in Turkey was nationalized by Law but by the beginning of multi-party
democracy in 1950s, the dominant role of government was more widely questioned.
However, the role of the State in the railways industry was not seriously challenged.
The railways are now governed by laws and policies which are rooted in its
historical nature as a public service monopoly, rather than reflecting current economic
realities. Prices have been distorted by regulatory authorities in favour of certain classes
of passengers and shippers. The railway continues to offer services which are no longer in
demand, at prices below cost.
Table-1 Turkish rail transport system (2001) (km)
Non-electrified Electrified Total
Mainlines 6,778 1,479 8,257
Doubling Mainlines 141 273 414
Total Mainlines 6,919 1,752 8,671
Subsidiary Lines 1,899 370 2,269
Total 8,818 2,122 10,940
Source: TCDD Annual Statistics 2001
Table-2 Facts on Railway System of Turkey (2001)
1. Length of main Routes (km)
2. Length of Auxiliary/sub Routes (km) 2,269
3. Total operational Length (km)
4. Under Construction
5. Total Personnel 45,175
6. Number of Wagons
Passenger coaches 1,385
Freight Wagons 16,513
7. Number of Stations 911
8. Number of Border interchange/stations* 6
*Border Stations; Kapikule (Bulgaria), Pityon (Greece) Meydanekbez (Syria), Nusaybin (Syria), Kapikoy
(Iran), Dogukapi (Armenia) (Closed)
The number of staff employed in railway sector is more than 45.175 including
affiliated corporations which are manufacturing locomotive and rolling stock.
For improving financial and operational performance of business units,
considerable emphasis is being placed on improving revenue yields by increasing tariffs
and service quality.
In Turkey, 7 big public ports comprising Derince, Bandirma, Mersin, Iskenderun,
Samsun, Haydarpasa and Izmir are operated by TCDD – Turkish State Railways, all
having connections to railway network and accept Izmir in other points have been
registered as international ports and container terminals.
Table -3: Capacities of TCDD ports
Ports Ship / Year (Handling (1000 tons)
Freight Passenger Dry Bulk Container Total
Haydarpasa 2,651 - 2,834 3,082 5,916
Derince 1,105 - 1,799 - 1,799
Samsun 1,130 - 2,189 - 2,189
Mersin 2,650 623 2,639 2,855 5,494
Iskenderun 630 - 3,224 - 3,224
Bandirma 1,037 3,240 2,636 - 2,636
Izmir 2,389 1,246 1,469 4,082 5,551
Total 11,602 5,109 16,790 10,019 26,809
Source: TCDD Annual Statistics 1999
After the adoption of the Civil Aviation Law in 1983 by the Parliament, Turkish
air transport sector has shown a significant progress. In this period, not only the
modernization and the service standards of the Turkish Airlines (THY) which is a public
corporation (100% state owned) but also the number of the private airline operators were
increased. The biggest operator is Turkish Airlines (THY) and its shares will be sold in
near future. There are 8 private airline operators. In parallel to these developments, the
market share of airways has improved. There is no full competition in domestic flights
since the leader air operator is Government and its investment is covered by the State in
Table - 4: Airports in Turkey
Type of Airports No
International and domestic 10
Domestic and charter 9
Source: DHMI (General Directorate of State Airports Operations)
The main combined transport market for Turkey is ISO containers. Considering
these facts, combined transport strategy for Turkey is focused on developing a
commercial combined transport business in partnership with private sector.
There are three main potential container markets which are given below:
• Transit via Turkey to/from the Middle East, Central Asian Republics,
Black Sea Region and the Caucuses (extending northwards to Russia). The
source of trade may be either overland to Turkey and then transit, or an
alternatively via Turkish seaports as maritime cargoes and then overland
• International trade between Turkey and these same regions.
• Domestic flows, including to / from seaports as traffic nodes.
With trade growth, port expansion, further development of Inland Container
Terminals and unit load train services, containerized transit trade does have more
In recent years, due to the problems arising in the road transport, ro-ro transport
has increased to significant level. 28% of the total export to the European countries and
6% of the total import from European countries is realized by ro-ro transport.
