SEZ Khorgos – Eastern Gate is a strategic facility to create a logistics hub connecting China, Central Asia and Middle East. The Kazakhstan government set up the zone in 2011 to respond to the growing transit of goods from China through Kazakhstan and onwards towards Europe. This is a trend that preceded and perhaps helped motivate the Belt and Road Initiative.
The railway gauge is different between China and Kazakhstan which means the need for transshipment on the border. Khorgos has become the hub for this activity with the aim to be a fully-fledged transshipment base as well as manufacturing location. Trade between Asia and Europe along this route is expected to grow further. The development of Khorgos will be a key transport network for the international distribution centre of goods for export. Such markets include Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Turkey and the Gulf countries
The zone includes three main areas: logistics and industrial zones, as well as transport with dry port. The zone covers a planning area of 45.92 square km with 5.78 sq km expected to be developed soon.