IRU's New Eurasian Land Transport Initiative (NELTI) will launch, on 16 September 2008, in Tashkent, freight deliveries from Central Asia and Western China to Europe and Turkey and demonstrate that the Silk Road is now open for business by road transport.
Moscow - The New Eurasian Land Transport Initiative (NELTI), to be launched on 16 September, will demonstrate that road transport haulage along the Silk Road, from Central-Asian and Asia-Pacific regions to Europe, is now operational, with no additional investment in infrastructure required.
Seven pioneering road transport companies* from Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkey and Uzbekistan, will carry out freight deliveries of industrial and consumer goods along the Northern, Central and Southern routes of the ancient Silk Road, from September to December 2008.
Supported by leading international organisations**, as well as various governmental bodies, NELTI will raise political, public and business awareness about existing alternatives to the transport of goods from Asia to Europe currently through a handful of increasingly saturated major ports. By interconnecting all businesses in Asia and Europe on the Eurasian landmass, road transport along the Silk Road will ensure economic and social development, political stability and, ultimately, prosperity and peace in landlocked countries located along these routes.
NELTI will also allow a detailed monitoring of transport conditions en route, such as waiting times at border-crossing points, administrative barriers, quality of infrastructure, etc. Monitoring results will be analysed by the NEA Transportation Research Institute (The Netherlands) and presented during the 5th IRU Euro-Asia Road Transport Conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in June 2009.
IRU Secretary General, Martin Marmy, stressed: “NELTI will show that, unlike all other transport modes, there is no such thing as landlocked countries for road transport. With NELTI reopening the Silk Road to modern road transport, it is possible, without spending one cent on infrastructure, to put an end to the current desertification of trade in too many countries, resulting from the concentration of the bulk of world trade in only a few major ports. The revival of the Silk Road in the 21st century is no longer a dream but rather a reality!”
IRU President, Janusz Lacny, and IRU Secretary General, Martin Marmy, will address an international conference on road transport haulage in the Central-Asian region on 16 September, in Tashkent, organised in cooperation with the International Road Transport Carriers' Association of Uzbekistan (AIRCUZ) and under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Economic relations of Uzbekistan.
* Bunyod (Uzbekistan), BK Intrans (Uzbekistan), Central Asia Trans (Uzbekistan), Atrim-Logistics (Russia), Oshmezhtrans (Kyrgyzstan), Karadeniz (Turkey) and Tizgaman Yakhan (Iran)
** These international organisations include the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).