The Enlarged FIATA/UIC Contact Group meetsin Shenzhen, China
55,000,000 square kilometres, that is the size of the Eurasian landmass. Human beings have been trying hard to connect such vast land by rail, a bold and ground-breaking effort. Much has been achieved but still more work is required: insufficient infrastructure, complex cross-border procedures and other challenges still exist.
On 12th and 13th of May 2016 FIATA and UIC jointly hosted the Meeting of the Enlarged Contact Group, inviting elites from the railway and freight forwarding industries together with relevant international organisations to Shenzhen, China, under the overarching title "Putting China-Europe on Rail". As mentioned by FIATA President Mr. Zhao Huxiang in his opening speech, the China-Europe bilateral trade is expected to increase to around 1 trillion USD by 2020, while less than 5% of the products are transported by rail today; FIATA sees this as a great potential for rail freight on the China-Europe rail link. President Zhao welcomes the opportunities that such a platform for global players offers in order to share experiences, visions and find innovative solutions.
This is the first time FIATA/UIC rail working group host an event in Shenzhen, which belongs to Guangdong Province of China. In his speech, Mr. Wang Yiyang, Director of Guangdong Development Research Centre, announced that Guangdong aims to become a strategic hub for sea transport and land-sea multimodal transport of Eurasia within the Chinese government’s overarching initiative known as the "Belt and Road". FIATA and UIC found therefore plenty of reasons to host the meeting in Shenzhen, to experience this strong urge to propel logistics connectivity across two continents.
Another reason to host this meeting in China was "to build better understanding and respect among Chinese and European freight forwarders", as expressed by Dr Ivan Petrov, FIATA Senior Vice President and Chairman of the FIATA WG Rail, "the market and practice of China and European are rather different, what we should do is to understand each other, instead of trying to change one another", concluded Dr Petrov.
Speakers from ADB, CLECAT, EU Commission, OSJD, UIRR, UNESCAP and many other organisations and enterprises delivered instructive presentations, the 90 participants from more than 20 countries and regions went back home with new ideas and resources and showed their enthusiasm at the closing.
The event was kindly sponsored by Sinotrans & CSC Holdings and the Francesco Parisi Group.
Marco Sorgetti, Director General
FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, was founded in Vienna, Austria on May 31st 1926. It is a non-governmental organisation that today represents an industry covering approximately 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms, employing around 10 million people in some 160 countries. FIATA has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (inter alia ECE, ESCAP, ESCWA, etc.), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) as well as many other UN related bodies, e.g. the World Bank. It is recognised as representing the freight forwarding industry by many other governmental organisations, governmental authorities, private international organisations in the field of transport and logistics, such as the European Commission (through CLECAT), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union of Railways (UIC), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), etc.
For further information, please go to: www.fiata.com
Glattbrugg, 12 May 2016