Kazakhstan Advances in Establishing Cross-Border Hubs

ASTANA – Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin convened a Sept. 27 meeting of the operational headquarters to monitor the progress in building transport, logistics and trade hubs on the borders with China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Uzbekistan and on the Caspian Sea, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.

Sarzha multifunctional sea terminal. Photo credit: primeminister.kz.

This undertaking is part of Kazakhstan’s mission to establish itself as an essential transport and logistics hub in Central Asia and the Caspian region, initiated by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Caspian hub

Starting with the Caspian hub, the meeting participants focused on the Sarzha multifunctional sea terminal. The construction is moving at full speed and is expected to be completed in 2030. With a capacity of 10 million tons per year, this terminal is set to house a 1.5 million tons grain terminal, a one million tons general cargo terminal, a two million tons universal terminal, and a 5.5 million tons liquid cargo terminal.

Sarzha has completed the initial stages of a transport and logistics center and ground infrastructure, launching the work to build a container hub in the ports of Aktau and Kuryk.

A representative from Semurg Invest announced that the general cargo terminal is fully operational and equipped to increase the export potential of the Caspian route in 2023.

Zhumangarin noted that the Caspian transport hub project should be considered in conjunction with the President’s order to construct a high-speed railway connecting Chelyabinsk to Iran through Kazakhstan.

The minister stressed that this large-scale cooperation project in the Eurasian space requires the reconstruction of bottlenecks on the Beineu-Mangystau railway network and the Beineu-Shalkar highway section.

Zhumangarin instructed to prepare detailed proposals for the Orsk-Bolashak railway and supply infrastructure.

“We are on the verge of signing a free trade agreement with Iran to bring trade turnover to $3 billion, primarily in food products,” he stated, assigning the Qaztrade Trade Policy Center to work out mechanisms to support grain exporters to Iran.

Alatau complex

The launch of the Alatau industrial trade and logistics complex on the border with the Kyrgyz Republic is scheduled for the second quarter of 2026. The complex has its regional industrial zone, with a 36-hectare land plot allocated for feasibility studies and investor collaboration.

Eurasia cross-border trade center

With a mission to become an international economic platform within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Eurasia cross-border trade center is planned to be built on the territory adjacent to the Uralsk airport by the end of 2024.

The center has a 281-hectare industrial zone to facilitate cargo flows to Orenburg, Saratov, Samara, Russia, and Eastern Europe. In addition to the central transport center, the complex will accommodate an agro logistic center and an air cargo terminal.

Khorgos hub

As Kazakhstan transforms into a robust transport and logistics hub in Eurasia, the Khorgos Node plans to build a modern Class A food hub to bolster food security, distributing food products from Kazakh and foreign producers for export to Chinese and Asia-Pacific markets.

Following the meeting, Zhumangarin instructed all authorities responsible for implementing the five cross-border hubs to prepare detailed development concepts and infrastructure plans.

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