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Marked at a ceremony in Dalian, a key port in northeast Asia and one of six TIR–ready Belt and Road gateways, the first transport operations under TIR will enhance interconnectivity between countries along routes across the region.
With the potential to increase the total trade volume among China and other major countries along the Belt and Road route by up to USD 13.6 billion, representing 1.4% of China’s total volume of trade exports, the activation of TIR will see Chinese goods going global with greater efficiency, while foreign imports will be faster and safer. The development shows the country’s commitment to seeking mutual benefit, and a two–way opening up of international road transport.
The ceremony in Dalian gathers transport and customs leaders from China and Russia to celebrate the historic milestone. Attending the event, Secretary General of IRU, Umberto de Pretto, comments, “TIR is set to transform China’s links with its neighbours, bringing benefits across the region and facilitating the goals of the Belt and Road initiative. The start of TIR operations today sends a strong signal to the world that China is opening up its markets and connecting more efficiently across its borders.”
TIR is set to transform China’s links with its neighbours, bringing benefits across the region and facilitating the goals of the Belt and Road initiative. The start of TIR operations today sends a strong signal to the world that China is opening up its markets and connecting more efficiently across its borders
The six Belt and Road gateways designated to start TIR operations are: Dalian in Liaoning – the trade gateway towards the Pacific; Erenhot in Inner Mongolia (bordering Mongolia); Horgos in Xinjiang (bordering Kazakhstan); Irkeshtam in Xinjiang (bordering Kyrgyzstan); Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia (bordering Russia); and Suifenhe Port in Heilongjiang (also bordering Russia).
This historic event marks the first caravan transport, set to embark on the 5,600 km journey from Dalian in China to Novosibirsk in Russia. TIR is expected to play a pivotal role along the new route by expediting customs clearance and efficiency, therefore facilitating trade connectivity.
In June, China will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit 2018 in Qingdao. With all eight SCO member states and four SCO observers having ratified the TIR Convention, the potential for TIR to play an even greater role in facilitating and securing trade between SCO member states is high.
China ratified the UN TIR Convention in July 2016, becoming the 70th contracting party. Now there are 73 contracting parties across the globe (including China). ■