ALMATY REGION – Construction has begun on the first dry port and logistics area at the Khorgos-East Gate special economic zone (SEZ).
The complex in the Panfilov district near the Kazakh-Chinese border will include multimodal facilities, transport infrastructure and warehouses for the storage, sorting and secondary packaging of goods in transit.
Work on the project is on schedule and several cargo terminals will be opened before the end of the year, according to Alii Karabalin, deputy head of technical supervision for the construction of the SEZ. The SEZ and its components – the Khorgos international centre for cross-border cooperation, dry port, logistics and industrial zones – will allow Kazakhstan to become a major commercial and transportation hub for the Eurasian continent, say experts. The SEZ’s connection to the Zhetygen-Korgas railway and the Western Europe-Western China roadway corridor is also expected to increase the volume of cross-border traffic.
Turnover at the nearby Altynkol train station, for example, is expected to jump from 1.5 million tonnes of cargo over the past year to 12 million tonnes annually by 2020 as a result of the $3.5 billion SEZ complex.
Companies such as Hewlett Packard, Toyota and DHL, which plan to open distribution centres at the complex, have also expressed interest in the dry port. The industrial zone also helps facilitate the launch of enterprises in food production, machinery and equipment, leather, textiles and metal products.
Potential investors in the project are exempt from all taxes and customs duties, and the land lots will be provided to them free of charge for 10 years. Thus, favourable conditions for the development of small and medium-sized businesses are created. In coming years, the Khorgos-East Gate SEZ, which will encompass nearly 6,000 hectares, is expected to become a significant point of economic growth not only in the Almaty region, but also throughout the country.