On October 5-6, ESCAP, together with the CCTT, held a Forum on sustainable transport connectivity between Asia and Europe
According to an ESCAP study, Asia, with about 60% of the world's population, accounts for 35% of EU exports (EUR 618 billion) and 45% of EU imports (EUR 774 billion). Since freight transport is based on trade flows, the related high level of trade between Asia and Europe also implies a corresponding level of demand for freight transport between the two regions. Thus, efficient and sustainable connectivity that improves the movement of goods and services between countries in both parts of the continent will contribute to economic growth and employment generation as well as to overall competitiveness and trade.
Accordingly, in the context of working towards the Sustainable Development Goals, it is important to continue to review the benefits, best practices and challenges of transport connectivity between Asia and Europe, as well as trends in freight demand within and between the two regions.
In this regard, in view of the forthcoming Fourth ESCAP Transport Ministers' Meeting, ESCAP, jointly with CCTT, organized a Forum on Sustainable Asia-Europe Transport Connectivity on 5 and 6 October 2021.
The Forum was attended more than 100 participants from European and Asian countries, transport companies, international organizations and academia. One of the co-moderators of the Forum was G.I. Bessonov, the Secretary General of the CCTT.
In their reports, the representatives of the CCTT member companies and the CCTT Secretariat made detailed presentations on the advanced technical and technological solutions, the rail and multimodal Euro-Asian services. It was stated that measures to integrate the transport networks of Europe and Asia and create a system of sustainable transport connectivity would improve the efficiency of supply chains, while the market launch of through digital multimodal services would provide new opportunities for economic operators, both from Asia and Europe.
Rail transport has demonstrated its resilience and reliability during the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing users with reliable and safe Eurasian services that actively use digital technologies. Further development of Trans-Eurasian rail and multimodal connections is actively promoted by the environmental friendliness of rail transport.
The participants noted that the development of sustainable and competitive transport connections should include a set of measures in the infrastructural, technological and organizational spheres. The scale of the problems of Trans-Eurasian transport connectivity requires joint efforts of all stakeholders, including authorities, transport and logistics industry organizations, scientific organizations, international organizations and development institutions.
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