World, Middle East

Global tensions elevate strategic importance of Middle Corridor: OTS official

Middle Corridor has emerged as vital trade route amid global tensions and is crucial for economic resilience, says Organization of Turkic States Deputy Secretary General Omer Kocaman

Mert Davut  | 09.07.2024 - Update : 09.07.2024
Global tensions elevate strategic importance of Middle Corridor: OTS official


Amid global challenges, the Middle Corridor, which links Europe, Türkiye, the South Caucasus, Central Asia and China, has emerged as a vital trade route, said Omer Kocaman, deputy secretary general of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS).

Following a recent informal summit of the Heads of State of the OTS in Shusha, Azerbaijan, Kocaman highlighted the corridor’s significance, speaking to Anadolu.

"The fact that our summit was held in the city of Shusha, which represents resistance, victory and the recovery of cultural heritage, recently liberated by Azerbaijan, symbolizes unity in the Turkic world and demonstrates that Karabakh is an inseparable part of Azerbaijan and the Turkic world," he said.

Kocaman noted that the summit, themed "Building a Sustainable Future with Transportation, Connectivity and Climate Action," reinforced joint efforts in sustainable development, transportation infrastructure and climate resilience.

He also underscored the importance of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP29) in Baku, Azerbaijan in November, seeing it as a crucial opportunity for the Turkic states to discuss regional climate issues and develop a common green agenda.

The OTS summit saw significant strategic decisions aimed at enhancing the economic and infrastructural foundations of the Turkic states, according to Kocaman.

He added that one key agenda item was advancing the Trans-Caspian International East-West Middle Corridor to optimize trade routes.

"At the summit, many important documents, including the Karabakh Declaration, which offers a comprehensive vision for future cooperation in the region, were signed and accepted," Kocaman said.

He also highlighted the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding among OTS member states to implement the “ePermit” project, a digital initiative to streamline transportation procedures and utilize electronic permits in international road transport.

"The Middle Corridor has become a very important artery amid recent global challenges. The strategic importance of the corridor will go beyond facilitating trade and will promote economic resilience and cooperation in the face of evolving geopolitical dynamics," Kocaman said.

"In light of recent crises, this corridor will not only facilitate efficient trade routes but also increase economic resilience among and beyond OTS member countries. By bridging continents and promoting closer cooperation, the corridor is a strategic imperative that supports sustainable development and regional integration amid evolving global challenges."

Kocaman also pointed out that the Turkic states occupy a strategic crossroads of continents with significant economic capacity, including a population exceeding 300 million and a trade volume surpassing $500 billion.

One notable initiative is the Turkic Investment Fund, the first joint financial institution established by the Turkic states, he said.

"The Turkic Investment Fund represents one of the cornerstones of economic cooperation within the OTS, and its financial details are managed by the relevant financial authorities. This strategic fund will be effective in promoting economic growth among our members, especially in sectors critical to our sustainable development agenda such as infrastructure, energy and technology."

Kocaman added that the fund aims to create employment opportunities, encourage private sector participation and support inclusive economic development in the Turkic world, unlocking the region's economic potential and advancing common prosperity goals.

*Writing by Gizem Nisa Cebi

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