Turkish Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu announced the establishment of the Railway Transport Working Group with the decision of the Bulgaria-Hungary-Serbia-Turkey Quadrilateral Ministerial Coordination Council, and the working group should address railway infrastructure, especially sustainable and green transportation in line with the European Green Agreement in the railway field. He stated that he will immediately start working on many issues, including.
Adil Karaismailoğlu attended the Bulgaria-Hungary-Serbia-Turkey Quadrilateral Ministerial Coordination Council meeting. Making a statement after the meeting, Karaismailoğlu said, “Our aim is to evaluate our plans for ‘green transportation’, which will affect the future not only of our countries but also of our world, to remove obstacles in transportation and accessibility, and to establish a more effective and efficient transportation network.”
We are at a strategic point in terms of transportation between Asia and Europe
Karaismailoğlu continued his speech: “Turkey is at a strategic point in terms of transportation between Asia and Europe. The increase in the trade volume between China and Europe alone draws attention to the importance of the position our countries have. When international transportation corridors are considered, the Middle Corridor has turned into a strong alternative in terms of distance and time. If a freight train from China to Europe prefers the Russian Northern Trade Route; It covers 10 thousand kilometers in at least 20 days. If he chooses the Southern Corridor via the Suez Canal by ship, he can travel 20 thousand kilometers and reach Europe in only 45 to 60 days. However, the same train covers 7 thousand kilometers in 12 days via the Middle Corridor and Turkey. These figures alone demonstrate how advantageous and secure the Middle Corridor is in global trade, between Asia and Europe.”
It is one of our goals to increase the competitiveness by reducing the costs
Pointing out that the Russia-Ukraine War, which has been taking place since February, has put the Northern Corridor in trouble, Karaismailoğlu said, “The Southern Corridor route is disadvantageous in terms of both cost and time compared to its route. In addition, we still remember that in March 2021, the ship Ever Given, which was going from Malaysia to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, ran aground and blocked the Suez Canal. Taking into account the fact that we are at the center of the Asian-European foreign trade networks in our region, we aim to be both a regional and a global base in logistics. Our government also attaches special importance to the development of transport and communication infrastructures, which are the lifeblood of large economies. We have serious responsibilities to develop trade and increase the efficiency of the line in the Middle Corridor. First of all, it is one of our goals to increase the competitiveness by reducing the costs in order to improve the volume of freight transported by rail. Our target for 2053 is the amount of freight transported by rail; We will increase it from 38 million tons to 440 million tons annually.”
Sustainable and green transportation, in line with the European Green Agreement in the field of railways
Reminding that Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkey met as Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Transport last week, Karaismailoğlu said that with Turkey’s proposal, a working group was formed to develop cooperation in the field of transportation and increase transportation between the three countries.
Karaismailoğlu noted that concrete and working subjects that will affect the result have been determined and said, “The most obvious output of the cooperation in the field of transportation between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey was the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Line. We continue to develop our cooperation with the east of our country and to establish new solution-oriented mechanisms on an international scale. We are taking a new step every day in the development of the Middle Corridor, which has become a center of attraction by hosting the establishment of a Council that will carry out important and effective activities in the western direction. We established the Railway Transport Working Group as the first act of the Bulgaria-Hungary-Serbia-Turkey Quadrilateral Ministerial Coordination Council, whose first meeting we held today. This working group will immediately start working on many issues including the handling of railway infrastructure, especially sustainable and green transportation, in line with the European Green Consensus in the field of railways, and will present its results to the Council. In this way, as the Ministers of the four countries, we will rapidly move towards our goals by taking decisions based on the results of the issues discussed at the technical level. We are also planning their integration on an international scale by evaluating the investments we have made in our country in a multidimensional way.”