Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu called on the Turkic Council Transport Ministers for cooperation; "I think we should liberalize transportation between our friendly and brotherly countries in the post-pandemic period and remove bilateral and transit road pass quotas," he said.
Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu made a speech at the 5th Meeting of Ministers of Transport of the Turkic Council held in Hungary. Emphasizing that the Turkic Council countries have the potential to become a global power with a young and dynamic population of 160 million and an economic size of 1,1 trillion dollars, Karaismailoğlu said, “We must reveal our common power with the will of cooperation and solidarity in order to realize this great potential. Because, we can only eliminate the effects of the global epidemic in our countries as in the whole world, only through close and effective cooperation. I'm sure that; The Turkish world will get through this troubled period by getting stronger and I hope that our transport relations will continue from where they left off with the least damage," he said.
THE NEED FOR HIGHWAY TRANSITION DOCUMENTS RISES
Noting that the transportation sector has faced an unprecedented crisis in the past two years, Karaismailoğlu stated that the contraction in production and the restrictions on border crossings caused great difficulties in freight transportation. Karaismailoğlu said, “Although there are still some restrictions on road transport operations due to epidemic measures, we have seen a slight recovery in the international road transport market recently as the economy and the transport sector adapt to the epidemic conditions. However, I would like to underline with regret that in the face of this recovery in the economy, road pass documents are quite inadequate. We must not let these difficulties in transition documents hinder our trade. In order to remove the obstacles to transportation and trade and to reduce transportation costs, we must adopt and implement a holistic approach within the Turkic Council that will be for our common interest.
Making a call to the Turkish world, Karaismailoğlu said, "I think we should liberalize transportation between our friendly and brotherly countries in the post-pandemic period and remove bilateral and transit road pass document quotas."
COMBINED TRANSPORT AGREEMENT SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED
Underlining that the draft Combined Transport Agreement, which continues to work within the Turkic Council, should be implemented immediately, Karaismailoğlu continued as follows:
“When we implement the agreement, we will significantly encourage combined transport operations and Caspian crossings, and we will significantly increase the share of the Trans-Caspian East-West Central Corridor in Eurasian transports, which we all attach importance to. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway, which is one of the most important and strategic components of the physical connection between the Turkic Council countries, is of great importance for the economic development and welfare of the Turkic world. With the closure of the Iran-Turkmenistan border during the epidemic, we once again witnessed the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway line. In the first 2021 months of 9 on the line, we achieved a 68 percent increase in freight transportation compared to the same period of the previous year. As of September, we started to use the CIM/SMGS joint transport document for freight transports on the Middle Corridor via the railway line. With the common transport document, we have taken another important step for the competitiveness of the corridor by saving both time and cost.”
Reminding that they signed a protocol with the Ministers of Azerbaijan and Georgia on the more effective use of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway line at the 12th Transport and Communication Council, Minister of Transport Karaismailoğlu said that the protocol would constitute a new milestone in cooperation and increase the efficiency of the Middle Corridor.
WE MUST MAKE THE CASE TRANSITION EFFICIENT, EFFICIENT AND ECONOMIC
Pointing out that the Caspian passage, which is another important component of the Middle Corridor, should be focused on making it effective, efficient and economical, Karaismailoğlu made the following assessments:
“I am confident that with our joint efforts, we will quickly resolve the issues of high tolls and irregular voyages that pose problems in logistics operations and turn the Caspian crossings into the competitive route we desire. Elimination of the problems experienced in the Caspian crossing is of critical importance for the effective use of this route in the post-epidemic period, and we, as Turkey, are ready to support all steps to be taken within this framework.”
"I believe that we can obtain important information about the actual functioning of the Middle Corridor with the Middle Corridor Highway Trial Expedition," said Karaismailoğlu. I would like to express that we can provide all kinds of support for the realization of the expedition at the first opportunity.”
Underlining that one of the important cooperations in the Turkic Council is the Sister Ports Memorandum of Understanding, Minister of Transport Karaismailoğlu said, “3 logistics centers from Uzbekistan and Mersin Port from Turkey to the Sister Ports Memorandum of Understanding established between Samsun, Baku, Aktau and Kuryk Ports. It made us happy that the participation of the
STEPS TO TAKE
Expressing that the time has already come to take an attitude that facilitates and encourages trade among the Turkic Council member states, not complicating it, Karaismailoğlu also touched upon the steps to be taken. Karaismailoğlu said, “First of all, we must ensure that the Middle Corridor becomes a center of attraction by removing administrative and bureaucratic barriers to transit trade. We must further our cooperation in establishing competitive and common tariffs. We think that quotas and all physical or bureaucratic obstacles to transportation should be eliminated immediately in line with the establishment purpose of the Turkic Council family. If we wish, we can overcome these problems in a short time and bring our trade to the desired levels. As in other areas, a new process will begin in the field of transportation after the epidemic. Especially since it is obvious that digitalization will gain significant momentum, I think we should further increase our cooperation in the field of digitalization. In this context, I am of the opinion that the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Turkic Council and IRU Secretaries General last week on the occasion of our Council meeting and attaching special importance to digitalization will contribute to the use and digital transformation of e-documents in the region. I would like to express that we are ready to share experience with the Turkic Council countries that wish, as a country that attaches great importance to digitalization in transportation and is a pioneer in applications such as e-TIR and e-transport document.”