Transport & Logistics:
FACTS AND MAIN CONDITIONS
Warehousing & Storage Systems & Distributions
Trucks, vans trailers, sami-trailers, forklift trucks manufacturers &
Rolling stocks, locomotives, wagons and carriage manufacturers/dealers
Transport systems planners/engineers
All kinds of tyre manufacturers & dealers
Cargo transportation, freight forwarding and Courier services
Transportation has been a key industry in
Central Asia since antiquity. The major transport roads in the Kyrgyz
Republic have their roots in the ancient Great Silk Road. This caravan route
was the main transportation and communication link between China and Europe.
Historically, major cities and towns were established along these key
transport routes within the Kyrgyz Republic.
During the Soviet era, transport
infrastructure in the Kyrgyz Republic saw major improvements and
developments. New paved highways and roads were constructed as vehicular
transportation was introduced for both people and goods. Later, rail
transport was developed. A large volume of cargo and passengers has
traditionally been carried by rail in the Kyrgyz Republic. In addition, air
transport and infrastructure were extensively developed with airports being
built in all major cities. The transport infrastructure was necessary for
economic development of the country since it was closely integrated with the
other republics of the former Soviet Union.
Nevertheless, the orientation of the Kyrgyz transport system during Soviet
times led to certain weaknesses after independence. The transport
infrastructure was designed to facilitate trade with only the northern and
European part of the Soviet Union (Russia). Other trade routes were
underdeveloped. East-West trade across the continent transited through
Russia, bypassing other Central Asian countries.
Currently, the transport sector has the
- State-owned roads and highways used by
state-owned, public, and private vehicles transporting passengers
- State-owned railway, used solely by a state-owned
rail company transporting passengers and cargo.
- Airports served by both state-owned and private
air transport companies transporting passengers and cargo.
There are no private roads in the Kyrgyz
Republic. The Kyrgyz national, regional or municipal
governments own and maintain all roads. Construction and maintenance of
these roads is financed from the corresponding budgets. The total length of
roads is 34,000 kms, according to the Kyrgyz Ministry of Transport and
Communications. According to the World Bank, 91% of
roads in the country are paved.
Transport contributes approximately 2-3%
to Kyrgyz GDP.
The Kyrgyz Republic has joined seven major Conventions regulating
international automotive traffic operations. In addition, 16 bilateral
agreements have been signed, 11 of them with CIS countries.
The Kyrgyz Republic is connected by road to Europe via Kazakhstan,
Uzbekistan, and Russia. The country also has roads connecting it with China.
The Kyrgyz Republic has road access to East and South Asian countries via
China and Pakistan (see Figure 1). The domestic road system is most dense
near Lake Issyk-Kul and in the portion of the Fergana
Valley that is part of the Kyrgyz Republic. Main roads in the country, with
a total length of 18,828 km, are:
- Bishkek - Osh - Irkeshtam - Kashgar (China)
- Bishkek - Naryn - Torugart - Kashgar (China)
A road in Osh
- Bishkek - Balykchy - Karakol
- Bishkek - Talas
Because of the country’s mountainous terrain,
trucks carry more than 97% of cargo in the country. Passenger transportation
is also dominated by automobiles, which carry 80% of all passengers. The
roads of strategic significance, for example Bishkek–Osh, are being
modernized to meet international standards with the assistance of a number
of international donors. There is a great demand for further foreign
assistance to solve the problem of infrastructure modernization, as Kyrgyz
government financial resources cannot meet the cost of all needed
The Kyrgyz Ministry of
Transport and Communication has designated the following six major roads as
needing to attract investment for upgrades:
1. Bishkek –
Besides being the primary transport and communication link between Chui,
Issyk-Kul and Naryn provinces, this road connects the country with
Kazakhstan in the north, with China in the south and, beyond China, with
Pakistan and India via the Kara-Korum Highway. The estimated cost of the
project is USD 189 million. In 1996, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB)
provided a grant in the sum of USD 298,000 for a feasibility study, which
has been completed.
2. Dhzambyl -
Talas – Suusamyr Highway
This route connects the Chui, Osh, and Jalal-Abad provinces, and also allows
communication with Kazakhstan to the north. Estimated cost of the project -
USD 14 million. The IDB provided a grant of USD 280,000 for a feasibility
study of this project and in May 2003 allocated USD 10.6 million for the
reconstruction of this highway. The reconstruction will start in 2004 and
will cover 54 kms from the Suusamyr side.
3. Osh -
Sary-Tash – Irkeshtam Highway
The distance to be improved is 262 km, including 184 km of the Osh -
Sary-Tash segment that is a part of the M-41 international highway, and 78
km of the Sary-Tash - Chinese border segment that is a part of the
international road connecting Dushanbe - Dhzergatal - Karamyk - Sary-Tash -
Irkeshtam. Estimated cost is USD 38 million.
4. Balykchy -
Karakol - Balykchy - Tup – Kegen Highway
This 514 km road circling Lake Issyk-Kul is the basic transport route in
Issyk-Kul province, and is crucial to cargo and passenger transportation. It
links the Balykchy – Bishkek railroad and the Bishkek – Torugart Highway
with the rest of the province. In the east, the road connects to a border
crossing with Kazakhstan. The presence of medically beneficial mineral
waters and the spectacular Lake Issyk-Kul are attracting developers of
resorts and tourism to this region. The cost of the project USD 63 million.
