Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

Enhancing Regional Freight Connectivity for Central Asia

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This project aims to assess regional large-scale transport infrastructure programmes for Central Asia, their capacity to improve connectivity and their environmental externalities and tackles Central Asia’s specific challenges, such as the connectivity gap due to the high cost of being landlocked and the constraints/disruptions caused by the wars and conflicts in the region’s neighbouring countries.

The regional study for Central Asia leverages the ITF Global Freight Model to analyse and quantify the environmental externalities and local benefits of current and planned freight transport infrastructure projects in Central Asia. The main objectives are to

  • Identify potential connectivity and infrastructure gaps by 2050.
  • Benchmark national freight transport policies against OECD best practices, focusing on opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions from building and using the respective infrastructure.
  • Inform recommendations on closing the potential connectivity and infrastructure gaps and improving the sustainability of existing and future transport infrastructure and its use.

The study is divided into four tasks, each implying ITF brings deep expertise and strong involvement from stakeholders in all the Central Asia countries (Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, in alphabetic order), with a particular focus on Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

  • Regional Freight Transport Market Overview – This task aims to understand the region’s current freight transport infrastructure landscape and policy and institutional environment. For this purpose, the team maps all current and potential future transport infrastructure projects in the region to identify the impact of different infrastructure options. It will also require the engagement of relevant public and private stakeholders to facilitate data and information collection and support fact-finding missions.
  • Regional Freight Modelling and Freight Flow Assessment – The team relies on the depth of our sectoral expertise and in-house modelling capacity at the ITF to forecast the regional trade and transport patterns in the region up to 2050, leveraging the data collected in the first task. Baseline projections, which consider planned freight transport infrastructures, will be compared to alternative scenarios to test the impact of policy choices, industry and technological development, and different trade facilitation on the flows in the region.
  • Multifaceted Connectivity Enhancement Assessment – This task aims to conduct a connectivity enhancement assessment by considering both physical and soft/non-technical aspects, including infrastructure gaps and bottlenecks, operational conditions, institutional readiness of the countries, resilience and sustainability of the infrastructure development plans.

Knowledge Sharing and Stakeholder Engagement – throughout the project execution, the ITF seeks deep involvement of stakeholders in the region based on a co-creation process between all stakeholders involved. The effective participation of country administrations, implementing teams, local agencies, communities, and potential corridor users ensures the feasibility and relevance of the conclusions and recommendations.