There is ro-ro transport between the following lines. There are 29 ro-ro vessels in
Turkish fleet. 6 regular private ro-ro vessels are operating to CIS countries through Black
RO / RO Line Country
Source: Ministry of Transport
Train ferry operation was started between the ports of Constanta and Samsun.
There are studies to identify common standards to ensure efficient ferry operation
between the ports of Samsun and Novorossisk, as well. Mersin and Samsun ports
which are very well equipped for ferry transportation, have been included in the
international rail-ferry terminals by the AGTC Agreement.
Public road transport sector includes 62 enterprises, located across the whole
territory of Turkmenistan, involving more than 13,5 thousand employees and 12 thousand
transport means. The Ministry of Road Transport of Turkmenistan transports each year 90
percent of all passengers and 74 percent of all goods in Turkmenistan.
Enterprises of the Ministry of Road Transport are involved in daily
implementation of large-scale programmes, aiming at improvement of different spheres
of national economy. Turkmenistan joined a number of conventions on inland transport,
elaborated, and signed within ECO, UN, and international organizations such as MCAT
and FIATA. These allow carrying transport operations in any country of the region, based
on simplified border-crossing procedures and provide overall transport-forwarding
Licensing and working out of legal acts, signing of bilateral and multilateral
agreements on international road connection with other countries, control of their
implementation is carried out by the Ministry of Road Transport. It ensures harmonized
development of the relevant market and protects national rights. It also ensure
establishment of a common economic area in Turkmenistan.
The port was established in October 1896, 27 years after the establishment of
Krasnovodsk (Turkmenbashi). Before this port turned to be a self-dependent economic
unit, the main customer for cargo sea transport from Russia and Caucasus had been the
Port of Kransnovodsk was founded in Muravyev bay, in the southeast of the city,
surrounded by Kubadag, Shagadam and Ufra mountains. Port improvement was carried
out along the northern coast, aiming to link both the harbors.
To combine and regulate goods and passengers transport, Commercial Sea Port
Department was established on January 1, 1903. In 1959, the construction of a ferry
crossing was launched.
Turkmenistan is one of the countries in the region with a good opportunity to
transship cargo by vessels from Turkmenbashi to Russia and Europe. In 1993, three dry
cargo ships of 3000 tons displacement were purchased "S. Niyazov", "Mahtumkuli"
and "Turkmenistan". After that operation of 5000 tons ship "Balkan" was started.
Turkmenistan, with its reach oil and gas resources has a strong need for tanker
fleet. Turkish shipbuilding company "Bsrk Denizchilik" received an order from the
government of Turkmenistan to construct the first oil tanker of river-sea class, with
capacity up to 5000 tons. At present, this tanker actively operates along Turkmen sea
lines, transporting oil products.
Republic of Uzbekistan
The state joint-stock railway company "Uzbekistan railways" was formed in
November 7, 1994. The operational length of "Uzbekistan railways" is 3986 km, structure
of the company includes 246 stations equipped with electrical centralization of pointers
and signals, 1579 km of sites are equipped with dispatching centralization and 935 km are
automatic lock-out, 619 km are electrified.
"Uzbekistan railways" there are 19 locomotive and wagon depots, 11 divisions of
the signal system and communication, 25 divisions of line and power supply.
In 2001, the following projects were completed:
The railway traffic on a site Uchkuduk -Misken by the extent of 226,4 km. was
The factory on repair of carriages in city Tashkent equipped by modern equipment
and technological lines, shipped from Germany, Holland, Japan, Southern Korea,
Poland, Finland, and England was upgraded.
The operations on electrification of railway lines on a site Marokand-Bukhara
The rehabilitation of path on a site Chengeldi-Samarkand was carried out.
There are 125 enterprises in the state joint stock company, including 30
enterprises of the basic activity, 7 industrial enterprises, 20 enterprises of contract
activity, 52 enterprises of social sphere, 4 enterprises of a subsidiary agriculture and 12
others. From the total, 83 are state enterprises, 31 joint-stock companies, and 3 joint
ventures. By 2000, 42346 thousand tons of cargoes were transported with cargo turnover
15,4 billion ton/kilometer. Under the forecasts by 2005, the volume of transportation of
cargo will make about 45 million tons, cargo turnover will be 16000 million
ton/kilometer, and passenger turnover would be 2,200-million passenger kilometer. The
whole length of the railway lines will be 4400 km, including 900 km electrified.
