Within the framework of the OSCE project, which took place on October 30, 2019 in the International Sea Port of Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan is successfully moving towards strengthening its green ports and ties in the Caspian Sea region. The implementation of the project, prepared by the OSCE Office for the Coordination of Economic and Environmental Activities, is expected to contribute to the diversification of energy supplies from the ports of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, as well as the accession of the Central Asian states to the EU markets through the Caspian Sea.
The event was organized by the Office of the OSCE Coordinator for Economic and Environmental Affairs with the support of the Agency of Turkmenistan's Sea and River Routes.
Representatives of the port administration, representatives of various companies and senior employees of the departments of the international seaport of Turkmenbashi attended the seminar in the International Port of Turkmenbashi. They discussed further steps to introduce energy efficiency and simplify trade procedures in port operations. And they exchanged views on the future of sustainable trade in the Caspian region and the role of digitalization as a tool to facilitate trade.
According to a press release from the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna, a feasibility study, expert workshops, and visits by their delegations to leading international green ports will help to understand how to make the best use of renewable energy, digitalization, and trade and transport facilitation. The project will be implemented in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and leading private sector experts.
Caspian countries such as Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan plan to create a digital platform to facilitate the exchange of data between their seaports, which will benefit from reduced border crossing times and increased cooperation between agencies.
“The cooperation between the Turkmenbashi International Seaport and the OSCE, as well as the ports of the Caspian region, is another important step in managing further environmental protection and accelerating more efficient and timely data exchange in the Caspian region.
The senior employee of the OSCE energy security program, Daniel Kroos, indicated that the region’s economy should experience significant growth in the coming decades due to economic growth in Asia.
“The growing interdependence and stronger economic relations in the region provide an opportunity to expand cooperation in the field of international and regional security and the need for a comprehensive approach, encompassing energy, digital aspects and transport infrastructure to host fast-growing trade between Asia and Europe,” Kroos added.
The Turkmenbashi International Seaport is the main passenger harbor and cargo port in the city of Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan. Regular lines serve routes to Baku (Azerbaijan), Aktau (Kazakhstan) and Astrakhan (Russia). This is the largest seaport of Turkmenistan.
The port has geopolitical significance in Eurasia. Located at the junction of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) trade route, the port is able to receive ships throughout the year, and carry out loading and unloading operations around the clock. The port is a “sea gate” connecting Europe with Central Asia via sea, road and railways and serves as a major transit hub in the region.
“Through this innovative flagship project, the OSCE will contribute to strengthening regional sustainability, connectivity, security and economic growth in the Caspian region.