Macharia Kamau, Special Envoy on Sustainable Development Goals implementation and climate change, speaks at the meeting on March 7 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A high-level UN meeting in Hanoi on March 7 discussed challenges and opportunities in developing transit infrastructure and corridors.

The ongoing meeting for the Euro-Asia region on improving cooperation in transit and trade facilitation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is being held by Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry and the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States.

Ambassador Michael B. Christides, Secretary General of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), said countries should be aware of the importance of transport and trade facilitation to connect regions and continents. He said it was necessary to boost connectivity between Asia and Europe.

He said the BSEC plans to form an expressway network in the Black Sea area to link the capitals of the member countries. It also plans to upgrade existing roads to meet European standards.

Another project on upgrading sea routes of the Mediterranean and North Polar regions is being considered to reduce road transport and increase the volume of goods transported by sea, thus saving expenses.

Christides also suggested cooperation in streamlining and harmonising customs and border check procedures to facilitate trade.

Meanwhile, Mircea Ciopraga, Secretary General of the Intergovernmental Commission of the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA), said as public capital cannot fully fund projects, TRACECA has called for funds from the private sector. Public-private partnerships have proven effective. 

The improvement of transport infrastructure in TRACECA has also been made along with measures to ensure the smooth movement of goods and persons, and the application of IT in transport, he said.

At the meeting, participants discussed enhancing cooperation between landlocked and transit countries to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. They looked into the role of transport to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in landlocked nations.

Macharia Kamau, Special Envoy on Sustainable Development Goals implementation and climate change, said being landlocked doesn’t mean a country is unable to prosper and progress. 

These countries should consider being landlocked as an advantage to create momentum for scientific and technological advances, thereby remaining part of the development flow and benefiting from the same progress and integration as other nations.-VNA