East-West Logistics Forum: Fostering Connectivity and Collaboration in the CAREC Region

On September 26th, Almaty became the epicenter of discussions surrounding transport corridors in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) region during the East-West Logistics Forum. With the theme “Transport Corridors in the CAREC Region: Supply Chain Resilience and Trade Facilitation,” the conference convened a diverse array of experts, scholars, and industry leaders. This article delves deeper into the conference’s sessions and highlights, shedding light on the invaluable networking opportunities.

Session 1: The Silk Road’s Vital Role

The forum kicked off with a captivating session on the Silk Road’s significance, brilliantly chaired by Prof. Dr. Serge Velesco of the University of Mittweida. Prof. Dr. Andreas Schmalfuß eloquently articulated the historical and economic importance of the Silk Road, highlighting its potential as a crucial link between the European Union (EU) and Central Asia. A panel discussion ensued, creating a dynamic exchange of ideas between experts like Prof. Dr. Wolrad Rommel and Antje Hermenau, Prof. Dr. Serge Velesco, Valeria Winkler fostering connections between academia, government, and industry.

Session 2: Strategic Pathways and Business Perspectives

Chaired by Kulagina Nataliya, General Director of LLP “Vesta Kazakhstan,” the second session offered attendees deeper insights into the vitality of transport corridors from a business perspective. Yerkhat Iskaliyev, Chairman of SK Pharmacia LLP and a key figure in the transport logistics industry, emphasized current urban logistics trends. Prof. Dr. Jens Wollenweber shared his research on economic corridors, offering a valuable academic perspective. Oksana Sorokina, General Director of SevenR Logistics, added practical insights to the discussion. These presentations sparked lively discussions and the forging of connections between researchers and industry representatives. Hans Holzhacker, Chief Economist at the CAREC Institute, reiterated the significance of economic corridors, solidifying the connection between research and real-world applications.

Session 3: Advancing Transport Connectivity

Chaired by Dina Azhgaliyeva, Senior Research Fellow at ADBI, this session delved deep into the intricacies of advancing transport connectivity in the CAREC region. Presenters explored topics ranging from the economic impact of transport corridors to trade facilitation indicators’ influence on trade flows. These presentations not only facilitated knowledge sharing but also created connections between researchers and policymakers. The interactive Q&A sessions provided a platform for fruitful discussions and networking opportunities.

Session 4: Shaping Sustainable Transport Infrastructure

Rovshan Mahmudov, Senior Capacity Building Specialist at the CAREC Institute, presided over the final session. Presenters discussed sustainable transport infrastructure asset management, the evolution of China Rail Express, and the impact of the Middle Corridor. These presentations highlighted the pressing need for sustainable infrastructure in the region and led to discussions on collaborative efforts to achieve this goal.

Networking and the Visit to Damu Logistics Enterprise:

Beyond the structured sessions, the East-West Logistics Forum also provided ample networking opportunities. Delegates, including researchers and field representatives, had the chance to engage in informal discussions, exchange contact information, and explore potential collaborations.

Moreover, the forum went the extra mile by organizing a visit to Damu Logistics Enterprise. This on-site visit allowed participants to witness firsthand the practical aspects of logistics and supply chain management in the CAREC region. The visit not only enriched participants’ understanding but also facilitated networking between academia and industry.

The East-West Logistics Forum in Almaty transcended the confines of a traditional conference. Beyond the insightful presentations and discussions, it served as a nexus where researchers and representatives from the field came together to share knowledge, ideas, and experiences. The visit to Damu Logistics Enterprise added a practical dimension to the conference, fostering connections between theory and practice. As the CAREC region continues to develop its transport corridors, collaborations forged at events like this will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the region’s future as a hub for trade and economic growth.

Photos from the event can be downloaded from the links below: