U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks with Uzbekistani Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on March 12, 2013. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2013/03/205977.htm

Along the New Silk Road

The Amir Temur Museum in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, shown January 2002, houses information about Temur, the 14th century conqueror and Uzbek national hero, as well as exhibits on the history of Uzbekistan. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Siriana Nair serves as Senior Economic Officer in the Office of Regional Affairs in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

My journey on the road to Samarkand brings me to the Navoi International Airport and cargo facility, where I am met by airport executives who brief me and my colleagues on the joint venture cargo operation between Uzbekistan Airways and Korean Air. They give us a tour of the site, noting that Korea is Uzbekistan’s fourth largest trading partner, after Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. Trade with the United States, on the other hand, is a mere two percent of Uzbekistan’s total trade, highlighting the enormous potential for future growth. On the tour, I learn that weekly flights from New Delhi, Mumbai, Dhaka, and other South and East Asian cities use the facility for shipping their goods to Europe, Russia, and the Middle East — a very modern incarnation of the ancient Silk Road.… more »

On the Road to Samarkand


Women pick cotton in the town of Andijan, East of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, April 6, 2005. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Siriana Nair serves as Senior Economic Officer in the Office of Regional Affairs in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

Samarkand, Bukhara, Kabul, Aktau, Dushanbe, Kashgar…the road signs we pass just before leaving the tree-lined streets of Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital city, remind us that we’re following the well-worn trails of the ancient Silk Road. At the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, Central Asia was once a global center for the exchange of goods, ideas, and people. Today, the region is among the least economically connected areas in the world. I’m visiting Uzbekistan to explore how the United States can help promote what Secretary Clinton has envisioned as a “New Silk Road,” restoring transit, trade, commercial, and people-to-people linkages between Central and South Asia, with Afghanistan at its heart. 

The idea behind the New Silk Road vision is to use economic… more »