Back in the 1990s, China decided to bolster its international expansion by reestablishing a shorter trade connection between China and European countries. With this objective in mind, China began enhancing economic relationships with post-Soviet Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries – de facto, a transit getaway.
One Belt One Road is responsible for reducing the transit time between China and the EU to 15 days. Khorgos is the largest dry port on this trade route, and one of the largest in the world.
Khorgos has been granted the status of free economic zone (FEZ). This OBOR initiative between China and Kazakhstan will generate billions of USD in trade annually by 2025. Both countries agreed to invest up to $2.6 billion into the infrastructure of Khorgos FEZ. The area itself is 300 hectares, and zoning is primarily for logistics, manufacturing, and tax-free individual trade. Since the opening of Khorgos in 2012, there has been an estimated 9.46 million visitors and over $878 million worth of trade.