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Road transport drives progress and prosperity in Latin America

Date

11 Apr 2011

Sections

Transport

IRU- FADEEAC joint Magistral Conference highlights that despite the global economic downturn, Latin America can become an even more dynamic region of the world, if governments demonstrate leadership to promote and further facilitate trade, and in particular road transport as a key driver of economic growth, progress and prosperity.

Buenos Aires – The International Road Transport Union (IRU) and the Argentinean Federation of Road Freight Hauliers (Federación Argentina de Entidades Empresarias de Autotransportes de Cargas - FADEEAC) today jointly organised an international Magistral Conference on the theme “Road Transport, Driving Progress and Prosperity in Latin America”, which brought together some 1000 leading political, business and media representatives from Latin America.

Addressing the audience, keynote speaker Dr Martin Torrijos, Former President of Panama, speaking on behalf of Dr José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), said: “Road transport is a fundamental tool for economic and social development in Latin America...As only one out of three SMEs in the region can export, and only 20% of trade is interregional as compared to 80% in the EU, the growth potential is huge. This is why the OAS has entered into a partnership with the IRU to remove the current barriers to trade and road transport in Latin America.”

Dr Mercedes Marcò del Pont, President of the National Bank of Argentina, said, “Today, development is central to Latin America, not only from a theoretical perspective, but in terms of practical policies that need to be implemented.” To this end, she stressed that “a 4.3% reduction in the cost of transport in Latin America would be equivalent to eliminating all the current trade tariffs in the region.” This assertion clearly points to the urgent need to promote and further facilitate trade and road transport in Latin America to allow it to realise its full growth potential.  

IRU President, Janusz Lacny, further stressed: “We need political leadership to ensure economic growth, employment and prosperity in this ever changing world.  Indeed, when comparing the importance attributed to road transport in recent years by the decision-makers of the OECD countries and those of ‘emerging’ economies such as Latin American countries, huge discrepancies can be observed both in terms of economic growth rates and in new truck registrations – with the latter dropping by 50% in OECD countries against a respective increase of 50% in Brazil.  This undoubtedly demonstrates the strong correlation between a dynamic road transport sector and economic growth.”

FADEEAC President, Luis A. Morales, concluded: “We, Argentinean goods transport operators want to take the lead in implementing UN multilateral facilitation instruments, such as the TIR Convention, that have already served other regions of the world so well by ensuring secure yet smooth goods transport flows by road.”

Conference keynote speeches highlighted that road transport will only be able to continue driving prosperity, progress and peace by working in true partnership with the decision-makers, who need to demonstrate leadership in successfully removing procedural barriers to trade and international road transport, which today account on average for 40% of time lost at borders, as such impediments are putting the brakes on economic development.

Press contact:  Juliette Ebélé, +41 22 918 27 07, press@iru.org

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