Monday 19 October 2020

3rd UIC Asia-Pacific International Partners Interaction Meeting held on 24 September 2020

APRA Region / Institutional Relations

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Chaired by Mr Vincent Vu, UIC Director of Institutional Relations and Coordinator of the Asia-Pacific region, the third UIC Asia-Pacific International Partners meeting was held on 24 September by video conference.

The key objectives of the meeting were to take a common approach to practical aspects, such as border crossing facilitation, infrastructure modernisation, current environmental problems, implementation of green technologies, and integration of transport modes.

55 participants attended the meeting, representing APRA members, UIC headquarters and partner organisations.
The World Customs Organization, represented by Mr Brendan O’Hearn, Deputy Director, and Ms Satoko Kagawa, presented the background to WCO railway projects and invited UIC to participate in a WCO railway workshop to be held in October.

Representing OTIF, Mr Bas Leermakers, Head of Department, Technical Interoperability, presented the framework for partnership on the basis of the MoU concluded in 2017. It aims at facilitating international transport by rail and ensuring effective harmonisation in the rail sector.

Mr Erik Eftimov, Deputy Secretary General of CIT, presented activities for an Eurasian legal framework, promoting a concept of multimodality which, in the current context, should meet the challenges of increasing transportation, globalisation and digitalisation, and climate change.

Mr Ravi Ravitharan, Director, Monash University, presented key research and technology capabilities which contribute to railway technology advancement and promulgating the cross-disciplinary railway research, “Shaping the future of railways”.

Mr Sandeep Jain, Economic Affairs Officer at UNESCAP, presented the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network. UNESCAP is interested in analytical and knowledge products on international railway transport, particularly studies on border-crossing practices in railway transport, enhancing interoperability, and electronic information exchange systems in connection with the WCO.

Representing the European Bank for Recovery and Development, Mr Grigory Sayva, Associate Director, Infrastructure Eurasia Team, presented the Infrastructure Business Group and activities in the railway sector. The EBRD offers a full range of services, with most projects dedicated to rolling stock, locos, insulation, heating systems, electrification, rehabilitation of the track, and construction of stations.
The Asian Development Bank, represented by Mr Cornie Huizenga, ATO Consultant, gave a presentation entitled “Scoping the Asian Transport Outlook (ATO)”. ATO has been developed primarily in support of the planning and delivery of ADB transport sector assistance and the development of relevant national railway standards.
Mr Attila Kiss, Secretary of the OSJD Committee, presented the status of UIC-OSJD cooperation in 2020. The most recent MoU and Action Plan 2016-2020 were re-signed in 2016, and need to be renewed for 2021–2025.

Representing TRACECA, Mr Baurzhan Kussubayev, Transport Expert, presented the aim of the “Regulating Agreements and Projects” work programme. A project group for development of containerisation has been launched with the involvement of international experts, organisations and consultants, and UIC was invited to take part.

Mr Alexander Averin, Project Coordinator at CCTT, presented prospective areas for further collaboration. CCTT invites international partners to its plenary meeting, to be held in Moscow on 5-6 of November.

Mr Vincent Vu underlined areas for cooperation and partnerships with multilateral organisations in the Asia-Pacific region: data quality improvement, incubators for investment in railways, best practice for sharing and technology transfer, technical advice and peer review. The UIC APRA team introduced projects for further development and collaboration in 2021.

Mr Marc Guigon, UIC Director of the Passenger department, introduced projects in the domain of passenger transport and high-speed line development and operation.
The following new topics were presented for consideration and potential collaboration in 2021-2022 in the Asia-Pacific region:

  • Workshop on standardisation: ”IRSs for regional interoperability” by Mr Yerzhan Araltay (Kazakhstan Railways). The goal of the workshop is to present approaches to facilitate the development of interoperable normative/regulating documents for various areas of railway transport, as well as for border crossings and corridor functionality.
  • Mr Vytautas Kinderis (UIC) gave a presentation entitled “Automatic track gauge changeover systems: outcome of UIC study, new proposals and directions”. This was followed by a discussion on the potential to continue this important study for application in the Asia-Pacific region.

The participants agreed to collaborate on the events presented, to study and consider partners’ and members’ presentations, and to share their views on APRA projects for joint implementation.

International cooperation at all levels opens up new horizons for global innovation. International cooperation, interaction and globalisation can facilitate shared use of demonstration infrastructure, as well as the benefits of international networking and market recognition.

The next meeting is planned for November/December.

UIC took the opportunity to remind participants of the UIC APRA seminar, “Use of High-Accuracy Coordinate Track Adjustment Systems for Greater Efficiency of Existing Infrastructure”, to be held on 28 October, supported by the Russian railways as announced by Mr Grigory Kiperman on behalf of RZDStroy.

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For further information please contact Mr Vincent Vu, UIC Director of Institutional Relations:

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