Kazakhstan is strategically located at the intersection between Europe and Asia. The transport sector plays a key role in the country’s economy and contributes to over 9% of its GDP. The sector includes roads, railways, inland waterways and aviation. However, roads and railways are predominant. The country currently has a 138,700 km total length of hard surface roads and a 16,000 km total length of railways (Third Biennial Report, 2017). Inland water transport takes a small share of transport services in Kazakhstan. The country has over 4,000 km of inland waterways and access to the Caspian Sea. Cargo transportation uses inland water transport in several parts of the country.
Between 2013 and 2016, freight and passenger transportation increased by 4.5% and 11.6 % respectively. The share of railway transportation decreased by 2%. The passenger turnover in motor vehicles increased by 1.9%. Air freight transport decreased by 32 %. Road freight transport increased by 12%. Railways provide over 70% of the cargo turnover. Growing dependencies of both freight and passenger transportation on the road network highlight the importance of the road transportation segment. The transport infrastructure in many rural areas and territories with low population density, such as the Western and Central regions of the country, is still underdeveloped. The railway infrastructure also requires repairs and upgrades.
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