The turnover of cargo by railway makes more than 66 percent of the cargo
turnover of all modes of transports, except pipeline.
Main cargoes transported by the railway are: petroleum 29,9 percent building
cargoes 26,1 percent, coal 7,3 percent, clap filament 2,4 percent, chemical and mineral
fertilizers 6,3 percent.
The existing network of the basic highways of Republic of Uzbekistan becomes
the integral part of the international road network, both in Central Asia and other regions
of the World. The total length of roads makes 147 thousand km, including, highways of
general usage 44 thousand km, inter-economic roads 78,6 thousand km, street of the cities
and the regional centers 13,8 thousand km, inspection and access roads 7,4 thousand km,
other roads 3,0 thousand km. From highways of general usage, 3300 km are highways of
the international importance, 20000 km are highways of state importance, 21469 km
highways of local importance.
The concern "Uzavtoyul" is the association uniting on a voluntary basis the state
joint-stock companies, collective enterprises and organizations, carrying out designing,
construction, reconstruction, and operation of highways and bridges. The concern
"Uzavtoyul" is the member of the International Road Federation (IRF) and member of the
World Road Association (PIARC).
List of project for transport sector development:
Name of project Mode of Cost million Name of Bank
transport ($ US)
Modernization of the airports in Uzbekistan 165.60 Bank of
Samarkand, Bukhara and Urgench airways international
relation of Japan
Modernization of the "Tashkent" Uzbekistan 48.00 EBRD
Reconstruction of the Center for Uzbekistan 18.80 Bank of KfW
technical servicing for modern aircrafts airways Germany
m/by USA, EU and e.c. in Tashkent
Improvement of the passenger train and Uzbekistan 50.47 Bank of
traffic railways international
relation of Japan
Rehabilitation railways Uzbekistan 70.00 ABRD
Renewal of the rolling stock (projects of Uzbekistan 40.00 EBRD
import electric locomotives) railways
Develop of the passenger transportation Uzavtotrans 29.00 World Bank
and traffic at the town, large and small
ECO PRIORITY ISSUES
Early operationalization of ECO transit regime including TTFA and TTA
Construction of missing road and railway links such as Kerman-Zahedan and
Operationalization of container trains from Almaty to Istanbul and possible links
International passenger train from Almaty to Istanbul via Tehran.
Trade and transport facilitation measures within the region including easy access
to visas, reduction of transit fees and simplifying custom procedures.
Official Name Interim Administration of Afghanistan
Head of State President H.E Mr. Hamid KARZAI
National Day 19th August (Independence Day-1919)
Area 652,090 sq.km.
Border countries China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
Official Language Pashto and Dari (Afghan Persian)
Population 22,500 thsd. persons (2001)
GDP (at current prices) 11,200 mln US$ (1998)
GDP per capita 478.6 US$ (1998)
National Currency Unit Afghani (AFA)
Exchange rate 39,000 (June 2002)
Imports Total value: 450 mln US$ (2000)
Major Items: petroleum products, foodstuff, sugar, wheat,
flour, rice, cooking oil, agricultural inputs, electronics,
crockery, cars/motorbikes, auto parts, fabrics, cosmetics,
Exports Total value: 130 mln US$ (2000)
Major Items: Dried fruits and nuts, carpets and rugs, wool,
raw cotton, hides and pelts, natural gas, precious and semi-
Natural Resources Natural gas, petroleum, hydrocarbon, coal, copper, chrome,
talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, tin, salt, gold, silver,
lapis, uranium, rubies, rare metals.
Agricultural Products Wheat, meat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, karakul pelts
Main Industries Small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes,
fertilizer, cement; hand-woven carpets; natural gas, oil, coal,
copper, leather, gold and silver jewelry.
Official Name (local Azerbaijan Republic (Azarbaycan Respublikasi)
Head of State President H.E Mr.Heydar ALIYEV
National Day 28th May (Establishment date-1918)
Capital Baku (Baki)
Area 86,600 sq.km.
Border countries Iran, Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Armenia.
