• KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09287 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 420

Why Have Women’s Carriages Become So Popular in Kazakhstan?

Kazakhstani women have already had time to appreciate women-only cars in trains - an innovation that seemed unthinkable in the secular country a few years ago. However, the special carriages did not appear as an indulgence to traditionalist views. Kazakhstani women now have a choice: they can ride in a regular carriage, or they can ride in a carriage that is practically closed to men - and demand for the latter service is increasing year by year. In May, the statistics of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), a railroad monopoly, were published, which revealed that women twice as often choose women's cars. Since 2021, more than 359,000 women have chosen this option, and since the beginning of 2024 alone, the service has been used by about 70,000 women, whereas in 2023, only 34,000 did so. Today, women's cars run in eight long-distance passenger trains, with only female conductors working in them. Male children up to seven-years-old are allowed, whilst men can go enter for a short period of time, but overnight stays are strictly prohibited. The need to ensure the safety of women in trains began to be discussed after the scandal that broke out in the fall of 2018, when two conductors raped a female passenger on the high-speed train "Talgo" on the Astana-Aktobe route. This crime resonated widely, and led to loud demands for the authorities to take action. Conductors Zhetes Umbetaliev and Kolkanat Kurmaniyazov were found guilty of rape in July 2019 and were sentenced to just 2.3 and 2.5 years, respectively, whilst Kanat Almagambetov, first deputy chairman of KTZ, apologized on behalf of the company. The first women-only cars were launched in October 2021. "This is being done primarily for the safety of women... If demand for the service increases, our company is ready to expand the geography of these routes. Apart from the female conductors, these carriages are no different from the others. They have the same pricing policy," KTZ explained at the time. The current routes were chosen because of their length, company representatives said. Kazakhstan is a large country and a trip from Almaty to Mangistau, for example, takes several days. Ainagul Kasenova, a resident of Mangistau Oblast, travels to see relatives in Almaty several times a year, and for her, women's cars have become a solution. "Now I try to buy tickets only in a separate car. You travel for a long time, so it's much more comfortable if there are only women and children around. I used to encounter men talking to me, paying me unnecessary attention; it was unpleasant. When the news about the rape of a female passenger by conductors broke, my parents didn't even want to let me go to Almaty. Now they let me go without any problem," Kasenova told TCA. According to her, both students and pensioners are comfortable in women's carriages, especially those who have to travel often, which increases the risk. "The women's carriage is always quiet, friendly atmosphere, without drinking and noise," she added....

Turkmen Gas to Europe Mooted Again

Turkmenistan and Pakistan intend to independently finance the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) to transport Turkmen gas to Europe, according to a statement made by Pakistani Minister, Musadiq Malik, who said the decision was driven by the international community's reluctance to recognize the Afghan government, which has stalled foreign funding. "Turkmenistan, rich in gas reserves and currently only selling to China, has considered exporting its gas to Europe via an LNG train," Malik was quoted as saying by the Profit portal. The minister also talked about the idea of exporting Turkmen gas to the EU via Pakistan. According to this plan, the gas would be piped to Pakistan, and then transported to Europe by rail. According to previous agreements, the $10 billion TAPI gas pipeline project was to be 30% financed ($3 billion) by the participants, and 70% ($7 billion) by loans from international financial institutions. Of the 30% to be allocated by the participating countries, 85% ($2.55 billion) was from to Turkmenistan, and the other 5% ($150 million each) from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Kazakh PM Meets With German Rhenus Group to Discuss Middle Corridor

Cooperation in the transport and logistics sectors were discussed at a recent meeting between prime minister of Kazakhstan Olzhas Bektenov and the chairman of Rhenus Group Tobias Bartz. Rhenus Group is one of the 25 largest logistics companies in the world, and has a network of 70 terminals in Europe, as well as 22 container types. At the meeting, the parties considered the current projects and discussed the prospects of the creation of new Kazakh-German enterprises to increase the transit capacity of Kazakhstan through the modernization of warehousing infrastructure and the development of railway transportation. Tobias Bartz noted Kazakhstan's increasing role in global logistics and expressed interest in the creation of new territories with the involvement of Kazakh companies to increase terminal capacity. This will connect the supply chain of Europe with Central Asia. Olzhas Bektenov emphasized the readiness to work openly with investors to fully disclose the transport logistics and transit potential. He added: "The Government of Kazakhstan intends to maximize the transport and logistics potential of the country. We are open to cooperation in the realization of joint investment projects. For our part, we guarantee a stable and predictable investment climate with the creation of favorable conditions for business." Bektenov also noted that major transcontinental transportation corridors -- the shortest routes from Europe to China and Southeast Asia -- pass through the territory of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is actively working with Azerbaijan and Georgia to reduce the time of passage of goods along the Trans-Caspian international transportation route. Over the year, the total transit time along the Middle Corridor has almost halved.

