A China-Eurasia TIR roundtable took place earlier today on the side-lines of the IRU World Congress in Muscat. The discussion focused on enhancing connectivity and boosting cooperation between China and Eurasian countries.
This initiative is an important step towards a better environment for optimising TIR transits between China and Eurasian countries. This is essential for connecting China and Central Asia, West Asia and Europe.
The roundtable, organised by IRU, brought together more than 30 delegates representing TIR associations from China and Eurasian countries: ABBAT (Tajikistan), AIRCUZ (Uzbekistan), AIRTO KR (Kyrgyzstan), AITA (Moldova), ASMAP (Russia), AsMAP UA (Ukraine), BAMAP (Belarus), CRTA (China), GIRCA (Georgia), KAZATO (Kazakhstan) and THADA (Turkmenistan).
IRU Managing Director, Boris Blanche, opened the roundtable, saying, “TIR is set to transform China’s links with its neighbours, bringing benefits across the region and facilitating the goals of the Belt and Road initiative. The start of TIR operations in May this year sent a strong signal to the world that China is opening up its markets and connecting more efficiently across the borders.”
Limei Wang, President of CRTA, and Chair of the roundtable added. “This roundtable for the first time has established direct conversation between CRTA and the Eurasian associations to enhance mutual understanding, share TIR experience, and discuss key issues. China, as a newly operational country, is working very hard to normalise its TIR operations. We look forward to working more closely with Eurasian associations to optimise TIR across the region.”
Mr. Gao Xi, Head of TIR Office, CRTA, discussed the progress TIR operations have made in China over the past six months.
Representatives from Eurasian countries congratulated CRTA on the start of TIR operations in China, and expressed their strong willingness to use TIR to work more closely with China in the future.
IRU member associations also shared their concerns and expectations regarding existing and operating and new TIR corridors, linking business in China, Asia and Europe. Countries sharing bordesr with China are expected to be the first beneficiaries of the new opportunities arising from the modernised intergovernmental agreements. And other Eurasian countries are on track to negotiate and enter into such agreements with China in the near future.
This event demonstrated that all participants are committed to cooperate on the removal of barriers and to improve road transport processes, with the first transcontinental TIR operations in sight.