Official Language Azerbaijanian (Azeri)
Population 8,100 thsd. persons (2001)
GDP (at current prices) 5,716 mln US$ (2001)
GDP per capita 705.7 US$ (2001)
National Currency Unit Manat (AZM)
Exchange rate 4,870 (June 2002)
Imports Total value: 1,465 million US $ (2001)
Major Items: machinery and equipment, food products,
beverages, spirits and vinegar, tobacco, base metals,
vegetables, musical instruments, electrical & medical
equipment, mineral products, alive animals, plastic,
rubber, chemicals and textiles.
Exports Total value: 2,079 million US $ (2001)
Major Items: oil and gas, oilfield equipment,
machinery, mineral products, base metals, chemicals,
textile, cotton, vegetables, foodstuffs, electrical
Natural Resources Petroleum, natural gas, alumina, iron ore, nonferrous
Agricultural Products Cotton, grain, sugar beet, rice, grapes, fruits,
vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry,
Main Industries Petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield
equipment, mineral substances, metallurgy, pulp &
paper, wood & wood products, steel, iron ore, food-
stuffs & tobacco, cement; chemicals and
Official Name (local
Islamic Republic of Iran (Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran)
Head of State President H.E Hojjatoleslam Seyed Mohammad KHATAMI
National Day 11th February (Islamic Revolution of Iran-1979)
Area 1,648,000 sq.km.
Border countries Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan (Nakhichevan), Iraq,
Pakistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan.
Official Language Persian (Farsi)
Population 64,900 thsd. persons (2001-2002)
GDP (at current prices) 128,194 mln US$ (2001-2002)
GDP per capita 1,975 US$ (2001-2002)
National Currency Unit Rial (IRR)
Exchange rate 7,916.60 (June 2002)
Imports Total value: 18,138 million US$ (2001-2002)
Major Items: Road vehicle & machinery, base metals,
chemical products, iron, steel & manufactures, animal and
vegetable fats, chemicals & pharmaceuticals, food & live
animals, plastics, tobacco, and technical services.
Exports Total value: 23,716 million US$ (2001-2002)
Major Items: Petroleum, gas, and petrochemical products,
mineral products, food products, carpet, pistachio, caviar,
skin and leather, handicrafts, fresh & dried fruits, hides, iron
and steel, chemicals, textiles, refined copper.
Natural Resources Petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore,
lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur.
Agricultural Products Wheat, rice, barley, potato, sugar beets, cotton, date,
pistachio, nuts, fresh and dried fruits, poultry, meat, dairy
products, wool, caviar, flowers and medicinal plants.
Main Industries Oil and gas, steel, aluminum, copper, electric and electronic
equipment, cement & other building materials, metallurgy,
home appliances, iron, textile, rugs and carpets, tapestry,
miniature, ceramic, food processing (particularly sugar
refining & vegetable oil production), petrochemicals, and car
manufacturing & assemblies.
Official Name (local Republic of Kazakhstan (Qazaqstan Respublikasy)
Head of State President H.E. Mr. Nursultan Abishevich
National Day 25th October (Republic Day-1990)
Area 2,724,900 sq km.
Border countries China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russia
Official Language Kazakh, (Russian widely used in government and
Population 14,821 thsd. persons (2001)
GDP (at current prices) 22,391 mln US$ (2001)
GDP per capita 1,510 US $ (2001)
National Currency Unit Tenge (KZT)
Exchange rate 153,10 (June 2002)
Import Total value: 6,363 mln US$ (2001)
Major Items: Machinery and parts, industrial materials,
oil, natural gas and consumer goods.
Export Total value: 8,647 mln US$ (2001)
Major Items: Oil, ferrous and non-ferrous metals,
chemicals, grain, wool, and meat.
Natural Resources Oil and gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore,
nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite,
gold, silver, aluminium, uranium, potassium, cadmium,
salt and construction materials.
Agricultural Products Grain (mostly spring wheat), cotton; wool, livestock.
Main Industries Oil, coal, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper,
titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, iron
and steel, nonferrous metal, tractors and other
agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction
Official Name (local Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyz Respublikasy)
Head of State President H.E Mr.Askar AKAYEV
National Day 31st August (Independence Day-1991)
Area 198,500 sq km
Border countries China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.
