Middle Corridor, which connects Europe, Türkiye, the South Caucasus, Central Asia and China, has become “a significant artery” amid global challenges, according to a deputy secretary general of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), Ömer Kocaman.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) amid the Informal Summit of the Heads of State of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in Shusha, Azerbaijan, Kocaman evaluated the role of the Middle Corridor as well as the decisions taken during the summit.

Highlighting the importance of preserving the historical and cultural heritage of Turkic states at the summit, Kocaman said, “The location of our summit in Shusha city, which represents the resistance, victory and reclaiming of cultural heritage in the recently liberated lands of Azerbaijan, symbolizes unity in the Turkic world and demonstrates that Karabakh is an inseparable part of Azerbaijan and the Turkic world.”

He also recalled that the summit was held under the theme “Building a Sustainable Future with Transportation, Connectivity and Climate Action,” emphasizing strengthened joint efforts in key areas such as international sustainable development, transportation infrastructure, and climate resilience.

Pointing out that the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP29) will be held in Baku, Kocaman stressed that discussions on regional climate issues among Turkic states present a significant opportunity to create a common green agenda.

Strategic decisions

Emphasizing that the summit served as a platform for making decisions to strengthen Turkic states’ economic and infrastructural foundations, Kocaman expressed that numerous decisions were made in this regard.

Kocaman noted that advancing the Trans-Caspian International East-West Middle Corridor to optimize trade routes between Europe, Türkiye, the South Caucasus, Central Asia and China was among the agenda items.

“Several important documents were signed and accepted at the summit, including the Karabakh Declaration, which presents a comprehensive vision for future cooperation in the region,” he stated.

“Additionally, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed among OTS member states for the implementation of the ‘ePermit Project,’ a pioneering digital initiative to facilitate transportation procedures along our borders and enhance efficiency through the use of electronic permits (e-permits) in international road transport activities,” he added.

Middle Corridor

Referring to the Middle Corridor, Kocaman remarked, “Amid the recent global challenges, the Middle Corridor has become a very important artery. Beyond facilitating trade, the strategic importance of the corridor will promote economic resilience and cooperation amid evolving geopolitical dynamics.”

“In light of recent crises, this corridor will not only facilitate efficient trade routes but also enhance economic resilience among and beyond OTS member countries,” he said.

“The corridor is a strategic necessity that supports sustainable development and regional integration amid growing global challenges by bridging continents and promoting closer collaboration,” noted Kocaman.

Stressing their priority to enhance cooperation in the transportation sector, Kocaman explained that OTS countries play a crucial role in transportation, trade and energy routes.

Highlighting commitments by member countries in the Turkic World 2040 Vision regarding the Middle Corridor, Kocaman detailed the connectivity efforts among Turkic states.

“With regard to the Georgia route and the Middle Corridor, which are complementary to each other, there is a common will in the Turkic world to integrate the Zangezur Corridor, which will establish an uninterrupted land connection into the Trans-Caspian International East-West Central Corridor,” he explained.

Moreover, the OTS official cited that in terms of connectivity, the organization has achieved “significant milestones,” pointing to agreements such as “the Strategy for Facilitating Trade” and the “Agreement on Establishing Simplified Customs Corridor,” among others.

These efforts have played a crucial role in improving transportation and trade connections across the region, according to Kocaman.

Pointing out that Turkic states are strategically located at the intersection of continents, Kocaman said, “The region possesses significant economic capacity with a population exceeding 300 million, a gross domestic product (GDP) exceeding $1.5 trillion, a trade volume exceeding $500 billion and an investment size exceeding $250 billion.”

Kocaman concluded by stating that the Turkic Investment Fund, one of the productive and comprehensive projects resulting from the efficient operation of OTS, is the first and main joint financial institution established by Turkic states.

“Managed by relevant financial authorities, this strategic fund will be instrumental in promoting economic growth among our members, particularly in sectors critical to our sustainable development agenda such as infrastructure, energy, and technology,” he noted.

“The fund aims to catalyze investments, promote innovation, create employment opportunities, encourage private sector participation, and support inclusive economic development in the Turkic world.”

The fund’s foundation aligns with the Turkic World 2040 Vision, a strategic road map adopted in 2021 to enhance collaboration across member states. The founding agreement for the fund was signed on the sidelines of the extraordinary OTS summit in Ankara last March.

“The contributions of the fund will play a crucial role in unlocking the economic potential of our region and advancing our shared prosperity goals,” said Kocaman.

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