12th Meeting of the Heads of ECO Railway Authorities and 6th Rail Transportation Committee
The 12th Meeting of the Heads of ECO Railway Authorities and 6th Rail Transportation Committee (TTCC) was held at the ECO Secretariat from 17 – 18 May 2015 in Tehran with the presence of high ranking authorities of ECO member states along with the representatives of organisations such as UIC, OTIF, ESCAP, IDB (Islamic Development Bank), and ECO Trade Development Bank (TDB).
The opening ceremony of the meeting began with opening speeches by Mr Abbas Akhoundi, Minister for Roads and Urban Development, Mr Hayri Maraslioglu, Deputy Secretary General of ECO, Mr Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaei, RAI President, and Mr Loubinoux, UIC Director General. Mr Loubinoux, invited for the first time, was able to highlight the MoU signed with ECO in Doha in 2012 to jointly promote the best values of the railways for societies and to also actively contribute to the renovation of the railways in these countries, and especially those that need to adjust their level of technology and service alongside the New Rail Silk Road. Their speeches emphasised on the importance of ECO region and the development of rail transportation.
During this two-day meeting, heads of participating delegations presented reports on the latest rail status in their country. The representatives of IDB (Islamic Development Bank), and ECO Trade Development Bank (TDB), OTIF, and Iranian Railways then introduced their reports. Later on, the meeting held discussions on the latest status of executing rail projects including operation of container train in the two routes between Istanbul-Almaty and Bandar Abas-Almaty, launching container trains on the Pakistan-Iran-Turkey Corridor, operating trains on the Iran- Turkmenistan- Kazakhstan route, the Ghazvin-Rasht-Astara rail project, and the China Corridor to Europe through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Necessary measures for executing priority infrastructure projects included in the ECO Rail Network Development Plan and the way of financing projects were taken into consideration.
At the end, a report was presented on the cooperation of ECO with international organisations.
The Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) includes 10 countries, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Alongside this meeting, several mutual and trilateral sessions were held with the presence of high ranking authorities among the Railways of Iran-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan, Iran-Pakistan, Iran-Afghanistan, and Iran-IDB.
3rd International Rail Transportation Exhibition and Related Industries “RAILEXPO” from 17 – 20 May in Tehran
The biggest International Rail Transportation Exhibition and Related Industries “RAILEXPO” in the Middle East, the 4th International Conference on Recent Advances in Railway Engineering (ICRARE 2015), and the 1st Congress on Investment Opportunities in Iran’s Rail Industry is taking place from 17 – 20 May 2015 at Tehran’s International Exhibition Centre for four days. The exhibition is being attended by the top managers and directors from the transport and rail transport world from Europe and the Middle East region and had high-ranking speakers in the inauguration ceremony on 17 May such as Mr Nematzadeh, Minister of Industry, Mr Akhoondi, Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Mr Aghaei, Vice Minister for Roads and Urban Development and President of RAI (Islamic Republic of Iran) and the last but not the least Mr Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, who explained that five global cooperation issues were identified as issues of high priority to UIC members from all the Regions, that is Sustainable Development, Safety and Security, Freight /International Corridors, Signalling and Control Command and Standardisation.
Holding this exhibition as the biggest exhibition in the Middle East alongside the Congress on Investment Opportunities in Rail Industry has been a great opportunity to network with a high profile audience of decision-makers, entrepreneurs, and trade professionals to encounter effective face-to-face marketing and direct communication that will enable participants to exchange information as well as to meet the people involved in the railway industry including existing customers, operators, suppliers, advisers, investors, and key figures in the rail industry – all in one place. The 4th International Conference on Recent Advances in Railway Engineering (ICRARE2015), which aimed to bring together engineers and researchers of the field to review and discuss the recent practical and theoretical methods/approaches and to address recent advances, technologies, and innovations in all disciplines of the Railway Engineering, was also held simultaneously on 17 and 18 May 2015.