Official Language Kyrgyz, Russian (lingua franca)
Population 4,974 thsd. persons (2001)
GDP (at current prices) 1,525 mln US$ (2001)
GDP per capita 310.7 US$ (2001)
National Currency Unit Som (KGS)
Exchange rate 47.97 (June 2002)
Import Total value: 467.2 mln US$ (2001)
Major Items: grains, mineral products, natural gas,
automobile fuel, bituminous coal, kerosene, cars, equipment
and machinery, products of chemical, vegetable, lumber,
textile and base metals.
Export Total value: 476.1 mln US$ (2001)
Major Items: precious metals, electric power, tobacco,
cotton, scrap and wastes of aluminum, chemicals, filament
lamps, means of land transport and spare parts, agricultural
products (vegetables and fruits), cement and slate, copper
wastes and scrap, raw leather and wool.
Natural Resources Hydropower; gold and rare earth metals; coal, oil, natural
gas, nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc
Agricultural Products Tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and
berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool
Main Industries Small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes,
sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare
Official Name (local Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Islam-i Jamhuriya-e Pakistan)
Head of State General Pervez MUSHARRAF
National Day 23rd March (Republic Day-1956)
Area 796,095 sq. km
Border countries Afghanistan, China, India, Iran
Official Language English, Urdu (national language)
Population (thsd. 139,100 (2000-2001)
GDP (at current prices) 59,416 mln US$ (2000-2001)
GDP per capita 429 US$ (2000-2001)
National Currency Unit Rupee (PKR)
Exchange rate 60.05 (June 2002)
Imports Total value: 10,336 mln US$ (2001-2002)
Major Items: Industrial equipment, vehicles, iron ore, wheat,
tea, fertilizer, non electrical machinery, petroleum &
products, chemicals, edible oil, transport equipment, steel &
products, grains, electrical goods.
Exports Total value: 9,124 mln US$ (2001-2002)
Major Items: Cotton, sugar, textile-goods, garments &
hosiery, rice, leather items, carpet & rugs, sports goods,
fruits, handicrafts, surgical instruments and electrical
appliances, sea food (fisheries).
Natural Resources Land, extensive natural gas reserves, petroleum, coal, iron
ore, copper, salt, limestone.
Agricultural Products Wheat, cotton, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables,
condiments, oil seeds, pulses, maize, barley, tobacco,
poultry, goats, beef, sheep, cattle, mutton.
Main Industries Textiles, food processing, cement, fertilizer, steel, sugar,
electric goods, shipbuilding, beverages, construction
materials, clothing, paper products, shrimp.
Official Name (local Republic of Tajikistan (Jumhurii Tojikiston)
Head of State President H.E. Mr. Emomali RAHMONOV
National Day 9th September (Independence Day-1991)
Area 143,100 sq km
Border countries Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan.
Official Language Tajik (Russian widely used in government and business)
Population 6,290 thsd. persons (2000)
GDP (at current prices) 1,035 US$ (2001)
GDP per capita 167 US$ (2001)
National Currency Unit Somoni (SM)
Exchange rate (SM/US$) 2,704 (June 2002)
Imports Total value: 915 mln. US$ (2001)
Major Items: Alumina, natural gas, petroleum products,
electricity, grain, flour, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs.
Exports Total value: 877 mln US$ (2001)
Major Items: Aluminum, electricity, cotton fiber, fruits,
vegetable oil, textiles, precious and semi-precious stones.
Natural Resources Aluminium, coal, oil, natural gas, iron, lead, zinc, antimony,
mercury, gold, silver, tin, tungsten, uranium, boron, salt,
carbonates, fluorite, precious and semi-precious stones.
