By Meiramgul Kussainova
NUR SULTAN, Kazakhstan (AA) – Trade between Turkey and Kazakhstan in Central Asia is set to rise with the opening of a long-shut corridor between Azerbaijan and its southwestern autonomous exclave, experts say.
Saparbay Jubayev, Kazakh economist, told Anadolu Agency that the Nakhchivan corridor — newly created in an agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia — would strengthen Central Asia's geostrategic position.
Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have ports on either side of the Caspian Sea for cargo ships to dock, Jubayev said, adding that this provides the "opportunity to directly transport cargo from Europe and China among us without needing Russia or Iran," both poised on the northern and southern Caspian coastlines, respectively.
He explained that the corridor could pave the way for a route via Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
"Thus, reaching Central Asia and China will be easier for Turkey, while Kazakhstan will expand its way out to the Mediterranean and Europe via Turkey. Most importantly, it will increase travel to and from Turkish states."
Madiyar Kenjebolat, an expert from the Kazakhstan Economic Research Institute, said the corridor could also lead to a proliferation of Kazakh-Turkish joint facilities.
Products manufactured in Kazakhstan with raw materials brought from Turkey, can be taken to the Russian market free of tax under the Eurasian Economic Union, Kenjebolat noted.
"The same facilities can be established in the Horgos — an international free trade zone — on the Kazakhstan-China border," he added.
After the 44-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted with Azerbaijan's victory, Azerbaijan-Armenia signed an agreement on Nov. 10. The Russian-brokered agreement allows Azerbaijan to create the "Nakhchivan Corridor" that unites Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan.