Andrey Slepnev: “Pilot shipments have shown the attractiveness and efficiency of agricultural supplies along the North-South corridor”

The Heads of Government of the EAEU countries supported the proposal of the Eurasian Economic Commission to include transportation carried out along the international North-South transport corridor in the direction of Turkmenistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of India in the joint integration project "Eurasian Agroexpress". The relevant disposition of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council was adopted during a meeting held in Almaty.

"Due to a number of reoriented transport routes, the demand for the North-South corridor has increased significantly. The pilot shipments to Iran and India made within the project confirmed the attractiveness of this destination. Our countries have strong potential here to expand their transit and export potential”, said Andrey Slepnev, EEC Minister in charge of Trade. 

Along with that, he particularly noted the overrun of planned indicators of the Eurasian Agroexpress for the first year of its operation. In total, 525.5 ths tons were transported as part of the project in 2022, including 282.9 ths tons of refrigerated cargo. The nomenclature of goods included chicken and beef meat, milk powder, oil and fat, fruits and vegetables and legumes.

“Despite the current restrictions on the supply of products from China due to the pandemic, multimodal transportation to this country was carried out at a furious pace”, Andrey Slepnev emphasized. 

However, according to him, a number of aspects were identified within the project that hinder its efficient operation. In particular, the problem concerns obtaining permits for the import of frozen products to China along overland railway routes through the Dostyk-Alashankou and Altynkol-Khorgos border checkpoints. This could give a significant gain in terms of cost and time of delivery of goods compared to multimodal transportation through the Far East ports.

In this regard, the EEC was instructed to work with the authorized authorities of the interested Eurasian Economic Union Member States to reach arrangements with the PRC on eliminating restrictive measures and optimizing customs and other administrative procedures.

For reference

The initiative to implement the joint project of the Eurasian Economic Union Member States on performing expedite container rail and multimodal transportation of agricultural products "Eurasian Agroexpress" was supported by the EIC Disposition No. 3 on February 25, 2022. The priority of the project is to develop regular expedite supplies of agricultural products and food of the Member States both in the internal market and in third markets. Autonomous Non-Profit Organization "Eurasian Agrologistics" was created to perform the functions of the joint project directorate.