The seminar on Building Asian Connectivity, co-organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and UIC, is currently taking place in Busan from 14 – 17 June.
Nearly 50 participants from 20 Asian countries, from the Middle-East to Oceania, and 10 international organisations attended the opening session introduced by Mr Dongwoo Ha, Director of UN ESCAP Transport Division, and Mr Oliver Sellnick, Director of UIC Freight.
This first day was the opportunity to present the latest key trends on freight worldwide, with specific focus on the Asian situation. The participants interacted with ADB, AITD representatives and gained an overview of Asian economic growth during the presentations. While Mr Oliver Sellnick presented general trends and the results of the current market research ICOMOD, Mr Mukul Saran Mathur, Director of UIC Asia Delhi Office, focused on containerisation issues. UN ESCAP also had the opportunity to showcase the current experiences on the Trans-Asian railway corridors concerning international coordination, cost reduction, time savings and new technologies with impacts on forecasted volumes. On their side, Mrs Zubaida Aspayeva, Chairperson of the Freight Commission, and Mr Gennady Bessonov, Secretary-General of CCTT, UIC partner for Euro-Asian rail interoperability, gave detailed reviews of the CIM/SMGS consignment note, forecasted traffic, commercial and cargo experiences between Eastern and Western Asia on the Trans-Siberian route and UIC corridors with CCTT and involved members.
The Malaysian and Indonesian representatives (government and railways) showed their interest in the Door-to-Door issues, the competitiveness of freight railways, positioning solutions and Eco Transit IT tools, whereas the Chinese delegation was interested in pricing and collaboration with neighbouring countries.
This seminar is co-organised by UIC and UN ESCAP, in the frame of the MOU signed in 2005 and renewed in 2010. It is an important opportunity for UIC to interact with and promote its technical work among Asian members as well as with non-members and their respective governments. It is also an opportunity to emphasise the help that international associations such as UIC and UN ESCAP can provide to governments and railways in their development and strategic transport plans.