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Improving the competitiveness of international rail transport in the framework of the TRACECA corridor routes is the main topic of the meeting of interested representatives of countries in Europe and Asia

04.06.2021

On June 2, 2021, during the virtual session, active discussions and exchange of views on priority areas and opportunities for the development of rail transport along the TRACECA corridor routes were held.

The virtual session brought together more than 130 participants from 13 TRACECA MLA member states, representatives of the Embassy of the PRC in the Republic of Azerbaijan, International Union of Railways, World Bank, International Association “Trans-Caspian International Transport Route” (TITR), Maersk, China Communications and Transport Association, Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport International (CILT), WUTIE Logistics Company, etc. The participants who showed direct interest included representatives of railway administrations, national associations of carriers, logistics companies and freight forwarders, as well as seaports and shipping companies.

The topic of this event covered the prospects for the development of container transport, establishing contacts between carriers, major exporters/importers, as well as improving the transport conditions on TRACECA routes.

During the virtual session, welcoming remarks were made by Mr. Francois Davenne, UIC Secretary General, Mr. Wen Guohui, representative of the Embassy of the PRC in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Victor Aragones, Moderator and Senior Transport Economist of the World Bank and others.
The speakers of the session presented the results of the latest studies on transport along the TRACECA corridor routes.

Particularly, Mr. A. Assavbayev, Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA presented a draft Concept for development of container transport up to 2030 within TRACECA. "According to the results of study conducted, in 2030, the maximum volume of container transport is forecasted to be within 760 thousand containers in TEU, which will mainly be transported in transit through the territories of the TRACECA countries," he noted.

For this purpose, the Permanent Secretariat of the IGC TRACECA has developed and submitted to the countries recommendations aimed at improving the commercial and technical conditions of transport, further integration of railway and maritime administrations, as well as the definition of common approaches for determining competitive tariffs.

Ms. Hua Tang, Senior Transport Specialist of the World Bank, shared an analysis of freight transport under China's "One Belt, One Road" Initiative. In addition, it is noted that the eastern and northern parts of China are the main cargo-concentrating regions. In his turn, Mr. Aragones added that the World Bank is interested in the development of container transport and will continue to support the TRACECA countries.

The International Union of Railways also presented the results of the study conducted on the Silk Road Middle and Southern Corridors to the participants of the virtual session. This is the third study conducted by the UIC on Eurasian rail transport. The main objective is to evaluate the development of Eurasian rail transport, the growth potential for routes along the TRACECA corridor, and the volume forecasts up to 2030 for the Silk Road. The role of harmonization of customs procedures along the TRACECA corridor was pointed out.

During the session, the plans, projects and recommendations of the Consulting Center for International Freight Trains at the China Communications and Transport Association for the transportation of China-Europe freight trains along the TRACECA corridor routes were also announced.

At the same time, Maersk noted that for the further development of transport, it is important to increase the speed of transportation. The company launched a container train from China to Georgia in 2020, which became the first train along the TRACECA corridor within the framework of Maersk's activities. As a whole, it was mentioned that consumers of Maersk services were satisfied with the results of transportation. To date, the company is working on the application of digital solutions, namely, together with IBM, the TradeLens platform, with possible application in the territories of the TRACECA countries.

Representatives of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia and Turkey also informed the participants of the virtual session about the work done and their prospects for the development of container transport.

On the outcomes of the virtual session, the participants exchanged contacts and expressed hope for active cooperation for the development of container transport along the TRACECA corridor routes.

Published:

Permanent Secretaritat of the IGC TRACECA