The Belt and Road Project has been on the agenda of both the Turkish logistics industry and UTİKAD since 2013. We tried to draw attention to the importance of One Generation One Road Project for our country in almost every platform that we have been talking about over the years. Because being a part of this project is of great importance in terms of our country's goal of becoming the international hub of foreign trade and logistics sector.
As it is known, the European connection with China is mostly provided through Russia in the project. However, there was a heavy traffic on that line over time; there is a very serious waiting situation for trains, especially at arrival terminals. This is China's reasons, it's possible to say that in a search operation in the point be made whether via Turkey. The feasibility of this was also demonstrated by the test train held recently. October 15, 2019 date set out in China's freight train from Xi'an city on November 5 had entered Turkey from Kars. Carrying an electronic product load equivalent to approximately 42 trucks, China Railway Express, with 820 container-loaded wagons with a total length of 42 meters; Crossing 2 seas, 10 countries, 2 seas, covered 12 thousand 11 kilometers in 483 days. The China Iron Silk Road from Europe to the Middle transportation corridor and the first train voyage through Turkey and also organized the first international freight trains had been experienced in the past the European side of the Marmaray tube tunnel.
Turkey very serious discussions on how to affect the economy of the project are also available. Markets in the "Belt-way, China will allow for cheaper goods go to Europe via Turkey, Turkey will suffer losses in competitiveness in Europe" we also know that worrying is going on. At this point, "Belt and Road to examine the positive and negative effects of the economic and cultural aspects of our country will be made by DEIK" Locating Report on Turkey's Belt and Road Initiative "was prepared. As a result of this report, it is revealed that the Belt and Road Project will benefit our country in many ways.
One Belt One Road Project primarily provides a great investment potential to our country economically. China has recently switched from classic goods to high-tech production, however, there is still a great need for products produced by classical methods in the world, especially in Africa. In this respect, China considers our country as a production base for Africa and Southeast Europe.
One of the findings from the report issued by the belt and the road will increase in Turkey's exports to the African. While China has increased its exports to different geographies of the world, Africa has been the continent with the least increase in exports with 3%. Contrary to the estimations, the low export to Africa was incompatible with China and African cultures and consequently resistance against Chinese products. This situation offers a great potential if Turkey.
The project also has great advantages in the logistics industry. Looking at the route between China and Turkey draws attention to the Caucasus region. The Caucasus is a place where our country wants to increase its exports, but so far it is only an area we have reached by road. As is known, highway is a very costly process. With the start of the train lines, it is foreseen that mutual transportation will increase and freights will decrease.
As UTİKAD, we will share our opinions and suggestions regarding the maximum benefit and competitiveness of our country in this important project with the public in the coming period. At this point, it is of great importance to complete the signaling and electrification of all lines. In addition, it is necessary to ensure that the freight trains of the Bosphorus pass through the Marmaray and / or Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge are carried out uninterruptedly and regularly by the railway, and the transfer centers that can be operated in a sufficient number and fast on the İpekyolu route, and our ports, stations and logistics centers are designed to respond to the wagon and freight transfer operations. .
With the increase in the capacities of the Black Sea ports and the strengthening of the container ship lines, the Black Sea Line will be able to carry both cheaper and higher quantities. Thus, Russia will pass through the Northern Corridor from Turkey and Central Corridor will create a very serious alternative. Turkey should increase the transit speed of the upgrade is a must-own operations over the route and the speed of transfer centers and service quality in order to overcome this competition.
If the embargo on Iran is lifted, another serious opponent to the BTK line will be the Southern Corridor that runs through Iran. This corridor, which will have a very important capacity, will ensure that the cargoes of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are transported on the faster and cheaper Iran route, rather than the longer route over Kazakhstan. Turkey yet due to the embargo should be already prepared for this line inactive, Van transitions, Bosphorus / Marmara transition should be strengthened and accelerated. Also this line with Samsun Asian freight reaching Turkey, Mersin, Iskenderun, Izmir, Aliaga, Gemlik, Izmir and regulations need to be transferred to countries of the region through the Istanbul port is required of both infrastructure preparations.
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UTİKAD Chairman of the Board