CETMO takes Part in the International Conference on Making Euro-Asian Transport Corridors Operational at the United Nations
- The United Nations Inland Transport Committee (UNECE-Geneva) invited CETMO as one of its keynote speakers
- CETMO highlighted the need for Euro-Asian routes to have natural continuity through North Africa
On 3 and 4 September 2018, CETMO took part in the Working Party on Transport Trends and Economics, organized by UNECE's Inland Transport Committee. This working party provides a pan-European forum for the exchange of ideas on progress and the challenges related to sustainable overland transport in the pan-European region.
CETMO was invited to give a presentation at the international conference organized by this working group, called “Making Euro-Asian Transport Corridors Operational”. The conference was an opportunity to debate future cooperation between governments, international financial institutions (IFIs), the private sector and the UNECE secretariat in order to facilitate the development of Euro-Asian corridors and their branches and connections with other transport corridors, with the overall goal of ensuring that overland transport becomes the main contributor to economic development and trade facilitation in the region.
The CETMO presentation was based on the following points:
- Complementarity between transport corridors: Euro-Asian transport networks are essential to improving connectivity between the two continents, yet it makes no sense for the projected routes of the corridors to end at the Iberian Peninsula; these networks must be provided with continuity through North Africa via the Trans-Maghreb Multimodal Axis.
- Importance of intermodality and multimodality: transport networks and corridors should be treated not only as simple roads and railways but must be addressed from the perspective of multimodality that takes account of road, rail, sea and air modes, as well as logistics platforms. It is also necessary to ensure good intermodality, as the effective functioning of the corridors depends on good connections between modes of transport.
- Progress status of the Trans-Maghreb Multimodal Axis: the state of development of the corridor varies depending on the mode of transport.
- Roads: in terms of roads, a large part has been executed and all that remains is to modernize certain sections and build other, relatively short sections.
- Rail: in terms of rail, there is more work to be done, as a large part of the existing network needs to be modernized and long sections of railway need to be built.
- Ports: 24 ports are in service and a further four are at the planning stage.
- Airports: there are currently 21 airports in service.
- Logistics platforms: in terms of logistics platforms, nodal infrastructure is the area that requires most development, as only three are in service, although 13 more are at the planning stage.
- Investment to complete the corridor: after analysing the requirements to achieve the Trans-Maghreb Multimodal Axis, it is necessary to focus on monetizing these actions. CETMO has calculated that 9.10 billion euros will be needed for roads, 53.34 billion euros for rail, 7.54 billion euros for the four ports, and 2.30 billion for the 13 logistics platforms. This means a total investment of 72.28 billion euros would make it possible to complete the corridor. One of the funding projections would be an investment of 4.25 billion euros per year to complete the Trans-Maghreb Multimodal Axis by 2035.
- Fixed link through the Strait of Gibraltar: for a good connection between the Mediterranean Corridor and the Trans-Maghreb Multimodal Axis, the best solution would be a fixed infrastructure link between the two shores of the Mediterranean through the Strait of Gibraltar. This underlines the importance of the agreement signed by CETMO and the state companies of Spain and Morocco responsible for the fixed link (SECEGSA and SNED) to establish an observatory on traffic in the Strait of Gibraltar. The objective of the agreement is to establish a collaborative structure for collecting, using, analysing and disseminating information on socioeconomic matters and aspects relating to transport infrastructure that channels relations between Europe and Africa, and on the flows of goods and passengers between the two continents.
The complete CETMO presentation can be viewed on the CETMO website http://cetmo.org/en/data-centre/publications, in the UNECE section, with the title “2018 - WP5 Conférence Internationale sur rendre opérationnelle les Corridors de transport Eurasiatiques”.
The UNECE secretariat considered CETMO's proposals to be of great importance and, in its conclusions document, stressed the need for Euro-Asian transport networks to be connected to the southern part of the Western Mediterranean via the Trans-Maghreb Multimodal Axis.
CETMO's Future Activities with UNECE
In September, CETMO is due to make another trip to the United Nations headquarters in Geneva to sign a partnership agreement between the two organizations. This agreement will have the goal of developing an international integrated system for intermodal transport and logistics for CETMO member states, which will contribute to promoting economic development and social progress in the Western Mediterranean region as a crossroads for the corridors that connect Africa and Europe.