Euro-Asian transport links in focus of meeting supported by the OSCE Office in Yerevan

Enhancing economic connectivity perspectives and the development of Euro-Asian inland transport links were the focus of a two-day expert meeting held by the OSCE Office in Yerevan within the UNECE’s Euro-Asian Transport Links (EATL) project, which ended today in Yerevan.

The event brought together representatives from state institutions, private sector, specialized transport organizations and experts from Armenia, Greece, Iran, Poland, Russia, Singapore, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

They discussed recent developments in infrastructure projects and transit initiatives along Euro-Asian routes, in particular the Silk Road Programme, and the North-South Road Corridor Investment Program. Participants discussed the draft of the UNECE EATL Phase 3 Report which shall serve as a basis for policy co-ordination and action to make the overland Euro-Asian trade transport links operational and commercially attractive. The participants agreed that public-private partnerships and political support are required to boost regional economic growth, stability and security through improving existing legal agreements, simplifying procedures and eliminating redundant and restrictive rules.

“The OSCE recognizes the significance of the Euro-Asian Transport Links project for the economic connectivity and social stability of the region,” noted David Gullette, Acting Economic and Environmental Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

Miroslav Jovanovic from the UNECE’s Sustainable Transport Division said that “The UNECE intends to contribute to the economic development in Europe and Asia by easing transport and trade links and making them more commercially viable.”

Zukhra Bektepova, Economic Affairs Officer at the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) stressed that enhancing harmonization and predictability of transport and customs procedures and regulations requires not only technical know-how but also political will and co-operation.

Artak Zakaryan, Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations of the National Assembly of Armenia emphasized the significance of regional economic integration where “improvement and development of effective Euro-Asian transport and efficient logistics chains are vitally important.”

The expert meeting was supported by the OCEEA and the UNECE.

The OSCE has been providing political and practical help to the UNECE’s Euro-Asian Transport Links since 2006.

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