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IRU and The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet to discuss strategic partnership

26 Feb 2020 · Prosperity

Bilateral talks between IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto and SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov took place in Geneva yesterday, with the aim to boost trade and transit in SCO corridors.

A permanent intergovernmental international organisation, SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as four observers - the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and  the Republic of Mongolia, all of which are UN TIR Convention signatories.

During the meeting, areas of cooperation to activate existing SCO corridors using digital solutions as well as visa facilitation, were brought up by IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto.

“While SCO members are very diverse, what brings them together is the common goal to trade more efficiently and more securely. As the only global transit tool, TIR is the best instrument to help them achieve this goal, at no additional cost or investment. It requires minimal manpower and facilities when it comes to customs and national authorities’ checks, while also reducing transit delays and congestion at border crossings,” stated Mr de Pretto.

Proposed areas of collaboration highlighted during the meeting included:

  • the promotion of TIR as an intermodal facilitator
  • the facilitation and monitoring of TIR transports alongside selected corridors, to jointly assess impediments and devise a joint action plan to address them
  • the joint promotion of digitalisation in the SCO for the benefit of trade security, transparency and facilitation

This meeting came ahead of today’s high-level UNECE – SCO round table on the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development along the trans-continental Eurasian Transport Corridors. A side event of the 82nd session of the Inland Transport Committee, the round table will include discussions about the role of the transport sector in supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.