The ECO Secretariat and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) jointly organized the “Round Table designed to take stock of the Operational Rail Capacity of Almaty-Istanbul and Trans-Caspian Corridors” on 6 September 2022 in Geneva (Switzerland). The Meeting was organized as part of the discussions
The meeting was attended by the high ranking railway and customs officials of the en-route countries of Almaty-Istanbul Railway and trans Caspian Corridors, i.e. Republic of Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Türkiye and Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan. Delegations from Europe and Caucasia and a few international organizations also participated at the event.
The delegations of ECO Secretariat and UNECE were headed by Mr. Akbar Khodaei, Director of Directorate for Transport and Communications and Mr. Yuwei Li, Director Sustainable Transport Division.
Director of Transport and Communications of ECO in his remarks elaborated the capacities of ECO rail and road networks for enhancing transit transport regionally and internationally and in particular between East and West. He also underlined that Covid Pandemic and changing geopolitical order coupled with some other economic factors have fundamentally affected the transport dynamism around the globe and particularly the East -West routes connecting China to Europe.
Further Mr. Khodaei underscored that the two subject Corridors have to be managed in a way to be complementary and mutually supportive to re-enforce each other through engaging all the stake holders towards full development and operationalization.
The Meeting deliberated extensively, among others, the various topics, among others, the availability of reliable corridor-wide agreed timetables and tariffs, enhancing efficiency of border crossing points for rail freight transport, prioritization of actions to overcome remaining physical/non-physical challenges and bottlenecks and facilitation of regular container block trains operations in the Corridors.
The Meeting also discussed on follow up mechanism among all the stake holders regarding operational and commercial aspects of the Corridors.