Fourteen countries have inked an inter-governmental agreement on dry ports to underline their pledge toward achieving the shared vision of an integrated and sustainable inter-modal transport and logistics system.

The agreement, signed on the sideline of the Forum of Asian Ministers of Transport, builds on the inter-governmental agreements of the Asian highway and trans-Asian railway networks, built through the ESCAP platform.

Signatories to the agreement are Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

The agreement aims to promote international recognition of dry ports, facilitating investment in dry port infrastructure, improving operational efficiency and enhancing the environmental sustainability of transport.

It also signals a move to a more sustainable growth path. Dry ports create the conditions for the much needed shift of cargo flows from road transport alone to intermodal options - using road services in combination with more energy efficient, less polluting alternatives such as rail, short sea shipping and inland waterways.-VNA