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Optimisation of Central Asian and Eurasian Inter-Continental Land Transport Corridors

Emerson, Michael and Vinokurov, Evgeny (2009): Optimisation of Central Asian and Eurasian Inter-Continental Land Transport Corridors.

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Abstract

There is at present an overlapping but inadequately coordinated combination of strategic inter-continental transport corridors or axes stretching across the EuraAsian landmass, centered on or around Central Asia. There are three such initiatives - from the EU, China and China and the Asian Development Bank, and the EuraAsian Economic Community. This paper reviews these several strategic transport maps, and makes some proposals for their coordination and rationalisation. The EU Central Asia strategy does not so far pay much attention to these questions. However the EU’s own initiatives (the Pan-European Axes and the Traceca programme) are in need of updating and revision, and updating to take into account major investments now being made by the other parties. In particular the case is made for a “Central EuraAsian Corridor” for rail and road that would reach from Central Europe across Ukraine and Southern Russia into West Kazakhstan, and thence to the East Kazakh border with China, and thus joining up with and completing the West China-West Europe corridor promoted by the Asian Development Bank. There should also be a North-South corridor that would cross over this Central EuraAsian Corridor in West Kazakhstan and lead down to the Middle East and South Asia. These adaptations of existing plan could become an exemplary case of cooperation between Central Asia and all the major economic powers of the Eurasian landmass.

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