UIC was invited by the Asian Development Bank to the Sub Regional Transport Forum Meeting of the Greater Mekong sub region countries in Nanning, China on 2 – 4 December 2010. The meeting was attended by representatives from China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar as well as representatives from ADB, UIC and UNESCAP among others. The meeting was inaugurated by Mr. Pan Wei, Director General of Guangxi Transport Department. UIC was represented by Jean Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of UIC and Mukul Saran Mathur, Head of UIC Asia New Delhi office.
The GMS cooperation is an initiative of ADB aiming at regional cooperation and economic development. One of the priority actions of the region is to get connected via a rail network system by 2020. This will require an agreement on common technical standards, harmonisation of procedures, building missing links and supporting the network by establishing a GMS rail coordination office.
ADB is preparing technical assistance for the preparation of a business and operating plan for the coordination office and has sought the expert opinion of UIC on the issue.
UIC was requested to share its experience on global rail development issues, its focus areas and development of UIC’s regional functioning. Mr. Loubinoux elaborated on UIC’s role in rail development, the work carried out by the different UIC departments and explained UIC’s growing partnership with international institutions including banks. He also emphasised the need for a strong contractual relationship between UIC and the Asian Development Bank for assisting in the bank’s technical review of rail projects and also sharing with its members the lending plan of other banks. Mr Mathur emphasised the need to adopt common axle load standards, maximum moving dimensions and the wagon leasing market for the GMS region.