The Ashgabat Agreement: A Comprehensive Guide
The Ashgabat Agreement, sometimes referred to as the GGTN (Garage-Gaparak-Turkmenbashi-Noursultan) Agreement, is a transport agreement that was signed on April 25, 2011, between the countries of Iran, Kazakhstan, Oman, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The agreement aims to expand and enhance regional transportation and transit routes between the participating countries, as well as promote economic development and trade in the region. In this article, we’ll take a more detailed look at the Ashgabat Agreement and its significance.
Background of the Ashgabat Agreement
The Ashgabat Agreement was signed in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, by representatives of the five participating countries. It came into effect on April 27, 2016, after all the ratification procedures were completed by the participating countries. The agreement allows for the creation of a transport corridor that will connect Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, facilitating the movement of goods, people, and vehicles across the region.
Benefits of the Ashgabat Agreement
The Ashgabat Agreement provides a number of important benefits for the participating countries and the wider region. For example, it will help to promote economic growth and trade, as well as create new job opportunities. By opening up new transport corridors, the agreement will also help to improve regional connectivity and reduce transportation costs. It will also increase the capacity and efficiency of existing transportation networks, making it easier to move goods and people across borders.
In addition, the Ashgabat Agreement will have important geopolitical implications. By increasing trade and connectivity between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf, it will help to reduce the region`s dependence on foreign powers for economic and strategic purposes. It will also promote regional stability by strengthening ties between neighboring countries.
Key Components of the Ashgabat Agreement
The Ashgabat Agreement has several key components that help to define its scope and purpose.
1. Transport Corridors: The agreement outlines two main transport corridors – the first one runs from Iran`s Bandar Abbas port to Turkmenistan`s Ashgabat port, and the second runs from Kazakhstan`s Aktau port to Turkmenistan`s Turkmenbashi port. The transport corridors will be used for the movement of goods and people.
2. Customs Procedures: The agreement establishes a harmonized customs system for the participating countries, making it easier to move goods across borders. This includes standardizing customs procedures, reducing documentation requirements, and simplifying border clearance processes.
3. Infrastructure Development: The participating countries are committed to improving the infrastructure along the transport corridors, including roads, railways, and ports. This will help to increase the efficiency and capacity of the transport networks.
4. Transit Fees: The participating countries have agreed to establish a transparent and fair system for the collection of transit fees for the movement of goods along the transport corridors. This will help to reduce the cost of transportation and promote regional trade.
The Ashgabat Agreement is an important step towards promoting regional connectivity and economic development in Central Asia. By opening up new transport corridors and promoting the movement of goods and people across borders, the agreement will help to increase trade and reduce transportation costs in the region. It will also have important geopolitical implications, promoting regional stability and reducing the region`s dependence on foreign powers. As such, it represents an important milestone in the development of the region`s transportation infrastructure.