Five areas to boost transport connectivity among landlocked countries
They were proposed in her video message to the participants of the international transport conference in Avaza by Rabab Fatima, UN Deputy Secretary General, UN High Representative of the Least Developed Landlocked Countries.
In particular, she noted that transit and transport are of great importance for countries that do not have access to the sea due to their geographical location, in connection with which their dependence on foreign trade is about 45% of GDP, compared with an average of 42 %. The high cost of trade depends on the shortcomings in the transport infrastructure – the remote location of ports and the inflated price for transit due to long distances and the lack of effective mechanisms for full participation in regional and global trade.
To intensify the transport links of landlocked countries, first of all, it is necessary to close the "physical" problems of the transport infrastructure and use all its modes in the process, which, in turn, will activate and expand regional and international contacts between countries.
In Central Asia, as an actively developing region, some progress has been made in this regard today – numerous transit and transport corridors have been created, where the Central Asian states act as logistics hubs connecting Asian and African countries with the rest of the world.
Secondly, the improvement of regulatory procedures and documentation, as well as the creation of a system infrastructure for organizing profitable transit for countries that do not have access to the sea.
To perform transit, countries need to ratify and effectively implement relevant international conventions and regional agreements. One of the most important is the WTO Trade Facilitation Treaty, which regulates border procedures, including at the regional level.
The third is the large-scale digitalization of the transport sector. Active implementation and use of "smart" transport, "know-how" and technologies in logistics to create a safe, modern and more accessible infrastructure, which will increase the flow of goods and services.
These processes should be based on sustainability and reliability, secured by partnership between countries that do not have access to the sea, as well as mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of high technologies, said Rabab Fatime.
And the last, important factor for the above-mentioned areas to “work” is investments. To do this, it is necessary to attract finance from a variety of sources – various state and international financial institutions, the private sector, regional organizations, etc. These actions will create modern technical capacity and developed transport infrastructure in landlocked countries. My office expresses its full readiness to support these countries to ensure a close relationship in the future, the UN Deputy Secretary General emphasized.