The Ministries of Transport of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China have joined forces to assess regular TIR transits along a key Central Asian trade corridor.
A caravan of six trucks – two from each nation involved – set off last week from Termez, Uzbekistan, heading for transit through Tajikistan and on to the final destination of Kashgar, China.
With China starting TIR transits in 2018, there are significant growth opportunities for road transport in the region as customs arrangements with neighbouring countries become easier and more efficient. Given the position of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China along the Silk Road, continued development along these ancient trade routes will result in a boost to global trade.
The caravan represents an important step in testing the capability of transports across multiple borders in the region. It will allow the Ministries of Transport involved to test the overall efficiency and performance of transits along the corridor, and assess how current border processes and infrastructure will work with TIR.
Earlier this week at the first Caspian Economic Forum in Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan, IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto met with Secretary General Vladimir Norov of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The two discussed in greater detail the ongoing roll-out of TIR transports in Asia, such as the route this caravan is assessing.
For China, TIR transports are one of the cornerstones of its Belt and Road initiative as it seeks to further boost trade by ramping up interconnectivity with neighbouring countries. Since the world’s most populous nation began using TIR last year, new regular transport services have linked it to Europe along several growing corridors.
For the region as a whole, investing in roads and infrastructure across borders offers development opportunities for communities along the way, while also contributing to increased security and peace.
With road transport playing an ever-more important role in international trade, the TIR system presents a crucial opportunity to benefit from streamlined and seamless trade at borders – saving time and money for both transport operators and customs authorities. It also offers more security and flexibility for operators across the supply chain.