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Bilateral talks at the UN focus on trade, road safety and digitalisation

21 Feb 2018 Geneva

Trade corridors, transport facilitation, road safety and digital logistics topped the agenda at the UN this week.

IRU established bilateral links to enhance strategic trade corridors via TIR expansion and pushed for the roll-out of digital tools to streamline logistics at the UNECE Inland Transport Committee in Geneva.

IRU’s Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, took part in a number of sessions, while also conducting a series of strategic bilateral and side meetings with key ministers and representatives of the global trade and transport leadership.

Discussions with the Minister of Infrastructure for Slovenia focused on the European Commission’s Mobility package, Slovenia’s recent accession to the e-CMR protocol and the successful intermodal TIR operation between Slovenia and Iran.

With China’s imminent implementation of TIR and its One Belt One Road trade ambitions, meetings followed with ministers from some of its neighbouring countries, including Lao PDR, Thailand and a side event with the Permanent Representative of Turkmenistan to the UN in Geneva.

Turning to the Middle East, de Pretto spoke to Syria’s Minister of Transport on the capacity of TIR to advance recovery after conflict, and to the UAE Minister of Transport, after recent announcements that preparations are underway for the roll-out of TIR across the seven Emirates.

Finally, safety was a key issue in talks with Senegal’s Minister of Infrastructure and Land Transport, as well as the professionalisation of road transport services and harmonised customs transit, with the consequent potential benefits to trade.

Meetings continued with representatives from the UN, the International Transport Forum and the World Bank.