Prospects for the development of traffic between Europe and Asia – in the focus of the exchange of views of representatives of the Permanent Secretariat and the European External Action Service

04.06.2020

On June 4, 2020, in the framework of a dialogue with representatives of the European Commission via web-conferencing, Mr. Asset Assavbayev, Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA and Ms. Romana Vlahutin, the EU Ambassador at Large discussed the format and opportunities for further collaboration between the European Union and TRACECA.

Owing to the experience of long-term cooperation with the EU Directorates, the EC services and the EU Delegation in Azerbaijan, the TRACECA international program has developed in an effective mechanism for coordinating regional transport cooperation. 

The Secretary General pointed out the significant contribution of the European Union in the framework of technical assistance projects. With their support the TRACECA region countries focused on creating favourable conditions for investment in transport infrastructure, development of intermodal transport, improvement of tariff policy, and harmonization of transport legislation in implementing these technical assistance projects.
During the exchange of views, the participants of the web meeting touched the main areas on which the efforts of the TRACECA countries are currently focused. Particularly, the containerization of cargo, the digitalization of the corridor, including the development of a single electronic transport document, improvement of border crossing procedures, modernization of automated systems for handling ships and cargo in the TRACECA ports, introduction of electronic permits for road transport.

Taking into consideration the tasks and objectives of the EU Strategy for Central Asia, it was noted that the transport sector of the corridor needs support in modern world conditions.
In this regard, the Permanent Secretariat, together with the support of TRACECA countries, has developed proposals for the implementation of technical assistance projects:

- Digitalization of markets in the countries of Central Asia. Harmonization of markets, e-trade, e-logistics, digital transport corridors;
- Feasibility Study of construction of a new straightening road along the route Beyneu – Bozoy – Saxaulski (Western Kazakhstan) with the junction to the functioning road М-32;
- Cargo handling equipment needs assessment for the Caspian basin ports;
- Increase of container traffic volumes in the landlocked TRACECA countries. Optimization mechanism of the transport component of export-import operations for small- and medium-size business entities.

Along with further integration processes within the framework of the EU policy towards neighbouring countries (the “Eastern Partnership”) and the new EU Strategy for Central Asia, Mr. Assavbayev expressed hope for assistance in promoting TRACECA's proposals for technical assistance to the countries at the level of the European Commission structures. 

On the outcomes of the meeting, representatives of the European External Action Service confirmed their readiness to continue the dialogue after a detailed review of the projects and approaches prepared by the PS.

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Permanent Secretaritat of the IGC TRACECA