Green Light for Uzgen Bypass, South Kyrgyzstan

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) and a consortium comprising Tez Zhol, Zhagalmai, and DemirBank, have signed agreements to build and maintain a bypass road around the historic town of Uzgen in the Osh region of south Kyrgyzstan. According to EDB’s press office, the project which includes new information technologies for toll road management, aims to improve connectivity in the Osh region, enhance road safety and improve Uzgen’s environment. The Bishkek–Osh highway, one of the country’s main transport arteries and used by approximately 23,000 vehicles per day, causes serious issues for the densely populated town of Uzgen. The route through its center impacts the town’s socioeconomic situation by increasing levels of noise and pollution whilst congestion poses risks for pedestrians, exacerbating safety concerns. The projected timeline for such a large-scale project is 49 years, from 2024 to 2073, and comprising 14.1-km of new roads, three bridges and a toll management system, the estimated cost of its construction is US $29.9 million. Commenting on the initiative, Nikolai Podguzov, Chairman of the EDB Management Board, stated:  “The Uzgen Bypass is the first toll road initiative in the Kyrgyz Republic. This project will increase the daily capacity of the Bishkek–Osh road from 8,000 to 12,000 vehicles, create approximately 300 jobs and boost demand for local industrial enterprises such as reinforced concrete and concrete plants. Additionally, it will improve the environmental situation and reduce the load on Uzgen’s roads by diverting traffic to bypass the residential sector.”

The Outlook for Kazakhstan’s Rail Network

As a core infrastructure industry, railways play a strategic role in Kazakhstan’s economy. Today, over 50% of freight in the country is transported by rail, while the figure for passengers is 15%. Kazakhstan’s favorable geographical position between the largest producer of goods in the world, Asia, and the largest consumer, Europe, is spurring the development of transit freight transport and related income. However, government regulations and imperfect reforms have failed to reverse a degradation of Kazakhstan’s rail infrastructure and solve its capacity shortage problems. The robust rail network created during the Soviet period for a single national economy turned out to be ineffective under the new conditions of market dynamics. The country’s railway infrastructure, while reaching almost every region in Kazakhstan, meets neither current nor possible future needs of freight owners and has already nearly reached its limit in terms of throughput and processing capacity. The national railway carrier of both passengers and freight, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), cannot provide by itself the financial resources and investments at the scale needed to meet current and future challenges. The national budget is also unlikely to allocate such funding. A lack of prompt, large-scale modernization of key areas of rail transport, however, may hurt the country's economy.   Tentative sources of funding for improvements According to the Ministry of Transport’s plan for the modernization of rail infrastructure, 1,300 km of railway track is to be added by 2030, while 4,800 km of second track is to be constructed. The expected price tag for these additions is over $11 million. It is currently unclear where these funds will come from. There have been mentions of borrowing around $400,000 from the national pension fund. According to the Ministry of Transport’s modernization plan, private investments will also be a key source through public-private partnership projects (PPP). In recent years, state participation in financing the construction and reconstruction of sections of the rail network has been limited and paled in comparison to those involving road projects. As part of the Nurly Zhol (“Bright Path”) infrastructure initiative, $9.2 billion has been allocated for just two programs to develop roads versus only $16.1 million allocated for railways. Added to this is the involvement of KTZ in implementing major transport infrastructure projects – the Khorgos dry port, the Kuryk port ferry complex and more than 1,000 km of railway track built in recent years, among others – using borrowed funds. Thus, the company bears a considerable burden in terms of servicing and repaying loans already raised for these projects, which represent its long-term assets. Given this debt burden, it is clear that the rail industry remains underfunded.   Tariffs present a further dilemma Across the world, funding for the development of main rail networks is typically allocated from the national budget. In many European countries, for example, government funding covers up to 97% of operating and capital costs of rail infrastructure. Besides direct subsidies from the state, other sources of funds for modernizing and renewing rail infrastructure include bond...

Bishkek Bets on Bikes and Buses

To alleviate congestion and traffic bottlenecks in the capital, the Bishkek Mayor's Office has green-lit a strategic plan for enhancing the city's road transport infrastructure over the 2024-2030 period. This initiative, as detailed on the municipal website, encompasses an ambitious range of projects. Highlights include the construction of bridges and new road junctions, the introduction of bike lanes within the road network, the consolidation of dedicated lanes into a coherent system, the expansion of parking facilities including an increase in bicycle parking spaces, and the establishment of transport hubs and park-and-ride lots. The vision driving these efforts is to significantly reduce car dependency in Bishkek, promoting instead a robust network of public and bicycle transport options. Plans are underway to construct seven park-and-ride facilities around the city’s perimeter, encouraging commuters to opt for public transport upon entering Bishkek. City officials have consistently advocated for strategies to lower rampant smog levels and congestion, including proposals to limit private car access into the city based on a vehicle's license plate number. Furthermore, the Mayor's Office announced plans to establish at least two advanced transport and transfer hubs at key entry points into Bishkek. These hubs will serve as critical junctions for intercity and regional bus routes, facilitating seamless connections with the city's public transport system. By 2030, these initiatives aim to achieve a 20% reduction in car usage within the city and cut congestion by 30%.

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