Over the past four years container traffic from China to the European Union, via Kazakhstan, has seen a 15-fold increase from 21,000 containers in 2014 to just over 310,000 in 2018, according to the latter’s Industry and Infrastructure Development Minister Roman Sklyar.

Kazakhstan has established a free economic zone on its eastern border with Kazakhstan, a development that has allowed the former Soviet republic to become a major hub for the transit of goods both to and from China. It now serves as the main regional connector for the EU, China, Turkey, the other four former Soviet Central Asian republics (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan) with China.

“We intend to further expand our transport and logistics facilities and make full use of our transit potential,” said Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev.