UAE aims to open new trade routes

UAE Energy Minister said the country is seeking to open up new trade routes to strengthen ability and connectivity of logistical sectors in Central Asia, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

UAE possesses great capabilities and excellent competencies to effectively contribute to addressing regional and global transport challenges, said Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.

The UAE’s experience has gone beyond its borders, as it has contributed to the development of ports in a number of regional and global countries, including Uzbekistan, Tanzania, Jordan, Oman and Egypt, in addition to large investments in international trade routes, said Al Mazrouei.

He was speaking at the International Ministerial Transport Conference of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), convened at the initiative of Turkmenistan under the auspices of the United Nations, in the city of Turkmenbashi, on Monday.

Al Mazrouei said the UAE is seeking to open up new trade routes to strengthen ability and connectivity of logistical sectors in Central Asia, a factor that will contribute “to push the economic growth wheel ahead and consolidate bilateral relations between our states.”

He said there is an increasing need for developing “more sustainable, fast, flexible and efficient transport systems” in light of the continuous economic, ecological and social challenges.

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“It is our duty to explore best practices to establish new routes.”

He stressed that digitisation in the United Arab Emirates is a top priority, as it is an integral part of the country’s development success story, and are on the right path in this field.

“The UAE is actively working to strengthen cross-border land transport systems through the development of the Etihad Rail, one of the largest infrastructure projects in the country, which will develop the national economy by 2030, and that the state is keen to continue developing the maritime sector, which is a major supporter of the gross domestic product with the country’s ports contributing more than AED92 billion to the UAE’s annual Gross National Product (GNP).”

The minister told the conference that:” The COVID-19 pandemic has raised the need for the global transport sector to be our top priority for the future and the need to integrate LLDCs into global value chains and markets, increase regional connectivity and transport routes through physical infrastructure and cross-border facilitation systems, as well as develop measures to mitigate the increasing risks of climate change and damage to transport infrastructure, in order to overcome challenges and turn them into real opportunities.

On the sideline of the conference, the UAE minister held a series of separate meetings with Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, General Director of the Agency for Transport and Communications under the Turkmen Cabinet of Ministers Mammetkhan Chakyev, Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Rostam Qasemi, and a number of representatives of participating governments.

The meetings discussed ways of further developing bilateral cooperation in the transport sector.

Ministers and heads of transport agencies from more than 30 states, and dozens of delegations of international organizations, financial institutions and expert communities participated in the conference.

The Government of Turkmenistan, and the Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), co-organised the Ministerial Transport Conference of Landlocked Developing Countries, according to the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA).

The Conference is part of the preparatory process of the Third United Nations Conference on the Landlocked Developing Countries to held in 2024.

Under the theme, “Ashgabat Process: Financing for Better Connectivity”, the meeting brought together ministers of transport from Landlocked Developing Countries to tackle the challenge of getting their transport infrastructures up to speed. To reach global average railway and paved road density, more than 46,000 kilometres of railways and nearly 200,000 kilometres of paved roads need to be constructed.

Ministers at the conference called for: 1) Greater collaboration on capacity building, data use, road safety, formulating bankable infrastructure projects, and the greater use of information and communication technologies in transport and transit systems.

2) The international community to urgently mobilise investments, technologies, and capacity-building for sustainable transport and for the use of pandemic recovery funds to be disbursed in favour of development of physical infrastructure for sustainable transport in LLDCs and transit countries.

3) Leveraging investment and financing for LLDCs’ transport infrastructure from all available sources, especially from development partners, international and regional financing institutions, and the private sector.

4) Increased investment and partnerships in climate resilient infrastructure and to increase the sustainability and resilience of transport systems in LLDCs and transit countries.

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