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News Digest: Foreign Media on Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, Critical Raw Materials and More – The Astana Times

ASTANA – The Astana Times has selected articles from global media outlets covering Kazakhstan. This week’s foreign media digest covers the European Union-Kazakhstan’s cooperation on critical raw materials, the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, and more.

The East Kazakhstan Region. Photo credit: Reddit

EU expands international cooperation on critical raw materials

EU Reporter published an article on April 7 by Political Editor Nick Powell, which discusses the Minerals Security Partnership Forum. This forum is dedicated to enhancing global cooperation on critical raw materials (CRMs), which are essential for the world’s green and digital transitions. These materials include the mineral-rich Central Asian states of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

CRMs are indispensable for a wide set of technologies needed for the European Union’s strategic sectors such as net-zero industry, digital, space and defense. The demand for such critical raw materials has never been higher but is certain to grow further, driven by the green and digital transitions. For instance, the EU’s demand for lithium used in electric vehicle batteries and energy storage is expected to increase twelve-fold by 2030. At the same time, the supply of CRMs is at risk from major geopolitical, environmental, and other challenges.

In an important development, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, together with Namibia and Ukraine have joined the 15 existing mineral security partners – Australia, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the EU itself. The enlarged group has launched a new Minerals Security Partnership Forum.

Kazakhstan Railways brings TITR opportunities for overseas ambassadors

Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ), a state enterprise, hosted a meeting with international diplomatic missions to discuss the construction of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR, or the Middle Corridor), reported Trend on April 11.

Over 30 foreign ambassadors, as well as representatives from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank, were briefed on the Middle Corridor’s benefits and opportunities, the route’s development results, and prospects for international cooperation, as well as the results of Kazakhstan’s railway industry in 2023.

KTZ reports that container transit via Kazakhstan has increased 4.7 times in the last 10 years. At the end of last year, the volume of transit traffic exceeded 27 million tons, which has historically been the company’s strongest indicator.

At the same time, the volume of cargo moved through TITR nearly doubled in 2023 compared to 2022, reaching over 2.8 million tons. The expected volume for TITR in 2024 is four million tons. In the medium future, up to ten million tons.

Participants were also briefed about KTZ’s active work to strengthen the “soft and hard infrastructure” of TITR to improve logistics services both within and outside of Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan and Egypt develop economic cooperation

The Times of Central Asia released an article on April 8 about a round table in Cairo for large company members of the Egyptian Business Council for International Cooperation, hosted by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Egypt and Kazakh Invest.

Kairat Lama Sharif, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Egypt, stated that Egypt, as one of the three largest economies among Arab countries, has high potential for increasing trade and economic cooperation with Kazakhstan. By way of illustration, he reported that many Kazakh producers of convenience food have expressed interest in the Egyptian market, which has a population of more than 105 million.

Kazakhstan, Belgium eye to hold joint business forum

Kazakhstan and Belgium have agreed to hold a joint business forum, Azernews reported on April 10. Approximately 200 companies from both countries will participate in the event, scheduled to take place in Belgium this year. 

During the discussions, the parties addressed the volume of bilateral trade and acknowledged that it falls short of the existing potential.