Agricultural Products Cotton, grain, silk, tobacco, fruits, grapes, vegetables; cattle,
Main Industries Hydro-electric power, textiles, garment manufacture,
aluminum, zinc, lead, chemicals and fertilizers, cement,
vegetable oil, metal-cutting machine tools, refrigerators and
Official Name (local Republic of Turkey (Turkiye Cumhuriyeti)
Head of State President H.E Mr. Ahmet Necdet SEZER
National Day 29th October (Republic Day-1923)
Area 783,577 sq.km
Border countries Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Iran, Iraq,
Official Language Turkish
Population 68,036 thsd. persons (2001)
GDP (at current prices) 148,340 mln US$ (2001)
GDP per capita 2,180 US$ (2001)
National Currency Unit Turkish Lira (TRL)
1,569,143 (June 2002)
Import Total value: 41,399 mln US$ (2001)
Major items: Mineral fuels-oils, gas, boilers, machinery and
mechanical equipment, vehicles and parts, organic chemicals,
plastic and products, cotton yarn and fabrics, pharmaceutical
products, optical parts and accessories, paper and paperboard,
iron and steel products, aircraft and parts, tanning or dyeing
Exports Total value: 31,334 mln US$ (2001)
Major items: textiles, cotton yarn & fabrics, iron and steel
products, electrical machinery and equipment, vehicles and
parts, edible fruits, nuts, vegetables, salt, sulphur, earths and
stone, plastic and rubber products, tobacco, glass and
Natural Resources Coal, antimony, mercury, sulfur, lignite, crude petroleum,
iron, chrome, copper, boron, minerals, magnasite, lead-zinc.
Agricultural Products Grain (wheat and barley), tobacco, cotton, dry beans,
potatoes, vegetables, tea, fruits (nuts, citrus, grapes, apples,
olives), sugar beets, pulses, livestock.
Official Name Turkmenistan
Head of State President H.E. Mr. Saparmurat Atayevich NIYAZOV
National Day 27th October (Independence Day-1991)
Area 488,100 sq. km
Border countries Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Afghanistan
Official Language Turkmen, Russian (lingua franca)
Russian is widely used in government and business
Population 5,479 thsd. persons (2001)
GDP (at current prices) 4,600 mln. US$ (2001)
GDP per capita 968 US $ (2001)
National Currency Unit Manat (TMM)
Exchange rate 5,200 (June 2002)
Import Total value: 2,105 mln US$ (2001)
Major Items: Machinery and parts, grains, food and
beverages, plastics, wheat, flour, textiles.
Exports Total value: 2,560 mln US$ (2001)
Major Items: natural gas, oil, cotton, petroleum products,
chemicals, processed foods, minerals, sulfur, textiles,
electricity, and hand-made carpets.
Natural Resources Oil, natural gas, coal, precious non-ferrous and rare metals,
celestine, sulfur, bentonite and kaolin clays, iodine, bromine,
potassium and common salts, marble onyx, various
construction materials, fresh subsoil, mineral waters.
Agricultural Products Cotton, grains, fodder crops, melons, livestock.
Main Industries Natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing,
machine building, production of construction materials,
Official Name (local Republic of Uzbekistan (Uzbekiston Respublikasi)
Head of State President H.E. Mr. Islam Abduganievich KARIMOV
National Day 1st September (Independence Day-1991)
Capital Tashkent (Toshkent)
Area 447,400 sq. km
Border countries Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Official Language Uzbek, Russian (lingua franca)
Population 25,116 thsd. persons (2001)
GDP (at current prices) 7,088 million US$ (2001)
GDP per capita 282.2 US$ (2001)
National Currency Unit Sum (UZS)
Exchange rate 750.04/ 757.04 (Official)/1080.0 (Market) (June 2002)
Import Total value: 3,137 mln US $ (2001)
Major Items: Minerals and chemicals, grains, rubber, plastic,
machinery and equipment, energy products, textile,
pharmacological products, perfume, cosmetics and
detergents, ferrous & non-ferrous metals, foodstuffs.
Exports Total value: 3,265 mln US$ (2001)
Major Items: Cotton, gold, natural gas, fertilizers, silk,
mineral and chemical goods, energy products, ferrous and
non-ferrous metals, textiles, food products, equipment and
mechanical devices, electrical machines and equipment, gears
and apparatus, automobiles.
Natural Resources Natural gas, petroleum, coal, gold, uranium, silver, copper,
lead, zinc, tungsten, molybdenum, aluminum, wolfram,
rhenium, marble, granite and gabbro, phosphorites, salts
Agricultural Products Cotton, grain, potatoes, vegetables, melons, fruits, silkworm
cocoons, astrakhans, hides, leather, wool, grapes, cattle, and
Main Industries Electric power, fuel, natural gas, ferrous & non-ferrous metals,
chemical and petrochemical, machine-building, forest, wood
processing and paper, construction materials, textiles, food
processing, aviation and automobile, metallurgy.
ECO IN FIGURES / MAIN STATISTICS
Table-1 Landlocked ECO Member States exports to International Markets
Countries Industrial Middle ECO Total Total Transit
Countries Asia Russia* Europe East Countries transit Trade(2) Rate
+ trade(1) ** (1/2)
Azerbaijan 62.6 2.8 215.2 7.8 169.4 457.8 700.3 65.4
Kazakhstan 1265.1 569.7 522.2 114 255.3 2726.3 5,403.80 50.5
Kyrgyzstan 221.5 21.3 83.8 38.7 1.1 20.2 386.4 513.4 75.3
Tajikistan 121.4 15.8 53.7 35.3 0.8 39.8 266.8 575.1 46.4
Turkmenistan 127.7 28.1 39.5 52.8 4.3 215.6 468 575.30 81.3
Uzbekistan 576 357.4 471.7 303.5 103.2 81.5 1893.3 2447.30 77.4
Total 2374.3 995.1 648.7 1167.7 231.2 781.6 6198.6 10,215 60.7
Share of exports going through transit operations (%) 60.7
Source: IMF Trade Statistics (2000)
(*) excluding trade with neighbouring countries.
(**) Including neighbouring countries.
Table 2: Transport Volume in the ECO Region
1999 2000 2001
Export* No. of Export* No. of Exports* No. of
Trucks Trucks Trucks
Azerbaijan 727,513 40,417 733,156 40,740 526.079 635,850
Iran 1,820,068 101,115 1,130,833 62,724
Kazakhstan 562,890 31,272 834,131 46,341 315,436 17,524
Kyrgyzstan 1,581,961 87,887 1,185,687 65,872 1,145,281 63,627
Pakistan 68,312 3,795 78,098 4,339 144,459 8,026
Tajikistan 2,942 163 13,643 758 3298 183
Turkey 493,109 27,395 560,325 31,129
Uzbekistan 162,591 9,033 272,015 15,112 258,069 14,337
Total ECO 3,599,318 199,962 5,497,123 305,395 3,523,455 195,746
Other 35,019,492 1,945,527 16,295,204 905,289 13,353,651 741,870
General 38,618,810 2,145,489 20,977,509 1,165,417 16,877,106 937,616
Table-3 International Border Crossing Points of ECO Countries
Afghanistan (1) Pakistan
Azerbaijan (1) Georgia Gazakh, Belokanik
(2) Russia Kuba
(3) Iran Astara, Kanlihk, Kyahlvae, Julfa
(4) Turkey Cedorek
Iran (1) Afghanistan Dogharoun
(2) Armenia Nordouwz
(3) Azerbaijan Astara, Bilehsavar, Jolfa
(4) Iraq Khosravi
(5) Pakistan Mirjaveh
(6) Turkey Bazargan, Sero
(7) Turkmenistan Bajgiran, Sarackhs, Lotfabad, Pol
Kazakhstan (1) Kyrgyzstan Georgevka, Merke, Kemin
(2) Turkmenistan Bekdash
(3) Uzbekistan Stephoe, Kopaya, Akjibit
(4) Russia Pogodaevo, Troizk, Chistoe, Karapoga,
Zelezinka, Lokot, Kotyaevka, Ozernoe,
(5) China Khorgos, Maikapchagai, Bakhty, Druzhba
Kyrgyzstan (1) Kazakhstan Georgievka, Chaldovar, Kegan
(2) Uzbekistan Osh, Karasu, Kizibl-Kiya
(3) Tajikistan Isfand, Sari-Tash, Karamik
(4) China Torugart, Irkeshtam
Table-3 International Border Crossing Points of ECO Countries (continued)
Pakistan (1) Afghanistan Torkham, Chamman
(2) China Khunjerab
(3) India Wagha
(4) Iran Taftan
Tajikistan (1) Kyrgyzstan Sulokta, Murgab, Dzhirgital
(2) Uzbekistan Tursan-Zabe, Penjikent, Ura-Tube,
Bekabad, Bulok, Kanibadam
(3) Afghanistan Ishkashim, Aivadzh
(4) China Kulma Pass
Turkey (1) Iran Gurbulak, Esendere
(2) Georgia Sarp, Turkgozu, Aktas
(3) Azerbaijan Dilucu
(4) Iraq Habur
(5) Syria Yayladag, Cilvegozu, Oncupinar,
(6) Bulgaria Kapikule, Aziziye
(7) Armenia Dogukapi (closed)
Turkmenistan (1) Kazakhstan Bekdash
(2) Uzbekistan Kunya-urgench, Mangit, Togta, Tezen-
bazar, Takhiatash, Farap, Gazojak, Kelif,
