I have been travelling around Kazakhstan for the last 30 years but never had a chance to go around by my favourite means of transport – by railway. Nevertheless, a lot of my time in Kazakhstan related to the Kazakhstan Railways.
In the second part of 2019, I managed a film production by DARS FILMS of TV commercial KAZAKHSTAN INTEGRATED TRANSPORT. Why I feel good about this project? Because it was not just production, but a presentation of the enormous potential of the entire transport system of Kazakhstan to the world on the global TV channel BBC World News. Not very often nowadays we can witness that transport infrastructure in the ex-USSR countries is presented to hundreds of millions on international TV channels.
Maybe this is the reason why transit via TransSiberian Railways is not up to the level everybody expects it to be and the transit potential of Kazakhstan is pushed to be developed just by the Government of Kazakhstan, but not by the State-owned railway companies and operators?
I saw nearly the same situation in Russia about ten-fifteen years ago. The difference was that transit potential of TransSiberian Railways was promoted outside of the country by private railway operators while state monopoly Russian Railways was talking about the importance of transit inside Russia only and during individual meetings at the international events. I was involved in this process on all levels and in different ways not just in Russia, but in China, South Korea and Japan. I am grateful to my partners and clients for the opportunity to make a difference and to see a result. My company, Dars Consulting, created a brand for TransContainer, which is still around. I enjoyed PR, GR and IR work on behalf of Far Eastern Transport Group in Russia and internationally. But all these results were achieved on the corporate level, not on the national one. As a result of competition between Russian private and state owned railways operators, international shipping lines became even more powerful, and they increased their share of cargo transit between Asia and Europe.
Obviously, there was a big difference between the Russian and Kazakh railway systems ten years ago. This difference is even more significant now, but there are many lessons to be learnt by Kazakhstan on the way to developing cargo transit potential via country….