UNESCAP Seminar on Dry Ports of International Importance 2014 took place with the support of UIC and the Government of the Russian Federation at UNESCAP Headquarters in Bangkok from 18 – 19 March 2014. Following the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports by 14 members States on 7 November 2013, the seminar was meant to be a networking event between government officials and high-level experts, involved in the planning, design, development and operation of dry ports of international importance.
Experts and participants took an active part in the seminar and agreed that this primary objective had been fully met. The various interventions have shown agreements on the fact that the dry ports concept offers countries opportunities to improve their logistics industry, facilitate complementarity between different transport modes, reduce transport costs, minimise technical matters and that, to be successful, the process requires the involvement of a broad spectrum of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. The dry ports implementation can start on a limited scale with infrastructure and facilities being gradually expanded as volumes may come. Multiple integration is needed in logistics hubs, individual company strategy, and in national as well as intra-regional structures. If the combination of all these factors is achieved, there is a good chance that dry ports can be developed and operated successfully. This seminar was an opportunity to establish new friendships and new connections to build on as countries go through the process of developing dry ports of international importance.
Developed under the aegis of UNESCAP, the Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports will be open for signature at the UN headquarters in New York until 31 December 2014. It complements the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network that entered into force in July 2005 and the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network that entered into force in June 2009. All three agreements are administered by UNESCAP.