SCO Member States Agreement on Facilitation of International Road Transport

The annual summit of the member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 11-12 September 2014, witnessed the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States on the Facilitation of International Road Transport. This subregional road transport facilitation agreement is expected to significantly promote regional and subregional connectivity and integration, in particular revitalization of the ancient silk road connecting China, Russian Federation and the Central Asian countries. ESCAP, under the overall strategy for the Asian Highway and transport facilitation, has supported the formulation of the Agreement since its initiation in 2004 by providing technical and financial assistance for the negotiation, undertaking relevant research support and drafting of the Agreement and its annexes. The SCO Prime Ministers meeting held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 2013 issued a particular declaration to express their appreciation to ESCAP. The Agreement opens more than 15,000 km of the Asian Highway routes for transport operation and services, with the longest route stretching more than 9,000 km from Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation to Lianyungang, China. The Agreement will also develop landlocked Central Asia’s access to sea by road through China and Russian Federation.