President of JSC Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov Held the 24th Session of the Asian-Pacific Regional Assembly of UIC
The 24th session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly of the International Union of Railways (APRA UIC) started today in St. Petersburg under the chairmanship of Oleg Belozerov, President of Russian Railways. Representatives of more than 20 leading railway companies, research institutes, and international intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations are taking part in it.
The 24th session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly of the International Union of Railways (APRA UIC) started today in St. Petersburg under the chairmanship of Oleg Belozerov, President of Russian Railways. Representatives of more than 20 leading railway companies, research institutes, and international intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations are taking part in it. The assembly is discussing the most important projects aimed at developing rail transport and enhancing its role in transcontinental transport.
According to Mr. Belozerov, the volume of trade and transportation between Asian-Pacific countries and Europe is steadily growing, outpacing the growth of Eurasian freight on other forms of transport.
“The increasing participation of countries of the Asia-Pacific region in the world economy, as well as the implementation of the WTO agreement on trade facilitation, creates special demands for sustainable logistics chains for the delivery of goods between Europe and Asia,” said the head of Russian Railways.
One promising area for the development of the transit potential of member countries of the APRA, as Mr. Belozerov noted, was the formation of transcontinental routes on the basis of established international transport corridors. Also, the issue of interoperability between railway systems with gauges of 1435 mm (China) and 1520 mm (Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia) is urgent and requires discussion.
In addition, according to Mr. Belozerov, the rapid growth of electronic commerce makes it possible to discuss the prospects for the development of high-speed freight traffic with Asian-Pacific countries.
Among other activities of the APRA UIC, he also singled out the development of a heavy-duty traffic.
“Increasing the competitiveness of the railways is directly related to the organization of heavy-duty traffic: the use of cars with increased axle load results in technological efficiency, which frees up the capacity of the network and, as a result, enables additional bulk transportations,” Mr. Belozerov said.
Speaking about the immediate plans of the APRA UIC, he noted that the tasks for ensuring security in transportation, as well as quality-management issues, which require more detailed discussions by the participants of the APRA UIC, are still relevant for the assembly.
The APRA is one of six regional assemblies of the UIC, and it ensures the participation of countries in the Asia-Pacific region in the formation of promising strategies and tasks for the UIC aimed at strengthening international cooperation and the effective operation and development of rail transport.
At present, the APRA has 40 members, including railway companies, transport administrations, and research and design institutes.
President of JSC Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov has been the chairman of APRA since January 2017; Lu Dongfu (China Railways) and Kanat Alpysbaev (JSC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy) are vice chairmen.