Owing to their geographic position, Central Asia States having been linking the East and the west since ancient times can become the main transit link in the “New Silk Road” otherwise conventionally called “Economic Belt of the Silk Road” (EBSR). Idea of its creation was suggested by PRC Chairman Xi Jinping. For the first time, he raised this idea in Astana during a state visit to Kazakhstan in 2013. Chinese leader noted that the “strategic goal” consists in “stable economic development and prosperity of the states on a mutually beneficial basis”.
Two of three onshore routes of the “Economical Belt of the Silk Road” are laid through Central Asia. These routes lead from China to Europe up to the coast of the Baltic and Mediterranean seas as well as up to Persian Gulf. They assume recovery of old motor roads and construction of new transport corridors. Many projects are these days under implementation throughout Central Asia. They are supposed to link this region with China, India, and Iran.
Under Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program (CAREC) and with support of Asian Development Bank (ADB), Tajikistan was provided with National General Plan of Transport Sector Development.
The concept of overriding the transport crisis assumed both construction of motor roads ensuring the year-around road linkage between regions of the country, and massive improvement of internal regional motor roads as well as construction of modern international transport corridors endowing Tajikistan with the potential of a transit country. There have been several projects developed for construction of motor roads leading to borders of Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, PRC, and Afghanistan in order to advance then towards the North to reach Kazakhstan and Russian markets. Concerning the Southern direction, international transport corridors shall link Tajikistan with provinces of Afghanistan, with the expectation that there will be once the peace established in this country and it will become one of the key trade partners ensuring the access to the Indian Ocean.
As in past centuries, Tajikistan is expected be again become the bridge between the East and west, North and South. The bridge will connect not only manufacturers and markets but also souls and hearts of people.