IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto spoke at an event organised by The Economist in Greece today where he outlined how governments should help road transport operators survive the COVID-19 crisis.
More than 3,500 participants from 25 countries signed up for the online event, which focused on logistics challenges and opportunities in a post-COVID world, as well as Greece’s role in European supply chains.
Referring to how countries could build back better from the pandemic by making use of existing digital tools for trade and transit, Umberto de Pretto urged the Greek government to ratify the e-CMR protocol with a view to using electronic consignment notes.
“2020 and 2021 will see about 90 zettabytes of data generated worldwide, enough to fill 19 trillion DVDs. Regulators need to develop a harmonised and legally binding framework to ensure the fair governance of this valuable resource,” he said.
Umberto de Pretto also urged governments to support digitalisation efforts by providing financial incentives to small and medium sized enterprises, for whom a digital transition may otherwise be prohibitively expensive.
“Governments need to keep up with the pace of technology and need to make the best use of existing digital tools such as eTIR and eCMR,” he concluded.
Also speaking at the event were Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, Kostas Karamanlis, Greek Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, and Adonis Georgiadis, Greek Minister of Development and Investments, as well as other leading private and public sector figures.