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UN Forum backs road potential of key North-South Asian trade corridor
Asia | Bangkok

UN Forum backs road potential of key North-South Asian trade corridor

18 Oct 2021 · Prosperity

A key UN Forum on transport connectivity in Asia has heard evidence on the huge trade potential of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INTSC) connecting Russia to India via Iran and Azerbaijan. 

The UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) Forum on Sustainable Transport Connectivity between Asia and Europe, held virtually last week, met to discuss and identify priority areas for interregional cooperation, especially in light of the pandemic. 

With the newly activated INTSC route now operational, IRU outlined road transport operations under the TIR system that were conducted along the corridor in 2021. These included Russia to the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan to Russia, both via Iran and Azerbaijan. Indian logistic companies are also able to use the corridor. 

Kazem Asayesh, IRU’s Senior Adviser for TIR and Transit Services, said, “The missing rail connection between Rasht and Astara, as well as currently low volumes, challenge rail’s potential on INTSC routes in the short and medium term. 

“Road transport however could activate and bring volume to this corridor rapidly now, paving the way for other modes of transport when the complete route infrastructure is ready,” he added. 

Transport operations run under TIR along the corridor have demonstrated significant time and cost savings – more than 70% and 20% respectively. The UNESCAP Secretariat accordingly have confirmed that more focus is needed on road transport to allow this important trade corridor to deliver its full potential.