October was a month with many business trips.
I joined the Central Corridor's research team which planned by the Japanese government and visited many related organizations and the ports/industrial area in Astana, Aktau, and Baku in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. And I also participated in the Japan Business Forum held in Georgia.
As a transport route from the Far East to Europe, the Northern Corridor through Russia, which has been used, can no longer be used due to the invasion by Russia for Ukraine, so the Central Corridor passing through China -Kazakhstan -Azerbaijan -Georgia -Turkey has attracted attention again.
However, as many countries are involved in the Central Corridor and it make the cost and the transit time inferior in the Central Corridor than the Northern Corridor. It is said that this Central Corridor is not competitive because the spaces of recent container ships have not been tight and freight rate has fallen.
Not only the procedures like transit documentations, but also the Caspian Sea ferry where the operation is not stable, the railway with a different track width, and the ports that are still poor, I think it will take more time that the Central Corridor will surpass the Northern Corridor.
However, I do not believe that in the future there will be a complete revival of routes through countries ruled by crazy people like Putin.
Considering the trade increase from/to Central Asian countries, I believe that the Central Corridor will be important and popular in the future, and we also want to consider actively utilization of the Central Corridor.
It was also good that this business trips were able to build a new network of business opportunities.