Tuesday 30 May 2023

7th Railway Working Group meeting

Tbilisi, 22-23 May 2023

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The 7th Railway Working Group (RWG) meeting took place in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 22-23 May 2023, with participants coming from Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Programme’s partners from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the World Bank, also attended and gave presentations on developments in the region.

The Asian Development Bank’s Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Programme is a partnership of 11 countries and development partners working together to promote development through cooperation, therefore leading to accelerated economic growth and reducing poverty. It is guided by the overarching vision entitled “Good Neighbours, Good Partners, and Good Prospects.”

The programme is a method of proactively facilitating practical, results-based regional projects, and policy initiatives which are critical to sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity in the region. Since its inception in 2001, CAREC has gathered $41 billion in investment, which has helped to establish multimodal transport networks, and to increase energy trade and security.

Representatives from the UIC Asia-Pacific Region have been taking part in the CAREC Railway Working Group since the beginning, and continue to promote technical expertise and support common members.

The main objectives of the 7th RWG meeting were to share progress updates in implementing technical assistance (TA), agree on its next steps, share knowledge and experience on railway commercialisation, reform, and investment, and to discuss action for rail freight corridor development.

Key topics discussed:

  • Updates on technical assistance (TA) activities, covering the plans for TA studies of the Uzbekistan–Turkmenbashy block train services and the Uzbekistan-Northwestern International Freight Corridor
  • Proposed knowledge support on railway sales and marketing
  • Successful corridor development: How can we develop a strategy and action plans for sustainable services between Europe and Asia?
  • Infrastructure maintenance management
  • Marketing and sales in railway freight organisations
  • Rolling stock financing

During the meeting, takeaways from Azerbaijan Railways’ (ADY) experience in implementing its strategy were discussed, as it had started drafting this in 2000. After implementing a comprehensive reform programme, in 2023, the company revised its strategic thinking, focusing on four targets for the next decade’s strategy, including an ambitious investment plan. The lessons learned and recommendations from ADY were presented by Azad Huseynov, Director of the Transformation Unit at ADY.

The next meeting is planned for December 2023.

For further information, please contact Irina Petrunina, UIC Adviser on CIS Countries and International Organisations at petrunina1212@gmail.com

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