Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country and one of its largest economies, has become the 77th country to accede to the United Nations TIR Convention.
The Convention governs the transport of goods under TIR coverage, as part of the only global transit system. In joining, Egypt gains access to a tried and proven trade facilitation tool, which will boost trade and stimulate economic development in the country and beyond into the Middle East and Africa.
“It is difficult to overestimate the significance of this milestone for regional trade. Egypt joining the TIR system creates a secure transit bridge between the Middle East and Africa, which will strengthen supply chains and significantly reduce transit times” said IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto.
In recent years, the TIR system has expanded rapidly in the Middle East and is now fully operational in newly acceded countries such as Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. TIR is already reducing border-crossing times in the region, with transport times dropping by over 70% between Oman and Saudi Arabia and by over 90% between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Transit times will be further reduced with the implementation of the paperless eTIR system.
TIR is set to play a key role in continuing Egypt’s economic growth, for which trade is particularly important. The country saw a 5% increase in exports and 3% increase in imports from 2015 to 2019. China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, all TIR Contracting Parties, are among Egypt’s closest trading partners.
“IRU will support Egypt to implement the TIR system, driving trade and economic growth for the benefit of its businesses and communities,” concluded de Pretto.