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On January 29-30, 2024, the Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA, Mr. Assavbayev A.A. took part in the Global Gateway Investors Forum on Sustainable Transport Connectivity between EU and Central Asia (Brussels, Belgium)


The objective of the Forum is to promote the implementation and coordination of investments in Central Asian countries to develop the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor as a multimodal, sustainable, modern and predictable route connecting Europe and Central Asia in 15 days or less, in accordance with the EU Global Gateway Investment Strategy.


The European Commission has prioritized its commitment to strengthen linkages with the Central Asian region and aims to follow up with concrete actions, mobilize investors for projects, with concrete and practical terms and financial commitments.

In its turn, on the sidelines of the Forum it was noted that TRACECA plays an important role in promoting intergovernmental cooperation between the countries of the region and the European Union to further facilitate trade and reduce bottlenecks along the Trans-Caspian Corridor.

The Forum was attended by high-level representatives of Central Asian countries, EU Member States, Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor partner countries, EU institutions, international and bilateral financial institutions, as well as private sector representatives and civil society members, also including the regions of the Caucasus and Türkiye.

The two-day event started with a plenary opening followed by a panel discussion at the political level. The Forum agenda covered discussions on supporting sustainable transport connectivity in the region and the prospects for the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor, including the prospects for Central Asia in developing efficient transport connectivity in the EU-Central Asia format.

"The international partners present today are committed to provide 10 billion euros of investment to develop sustainable transport connectivity in Central Asia, including new commitment of 1.5 billion euros from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, as well as additional funds under the European Commission's open investment guarantee architecture. 10 billion euros commitment is a blend of current and planned investments. This amount will be mobilised for sustainable transport development in Central Asia in the short term," said the Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Valdis Dombrovskis during the Forum in Brussels.

This was followed by parallel sessions on topics such as specific modes of transport, areas of cooperation and investment opportunities.

During the Forum, the panel session speakers, representatives of the OECD, IRU, TRACECA, TITR, Deutsche Bahn Cargo Eurasia, Azerbaijan Railways JSC, European Rail Freight Association exchanged views on interaction and harmonisation to ensure connectivity and improve the efficiency of the corridor.

When asked about the current TRACECA activity, the Secretary General noted the PS work on the implementation of the Strategy up to 2026, on the need to harmonise legal norms, infrastructure capacity along the TRACECA route, as well as the need to create conditions for launching a digital corridor to ensure interoperability.

"The Permanent Secretariat together with our partners is working on 2 main directions, namely together with OSJD, CIT, UIC and UNECE on the application of electronic CIM/SMGS consignment note. In the nearest future we plan to finalize the work on preparation of the prototype and start the test application. We have also started to assess the national legislation of some TRACECA countries in order to evaluate the readiness of the legal environment for the application of electronic documents and electronic data exchange. Based on the results of this work, we plan to develop norms that are important to adopt at the national level and prepare a draft international agreement that will become the basis for digitalisation of the corridor," Secretary General Mr. Assavbayev said in his speech.
In the framework of the Forum, the Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA met with the National Secretary of the PS IGC TRACECA in the Republic of Türkiye, Mr. Aykan B. on a number of ongoing initiatives and issues of high priority.
The Secretary General also had a bilateral meeting with the Director of TIR and Transit Department, IRU, Ms. Tatiana Rey-Bellet and others.

In addition, during the Forum in Brussels, the European Investment Bank signed Memoranda of Understanding totalling 1.47 billion euros with the Governments of the TRACECA countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, as well as with the Development Bank of Kazakhstan.

For reference:
- The Global Gateway Initiative (from 1 December 2021) is the EU's strategy to develop sustainable connectivity worldwide. It envisages the development of sustainable, reliable linkages for the benefit of people and planet to overcome the most pressing global challenges, from climate change and environmental protection to improving health security, promoting competitiveness and developing global supply chains. The Global Gateway initiative aims to mobilize up to 300 billion euros of investment between 2021 and 2027 to ensure a long-term global economic recovery given the needs of our partners and the EU's own interests.

- TRACECA is currently the only international transport corridor covering the regions of Central Asia, Caucasus, Europe, incl. Black Sea, Caspian Sea. The TRACECA programme was initiated at the Conference held in Brussels in May 1993 and is still functioning today.


Permanent Secretaritat of the IGC TRACECA