Where East

Meets West

CNN International shoots a new film about New Silk Road in Kazakhstan

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The CNN channel is preparing to show the film “Silk way: past, present, future”. Part of the shootings took a place in Kazakhstan. Shooting team led by general producer Jonathan Jensen, TV host of program Sumnima Udas and cameraman Alister Skin arrived from China and spent a few days in Kazakhstan.

“This is not a group for international television news. This team engaged in the production of special programs. As planned by the program, their TV host travels around the cities of The Great Silk Road and tells how commercial transit route had changed since ancient times, and which kind of benefits it brings to people today” -told Rustem Rahim. – “Everyone knows that earlier caravans transported silk and spices. This program will include graphics and historical insertions, but most of all they are focused on real projects and perspective plans. In Kazakhstan they are shooting the main part of the film- transit and logistics zone- trains, which are coming from China to Europe by New Silk Road”.

How to tell about the Silk road, if you have never been on its main border stations?
Therefore, the shooting team visited the border station Altynkol and was introduced to the work of dry port SEZ “Khorgos-Eastern Gate”. That point on the map of Eurasia in recent years have increasingly attracted foreign visitors. They are interested on improvement of this perspective transport-logistics hub on the border of Kazakhstan and China.

Why Kazakhstan needed a second border point Altynkol-Khorgos along with functioning of Dostyk-Alashankou? Which trains pass through this route, what they are transporting, and how much time do they need to pass the territory of the Republic? What we can tell about the New Silk Road? How it looks like nowadays? What did grandfather of the Director of Altynkol station Nurym Zhaniyazov tell about an ancient route to his grandson? The journalists had a lot of questions. Railway workers answered to all this questions in details.
-I can compare: Altynkol- is our Miami, Dostyk - Hawaii, tried to explain to foreigners Nurym Zhaniyazov, ex-director of Dostyk station.- We are struggling for the volumes of goods that are currently transported by the sea. Our main purpose is to provide the customer with a good service in order to attract him in shipping his cargo by our route. We are a customer-oriented company. Today, all of customers focused on fast delivery and cargo safety. We provide this. Speed of our trains is about 1000 km/a day. The time of container trains from arriving to the station until its dispatching, including border control, customs clearance, reloading from narrow (Chinese) gauge to the wide (Kazakh) gauge just takes about 4 hours.

The CEO of “KTZE-Khorgos Gateway” Karl Gheysen told about perspectives of dry port, about privileges and preferences, which are available to the participants of SEZ. He toured the CNN team not only to the new building, which were commissioned recently, but also to container yard, which is ready for large volume of transshipment activities.
Most of all guests were interested in how experience and technologies of global operator DP World, which manages dry port, will be used in Khorgos.
-We have completed the development of KTZE-Khorgos Gateway. This company will conduct operations in dry port and manage the logistics and industrial zones of SEZ on the principles and technologies of DP World, which manages the biggest SEZ of Dubai Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), and also multiple circuit around the world. 
– Soon we will start a real operations with containers. We are planning the arrival of foreign investors. A lot of companies are interested in working and investing in an logistics zone -said Karl Gheysen.
The shooting team, which arrived to Altynkol station planned to be there for about 4 hours, but they finished their shootings only at 07.00 p.m. The shootings continued in a cargo route. They met a container train on Chinese border, they were watching how railway workers making reloading cargo from narrow gauge to the wide, and then they saw how that train carried 51 wagons arrived from Cindao to Uzbekistan.

They were convinced, that Kazakh part of transport-logistics route of the New Silk Road is really made of steel.

The shooting team were not limited only by transport logistics, considering other aspects and effects of the route. They were interested in everything which became real because of this transcontinental route. For example, how it contributes on improvement of domestic tourism in Kazakhstan. They visited Almaty and its suburbs; in the fields, where a trekking, rafting, horse riding and other sports are becoming popular. Organizers tried to show them a nomadic culture, as touristic value of new Silk Road.

Another topic, which will be in the film, concerns architecture in a futuristic style, which is present in new cities of the Silk Road. That is why, the shootings took a place in a new city, which is growing and developing nowadays, demonstrating new possibilities. The capital of Kazakhstan allows different opportunities to realize their own fantasies, lifelong dreams, to make an interesting significant unusual facility. 
JSC “NC “KTZ” render assistance to the shooting team. Vice-President of JSC “NC “KTZ” Kanat Alpysbayev gave them an interview.
The film, which will consist of three parts - the architecture, transport logistics and tourism, will be completed within two weeks.