The 24th session of the SPECA working group on sustainable transport, transit and connectivity opened in Ashgabat, the agenda of which included a review of transport projects, activities and initiatives in SPECA countries, the implementation of international conventions and agreements in this area, the creating and functioning of national coordination mechanisms for transport facilitation.
It was considered an accession to the Convention on the facilitation of border crossing procedures for passengers, baggage and goods and the Intergovernmental Agreement on international road transport on the Asian highway network. Progress towards a common rail law was analyzed. The topic of road safety was also raised.
The development of dry ports to facilitate intermodal transport in SPECA countries was a central issue. In this regard, the Turkmen side presented its plans to establish a dry port of international importance, which will link road and railway traffics with the seaport.
Its functioning will improve the access of Turkmen products of petrochemical, agricultural, light and construction industries to the world market, increase the competitiveness of the transit transport system of the country and the region. The involvement benefits in dry port logistics has been identified in the report of the chief of “Turkmenawtotrans” Agency Berdymurat Nurmammedov.
As it was noted, for the port’s effective operation, it is necessary to provide an opportunity for foreign cargo carriers to freely and quickly cross the customs post, that is, to simplify the visa regime or carry out access and egress with a special permit.
The establishment of a dry port will help to increase cargo turnover in various directions, both along the Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman route and along the Lapis Lazuli corridor (Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey) and other possible vectors.
The UNECE Secretariat informed the members of the working group about the latest activities, related to the International Convention on the harmonization of border control of goods and described developments, connected with the implementation of the Customs Convention on the international freight transportation using TIR Carnet (Transport International Routier) and the TIR electronic procedure.
The UNECE expert and head of the Association of Legal Entities “Transport and Logistics Partnership in Central Asia” Berik Bulekbayev presented the conclusions and recommendations on the application of UN legal instruments, related to transport for improvement of transport corridors in the SPECA region. He noted that today the predominant type of cargo transportation is the railway, and the Central Asian countries have much to strive for in the development of this infrastructure.