Reconstruction of the Osh - Batken - Isfana Highway.
The reconstruction of this highway segment of 413 km is aimed at allowing
travel between Osh and Batken without crossing into neighboring Uzbekistan.
The estimated cost of the project is USD 133 million. The prospective date
to attract investment is 2003.
Reconstruction of the Almaty - Bishkek – Tashkent Highway.
This is one of the major transport routes of the Kyrgyz Republic and
connects it with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey.
Plans call for construction of 232 km of multi-lane motorway and a parallel
railway. The total cost of the project is USD 14 million.
The Kyrgyz Republic’s railway
system has the following main lines:
- Balykchy - Bishkek - Lugovoe (further to
Kazakhstan and Russia)
- Osh - Jalal-Abad
- Kok-Yangak - Kara-Suu
- Kyzyl-Kiya - Tash-Kumyr (to Uzbekistan,
Turkmenistan and Persian Gulf countries)
A diesel loco near the main train station in Bishkek
According to the Kyrgyz Ministry of Transport
and Communications, the total length of the railroad system in the Kyrgyz
Republic is 424.6 kms. The Kyrgyz railway system consists of two unconnected
lines; a "Southern" line - 323.4 km and a "Northern" line - 101.2 km, which
are both branches of the Trans-Asian corridor. The route Osh - Jalal-Abad -
Kok-Yangak and the route Balykchy - Bishkek - Lugovoe (Kazakhstan) connect
with Russia through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, respectively. It is expected
that they will be connected to the proposed Eurasian rail corridor joining
Europe, Central Asia and China.
A railroad line connecting Balykchy - Jalal-Abad - Torugart - China is still
in the design phase. The construction of this railroad line will reduce the
rail distance between Europe and Southeast Asia by 1100 km in comparison
with the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway, and by 300 km in comparison
with the Friendship Railway in Kazakhstan. The European Union program TACIS
has provided USD 1 million for the preparation of a feasibility study of
Another proposed project is the electrification of 322.7 km of railway
between Lugovoe and Balykchy. The Kyrgyz Republic has no diesel fuel
production. Its potential for hydroelectric power production is extensive,
thus the desirability to convert the Lugovoe - Balykchy Railway section.
Electrification will not only solve economic problems, but also will have a
positive impact on ecological conditions in the Kyrgyz Republic. Estimated
total cost of construction is USD 145 million. The cost of the first stage
of construction of the Lugovoe - Alamedin segment (157 km) - is USD 69
million, while the second part, Alamedin - Balykchy (165,7 km), will cost
USD 76 million.
The mountainous terrain of the Kyrgyz
Republic limits pipeline transport. Pipeline transport includes sections of
the Bukhara - Tashkent - Bishkek - Almaty pipeline and the Maili-Sai - Jalal-Abad
- Kara-Suu - Osh pipeline.
In the Kyrgyz Republic there are two airports
that have been upgraded to meet international standards: Manas International
Airport in Bishkek and Osh International Airport. Regular international
flights to the following countries are offered from Manas International
Airport: UK, Germany, China, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Korea, UAE, and
Russia. There are also eight local airports that handle internal flights.
A small volume of transport by water occurs
on Lake Issyk-Kul.
transportation in Bishkek and the other
major cities was provided by the
government until several years ago. The transport system was
undercapitalized and badly managed. City administrations were unable to
purchase new buses and trolleybuses or maintain the existing ones. The World
Bank has allocated USD 24.44 million for reform in the municipal transport
sector, including the rehabilitation of 98 km municipal roads in three major
cities: Bishkek, Osh and Jalal-Abad. The World Bank also encouraged
development of private sector public transportation services. As a result,
private companies and individuals can pay license fees and a major part of
public transportation is now provided by the private sector.
Most of the intercity travelers having switched from the big state-run buses
to minivans, the palatial halls of Bishkek's West Bus Terminal remain mostly
Cargo and intercity passenger
transportation is provided by state-owned and private companies. The Bishkek
municipal park has 234 trolley-buses and 30-35 buses. However, according to
some estimates, 600 buses, 300 trolleybuses and around 400 minivans are
needed. In addition, private companies and individuals provide passenger
service using buses and minivans with 2100-2500 vehicles. Privatized
companies provide cargo transportation for businesses and private clients.
Also, customers can hire trucks belonging to self-employed drivers to
Rail transport services are provided by the
state-owned Kyrgyz Railroad Department (known as Kyrgyz Rail), which
provides cargo and passenger services. The company moves predominately heavy
raw materials and freight. It also carries a significant part of
international passenger traffic (within the former Soviet Union) due to its
low price in comparison with air and auto transport. According to Kyrgyz
Rail, passenger service is not profitable and is subsidized by its freight
There are two state-owned
airline companies: Kyrgyzstan Airlines and Altyn Air.
The companies operate both international and domestic flights with
Russian-made aircraft. The aircraft of both companies are relatively old.
Privately-owned KyrgyzAir operates Boeing MD-82 aircraft on its
Bishkek-Moscow route. There are several other small private airline
companies: Phoenix, Itek Air, Botyr Avia, Aerovista, Quattro Aero and KAS
(contact information is below). The following international carriers fly to
Bishkek: British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot and Tajik Airlines.
express mail agents. A number of
international express mail and cargo companies operate in the Kyrgyz
Republic. DHL, FedEx and UPS have offices in Bishkek. In addition there are
niche operators such as ARI Cargo, OCS and others.