Monday, June 11, 2012 -
Central Asian leaders were urged Monday to create dry ports in their countries in support of UN efforts to establish transportation corridors throughout the region.
The call to build inland ports, used as hubs connecting road, rail, and inland waterway networks for the transshipment of cargoes, came during the 17th session of the Project Working Group for Transport and Border Crossing Facilitation held in Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital.
Kazakh Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Azat Bekturov chaired the meeting, which came under the auspices of the United Nations Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA).
The UN-sponsored transshipment corridor projects are costing around $215 billion to implement, the Bernama news agency reported.
The initiatives include reconstruction of the massive transnational transit corridor stretching from western Europe to western China.
The meeting tied in with plans by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to develop an intergovernmental agreement on dry ports.
The Kazakh-hosted event was also attended by country representatives of Central Asian republics Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, along with delegations from Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. A number of international organizations were also represented.