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Release Date:
Release ID: 4287

IRU New Eurasian Land Transport Initiative moves up a gear

IRU's New Eurasian Land Transport Initiative (NELTI) enters its second phase, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, by developing a road map to reduce the time and cost of road haulage in transit countries between China and Europe.

Moscow - Launched in September 2008 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the IRU's New Eurasian Land Transport Initiative (NELTI) is now entering a second phase, in light of its compelling results presented at the 5th IRU Euro-Asian Road Transport Conference in June 2009.

The second phase of the NELTI project (NELTI - 2) will focus on the implementation of a road map that identifies the issues to be solved and the measures required to reduce the time and cost of road transport haulage between China and Europe. Based on a close cooperation between the IRU and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as part of the Central Asian Regional Economic Co-operation Programme (CAREC), NELTI - 2 is expected to last two years.

NELTI - 2 has doubled the number of transport companies involved, now originating from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The geographical scope has also significantly expanded, as monitored routes now include journeys on the Chinese territory.

The three main NELTI routes - Northern, Central and Southern - have been supplemented by a route to Afghanistan and eventually to the Middle East. A dedicated Working Group will examine the conditions for shipping goods from Europe and China to Afghanistan and will develop recommendations to facilitate road transport and trade in this direction.

NELTI - 2 also benefits from stronger political and practical support from the transport authorities of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, through the signature of Memoranda of Understanding with the IRU that mark a turning point in enhanced cooperation and commitment to successfully achieve the objectives of the NELTI - 2 Project in these countries. It has also been met with great interest by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev, and the President of Tajikistan, Emomalii Rakhmon, who discussed with the IRU the practical steps needed at national levels to expand the transit potential of their respective countries.

IRU General Delegate to the CIS, Igor Rounov, said, "NELTI-2 represents a major shift in emphasis from monitoring to practical steps, to concretely remove remaining obstacles to the development of international road transport on the Eurasian landmass, in particular the 40 percent of total transport time lost at borders due inappropriate customs procedures. Booming Asian economies have brought unprecedented changes in transport links between Europe and Asia that require political priority to be given to promoting and further facilitating road transport. NELTI-2 will very concretely act as a catalyst for such a political focus while creating new routes, with new actors and new organisational methods."

The IRU's NELTI is an essential next step in the IRU objective to interconnect every business on the Eurasian landmass to all major world markets, as well as to increase political and business awareness of the tremendous economic opportunities arising from road transport on this land bridge.

Find out more about NELTI - 2 at www.iru-nelti.org

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