The second day of the UNESCAP-UIC Seminar on Capacity-building for the development and operation of dry ports of international importance (see edition 350 of UIC eNews) held in Busan, Republic of Korea from 11 – 12 June, concluded with a detailed and coordinated presentation given by each CIS country (except Russia) on policies to develop dry ports in a linked network between Europe and Asia.
During the summary of panel actions led by Vincent Vu, UIC Director of Institutional Relations and Coordinator of the Asia-Pacific region, participants noted that the most important topics to focus on in the short-term were: assessing the needs of the various stakeholders, maps showing import-expert flows, rail links for containers, government involvement, territorial planning and seeking investment funds, and improving border crossings.
UIC concluded, for its part, that rail developments in the region were not all advancing at the same level. This could lead to bottlenecks and barriers to the efficiency of rail corridors and, by extension, to the entire supply chain of dry ports. Investments in this mode of transport therefore must be accelerated in line with international standards for interoperability, by highlighting the positive impact on the environment and regional cooperation to large funders, and in conjunction with other modes in relation to their relevant field.
Finally, it was stressed that railway costs could not be compared with those of other modes without taking into account the overall external costs for society and governments. UIC remains at its members’ disposal to develop these issues and to provide them technical support in their projects with international funders.
All participants thus await the signing of the Treaty on Dry Ports, which will be initialled by the end of 2013, while UIC and UNESCAP were pleased with their collaboration which is set to be renewed shortly with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.