Choose your language

IRU Secretary General: we have the tools to drive post-COVID trade, let’s use them
Global | Geneva

IRU Secretary General: we have the tools to drive post-COVID trade, let’s use them

17 Sep 2020 · Prosperity

IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto participated in two World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) panels on logistics and customs management this week. In a first discussion, he expressed his views on post-COVID road transport alongside UPS Chairman, David Abney, Accenture’s Freight and Logistics Director, Christopher Logan, and DP World’s CEO, Sultan Ahmmed Bin Sulayem. 

The Secretary General emphasised that digital advancement would be essential to comply with social distancing measures and mitigate the impact of health measures on border waiting times.

He offered IRU’s support to countries wishing to implement the eTIR system, which has been identified by the United Nations Secretary General as a fundamental tool to facilitate trade during and following the pandemic.

“Flexibility, adaptability and the use of digital solutions will be key to survive and remain competitive.”

Umberto de Pretto
IRU Secretay General

Another discussion with KGH’s Lars Karlsson, UNCTAD’s Poul Hansen and Saudi Customs’ Loay Mashabi gathered over 3,000 participants from 154 countries and examined the transformation of customs and border management during the pandemic. All speakers stressed the importance of implementing the global tools we already have to drive trade. 

TIR is one of these tools. Its use in Saudi Arabia has already reduced border crossing times to the UAE from two days to just four hours. Taking the system fully digital by implementing eTIR and dedicated eTIR lanes will further reduce waiting times, cutting costs for operators, while facilitating and securing cross-border trade.

Webinar replay