New Silk Road
The "New Silk Road" is an infrastructure project expected to significantly accelerate and reduce the cost of goods delivery from China to Europe through Central Asia and the Caucasus. For this project, Beijing established a $40 billion Silk Road fund, as well as the $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Kazakhstan, the leading economic powerhouse in Central Asia, is a key player in the New Silk Road project. On April 9, 2013, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to the United States, Kairat Umarov, said in his speech in Washington DC: “The New Silk Road vision complement's Kazakhstan's efforts to transform itself from a "land-locked" to "land-linked" country and serve as a land bridge between Asia and Europe.”
Kazakhstan’s part in the New Silk Road initiative consists in building a new modern railway system to transport goods from China through Central Asia to their final destinations in the capitals of Europe. Within the project, Kazakhstan plan to invest in its transportation industry over $20 billion by 2020, said Kazakhstan’s deputy minister of investment and development.
Kazakhstan - U.S. relations and regional economic goals are aligned to support the State Department-backed New Silk Road initiative for Central Asia and Afghanistan. The New Silk Road aims to use energy, transport, trade, communications and infrastructure investment to economically integrate the region, provide regional stability and boost its potential as a transit area between Europe and East Asia.
South and Central Asia remains one of the least economically integrated regions in the world, presenting an untapped opportunity for investment and human development. As such, the initiative targets to improve this by accelerating the flow of goods, services and people throughout the region to promote cross-border collaboration and trade.