With a booming transcontinental Middle Corridor between Asia and Europe, IRU, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other development partners focus on further enhancing east-west connectivity.
In a challenging geopolitical climate that is quickly reshaping supply chains, the Middle Corridor, which connects China and Central Asia via the Caspian Sea with the Caucasus, Turkey and Europe, is experiencing a boom in trade.
IRU has been working with its members and customs authorities to maximise the efficiency and security of the Middle Corridor, underpinned by the TIR system. IRU’s network of transport operators has demonstrated its ability to operationalise new routes and offer its clients new services and business opportunities.
The EBRD presented a study on sustainable transport connections between Europe and Central Asia at a seminar organised by the European Commission and involving IRU as an expert speaker.
The study identifies the most sustainable corridors and proposes key actions for corridor development. It underscores the urgency of finding sustainable corridors and investing more into “soft” solutions which can immediately improve connectivity and do not require “hard” infrastructure investment.
Tatiana Rey-Bellet, IRU’s Director of TIR and Transit, highlighting the various avenues available to further improve east-west trade at the seminar, said, “While it’s hard to overestimate the importance of the Middle Corridor, the diversification of routes as well as the effective combination of transport modes is crucial for sustainable supply chains.
“Partners from the public and private sectors need to work together to better support new connectivity and routes. It is important to fully mobilise international harmonised instruments, such as TIR and CMR, which are used in all countries along the Middle Corridor, to ensure the security and transparency of transit movements and reduce costs for businesses.”
Digitalising harmonised instruments, such as TIR, would also significantly improve the security and flow of goods. Dedicated green lanes at border crossings, relying on harmonised transit instruments, especially their digital equivalents, could handle the growing flow of goods without compromising security.