Elaborating on this years’ main theme Transport for a Global Economy: Challenges & Opportunities in the Downtown ITF Secretary Jack Short states: “We hope that the International Transport Forum will find answers to some of the most difficult challenges our sector has ever faced, and to provide some solutions for ways out of the current crisis.” He stresses that, “there are also opportunities for sustainable change.”
UNIFE and UIC believe that the rail sector is in a unique position to provide a solution to these challenges, where economic growth is stimulated by the most sustainable mode of transport.
As Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of the International Union of Railways, points out: ”Even though railway development involves heavy investment and long term planning, they always turn to increase in mobility of goods and people, develop employment and business through infrastructure works and new services and prove to be a judicious solution for sustainable development. The recent decisions made in Europe, in America, Middle-East, North Africa and Asia show that railway investment may be boosted by the current crisis and simultaneously a good solution to get out of it”
UNIFE Director-General Michael Clausecker adds: “Investments in rail have a lasting positive effect on the economy. As the Spanish example shows, sustained investments in rail infrastructure led to a 2.5% GDP growth over the past 15 years. In addition to stimulating economic growth, investments in rail have a corresponding positive effect on the environment. For example, choosing train over plane from London to Paris leads to a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions.”