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IRU Umberto de Pretto calls for e-corridors at the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum
Eurasia | Tbilisi

IRU calls for e-corridors

25 Oct 2019

IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto called on governments attending the 3rd Tbilisi Silk Road Forum, on 22-23 October 2019, to allow the road transport industry to more effectively connect societies and economies by implementing eCMR and eTIR along the Batumi and other trade corridors linking Europe to China. 

At the event, organised under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia, Mr de Pretto joined Transport Ministers from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine on a panel debate entitled Transport Connectivity – Transformation along the Silk Road and beyond.

IRU calls for e-corridors - Tbilisi Silk Road Forum

During the session, Mr de Pretto asked the Ministers: 

  • How can we speak about data driven autonomous vehicles in an e-everything global economy yet still need to produce paper documents?  
  • How can we expect the road transport industry to play its vital role in connecting transport modes, cities, regions and continents yet not benefit from the efficiency, transparency, facilitation and security offered by data rather than paper exchange?  
  • How can we speak about sustainable development, when economic development is being stifled with trucks and drivers stuck at borders and fuel is being wasted waiting in lengthy queues? 

Mr de Pretto went on to say: “The road transport industry appreciates every millimetre of road infrastructure built. But we need to see soft infrastructure put in place at border crossings using tried and tested facilitation instruments like the TIR system. Otherwise we have a futile situation where trucks can get to border crossings more quickly thanks to new infrastructure along key corridors, yet are still blocked there for hours, days and sometimes even weeks.”
The Tbilisi Silk Road Forum attracted over 2000 participants from 65 countries.