Secretary General Umberto de Pretto joined transport ministers from the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) member states today in high level talks on trade facilitation and digitalisation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Umberto de Pretto outlined the devastating effect of the pandemic on the road transport industry, which is facing global losses in 2020 of over USD 1 trillion. IRU research points to a looming wave of bankruptcies in the sector. Immediate government action is required in the form of financial and non-financial measures to avoid devastating the road transport industry and the supply chains it supports.
The Secretary General stressed the importance of deploying digital tools to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. BSEC transport ministers discussed the development and implementation of an electronic BSEC permit and an e-CMR pilot project.
While the use of these digital trade facilitation tools will boost economic recovery, transport operators will still need support from governments. Targeted financial measures are urgently required, prioritising direct cash grants for operators, and reducing taxes and charges for commercial road transport operations.