IRU was at Kazakhstan’s regional transport and logistics forum, with a focus on facilitating the flow of goods between Asia and Europe.
The recent International Transport and Logistics Forum in Almaty, Kazakhstan, under the theme “New Silk Way”, explored solutions to trade and transport disruptions. IRU reiterated that existing systems, such as TIR, can tackle current challenges and build up supply chain resilience.
Ahead of the event, IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto held talks with HE Yerlan Alimbayev, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations Office at Geneva, to discuss Kazakhstan’s growing role in goods transport and the digitalisation of trade and TIR.
“Kazakhstan’s role in inter-regional transport and trade is pivotal, connecting Asia to Europe,” said IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto. “Kazakhstan is also actively implementing trade and TIR digitalisation, which will make goods flow more easily and efficiently. It could even help us overcome some of the trade complications that the world is experiencing right now.”
Transport and logistics: proven solutions
At the main plenary, IRU General Delegate to Eurasia Vadim Zakharenko joined deputy transport ministers and senior managers of transnational companies from Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Iran, and Turkmenistan.
All keynote speakers emphasised the importance of robust and sustainable infrastructure. However, current bottlenecks, especially at border crossings, can be successfully tackled through harmonised processes, rules and services based on tried-and-tested UN instruments, such as the TIR system.
“We can have fantastic roads, but if they are just going to get trucks faster to congested borders where they have to spend sometimes days or weeks, that would not help anyone,” said IRU General Delegate to Eurasia Vadim Zakharenko.
Vadim Zakharenko shared the benefits of harmonised multilateral instruments that allow businesses to quicky readjust in turbulent times. IRU members have concrete examples from their member companies who have demonstrated their ability to operationalise new routes and offer their clients new services and business opportunities.
In a separate session on future road transport challenges, IRU, together with its members KAZATO, AIRCUZ and LINAVA as well as others from Kazakhstan and beyond, focused on practical aspects of bilateral and multilateral transport, access to markets, driver shortages, and ongoing efforts to reduce toxic emissions.
Vadim Zakharenko encouraged public and private actors to proactively move towards digitalisation. He also presented the latest features added to IRU’s TIR-EPD (electronic pre-declaration) application designed to help users find trusted business partners and services in any region.
Kazakhstan to revamp all transit corridors by 2030
Kazakhstan also announced its ambitious goal to revamp all transit corridors by 2030 and, together with neighbouring countries, to better connect Asia to Europe. Evolving multimodal corridors, such as the Middle Corridor, will be bolstered to cope with the ever-growing flow of goods.