(3) Iran Gandan, Artyk, Gudriolum, Saragt
(4) Afghanistan Gushgy
Uzbekistan (1) Kazakhstan Chernyavka, Kugayaz, Oqzts
(2) Kyrgyzstan Khodzhaabad, Aim, Fergana
(3) Tajikistan Khavast, Taylak, Uzun, Bekhabad, Kirovo,
(4) Turkmenistan Khodzeili, Tokhitash, Mangit, Gurlen,
Kshahkupir, Alat Khzarasp,
(5) Afghanistan Khairaton
Source: UNESCAP, Transport, Communications, Tourism and Infrastructure Development (TCTID)
ECO in Figures
Table 4 Status of ECO countries accession or being party to International conventions listed in UNESCAP
resolution 48/11 as at 12 April 2002
Convention Convention Custom’s Custom’s Convention International Convention
on road on road convention convention on convention on on the
traffic signs and on on contraries the contract for
1968 signals international. Temporary. 1972 harmonization the
Country 1968 transport of Importation of frontier International
goods under of control of carriage of
TIR carnet commercial goods. goods by
1975 road road (CMR)
Afghanistan (x) (x)
Iran (x) (x) (x) (*)
Kazakhstan (*) (*) (*) (*)
Kyrgyzstan (*) (*) (*) (*)
Pakistan x x
Tajikistan (*) (*) (*) (*)
Turkey (x) (x) (*)
Turkmenistan (*) (*) (*) (*)
Uzbekistan (*) (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Notes: (x) Party / acceded
(*) Acceded after the adoption of 48/11
Source: UNESCAP / 250 report
Table 5 Existing visa fee structure for Nationals of ECO Member States
country Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Single entry Double Multiple
Afghanistan Gratis Gratis Gratis
Tajikistan, US$10 US$40 US$40
Islamic Rls150,000 Rls320,000 Rls320,000
Republic of (Rs.940) (Rs.2000) (Rs.2000)
Republic of Rs.283 Rs.566 Rs.498
Turkmenistan (In US$ dollars)
10 days 20 days 1 month 3 months 6months 1 year
Islamic 20 30 Single Multiple Single Multiple Single Multiple Single Multiple
Republic of 40 60 100 140 190 260 370 500
Islamic 20 30 40 60 100 140 190 260 370 500
Republic of 16 24 32 48 80 112 152 208 296 400
Afghanistan 20 40 60 60 140 140 260 260 500 500
Republic of 40 50 60 60 140 140 260 260 500 500
Republic of Tajikistan (In US$)
7 days 14 days 1 2 3 6 months 1 year
month months months
Afghanistan, Single Single Single Single Single Multiple Single Multiple
Iran, Pakistan 40 50 60 70 80 120 180 240 300
Turkmenistan 10 (10 days) 15 (20 20 - 50 Single 95 130 185 250
days) Single 70
Uzbekistan - - 4 - - - 10 - 20
Azerbaijan, No visa No visa No No No No No visa No No visa
Kazakhstan & visa visa visa visa visa
Republic of Uzbekistan (In US$)
7days 15 days 1 3 months 6 months 1 year
Afghanistan, Single Multiple Single Multiple Single Multiple
Iran, Pakistan, 40 50 60 80 150 120 150 160 250
Kazakhstan Gratis Gratis Gratis Gratis Gratis Gratis Gratis Gratis Gratis
Azerbaijan -do- -do- -do- -do- -do- -do- -do- -do- -do-
Kyrgyzstan, 4 4 4 10 10 15 15 25 25
Turkmenistan 51 61 71 91 161 131 161 171 261
Map 1 – Central Asia
The four road / rail border crossings together with the northern border
crossing at Sust into China are marked in the above map.
The proposed rail link between Chaman to Kandahar is also marked on the