News Digest: Foreign Media on Middle Corridor, Visa-Free Regime with China and More

ASTANA – The Astana Times has picked a selection of articles on Kazakhstan published in international media across the world. This week’s foreign media digest includes articles on the potential of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), the start of the Kazakhstan-China visa-free agreement, and ongoing reforms of Baiterek state-owned holding company.

Near Almaty. Photo credit: Shutterstock.

Kazakhstan’s transport minister: Our transport strategy advances in co-operation with global partners

Kazakh Minister of Transport Marat Karabayev discussed Kazakhstan’s development of its transport and transit potential in an article published by EU Reporter on Nov. 14. More than $35 billion has been allocated for these purposes in the past 15 years.

Karabayev described the TITR as “a single logistical solution linking transit flows between Europe, Central Asia and China,” providing insights into cooperation with these directions.

He emphasized the route’s potential to become a continental bridge between the largest markets, halving the time of freight traffic and significantly reducing transportation costs. For instance, its cargo volumes doubled in the last two years.

Kazakhstan accelerating efforts to expand the strategic Middle Corridor

British outlet NE Global Media released an article on Nov. 9, also focused on the TITR, or the Middle Corridor, highlighting its main challenge – bottlenecks.

The article cited Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko, who disclosed 22 “hard” and 7 “soft” infrastructure bottlenecks on the route across the region, stressing the need for standardized regional procedures and customs documentation.

He emphasized the importance of upgrading the capacity of container hubs on the Caspian coast at the Aktau and Kuryk ports, including the new Sarzha multifunctional marine terminal.

First group of visa-free passengers from Kazakhstan enter China

Xinhua published an article on Nov. 10 about the first group of Kazakh nationals arriving at the airport under the China-Kazakhstan visa-free agreement, effective from that day.

Sixteen Kazakh nationals enjoyed the visa-free benefits as they arrived in Urumqi. Under the agreement, they are allowed to stay in China for up to 30 days per visit, with a total stay of 90 days within a 180-day period.

According to Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, the visa-free agreement is expected to increase the number of international flights between Kazakhstan and Urumqi to as many as six per day.

Mobilizing effective private finance key for diversification in Kazakhstan

Emerging Europe published an article on Nov. 7 about the reform of Kazakhstan’s state-owned holding company, Baiterek. The reform could generate lasting development impacts, foster efficient financial markets, and mobilize private capital effectively.

According to a new World Bank report, to reach its full potential, Baiterek needs to realign its governance, organizational structure, and operations, focusing on medium-term development impact and financial market creation.

The article notes that Baiterek’s strategy can greatly benefit from incorporating climate finance and green impacts, potentially positioning the institution as a global leader in green finance development and a role model for institutions in other countries.

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