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Reopening of the Silk Road: from Vision to Reality


12 Jun 2009



The 5th IRU Euro-Asian Road Transport Conference opened today in Almaty, Kazakhstan, bringing together over 500 political and business leaders, including more than 20 transport Ministers to explore challenges and new business opportunities along the reopened Silk Road during this time of economic crisis.

Almaty – The 5th IRU Euro-Asian Road Transport Conference, organised in cooperation with IRU’s Kazakh Member, the Union of International Road Carriers of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KazATO) on the theme “The Reopening of the Silk Road: from Vision to Reality”, opened today in Almaty, Kazakhstan, attracting more than 500 business and political delegates from 43 countries from the 5 continents, as well as over 20 transport ministers from Europe, Asia and North America.

Opening the IRU conference, IRU President Janusz Lacny, explained, “As the present economic crisis demonstrates, despite recent major changes brought about by globalisation in the world, governments are regrettably doing very little to enhance the new opportunities by putting in place the necessary measures to support changing production processes, new trade patterns and, above all, the global logistics and supply chains. In this context, road transport, which is always and everywhere at the disposal of everyone, is playing an ever-increasing role in interconnecting all the businesses along all the Silk Road to every main world market. No country is landlocked to road transport!”

Organised under the high patronage of the Minister of Transport of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Abelgazy K. Kussainov, the IRU conference is being held in parallel with a Ministerial meeting, convened to define the appropriate governmental measures to effectively re-establish the ancient Silk Road as the region’s main trade artery.

The Kazakh Minister of Transport, Abelgazy K. Kussainov, said: “This Ministerial Meeting will tackle problems of interest for all countries and international organisations, such as…the elimination of physical and non-physical barriers, simplification of the visa and trip permit systems; the lack of standard road transit transport requirements which should be obligatory for all transit countries.”

The IRU conference features an international expert panel, including high level representatives from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

See the Conference highlights.

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