The most significant progress in transport infrastructure in Central Asia is observed in Turkmenistan
“The length of paved roads in the Central Asian region has increased by 24.5 thousand km over the past 20 years. The most significant progress can be noted in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, where the most large-scale road construction has been launched,” says the report of the Eurasian Development Bank “Economy of Central Asia: a new look”.
According to the EDB data, in the percentage ratio of 2021 to 2000 indicators, Turkmenistan is in first place in terms of the increase in the length of the public road network.
Turkmenistan is modernizing and building a network of highways with a length of 13.7 thousand km. About 200 bridges have been put into operation. Construction work is underway on the 600-km highway Ashgabat - Turkmenabat - the border with Uzbekistan, which is planned to be completed by 2030. The planned construction of the Turkmenbashi-Garabogaz highway-border with Kazakhstan with a bridge across the Garabogazgol Bay (298 km, of which 225 km on the territory of Turkmenistan) should be included in the Eastern road route of the international transport corridor "North-South".
Among the problems relevant for the whole of Central Asia, the underdevelopment of passenger traffic between the countries of the region is highlighted. A similar problem exists in air transport. According to the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC, 2022), due to the lack of direct flights between the capitals of some Central Asian countries, only a connecting route through Istanbul remains available for flights.
In all Central Asian states in the 21st century, strategic importance is attached to the development of railways. Previously, the volume of cargo transportation within the region was relatively small. Currently, new rail routes and container services are being created that will allow better integration into global supply chains, the EDB report says.
In particular, it is noted that several important projects have been implemented in Turkmenistan to expand the railway network with a length of 5188 km. The plans include the electrification of the main trunk sections with a length of 2000 km.
Turkmenistan is implementing the task of turning the country into a transport and communication center in the east-west and north-south directions. Large-scale projects are being implemented to modernize existing and build new roads and railways, upgrade and expand the material and technical base of civil aviation and shipping.