Amid complex global and regional production networks, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted gaps as well as opportunities to improve efficiency and strengthen resilience of supply chains. In this context, the potentials of inland intermodal facilities or dry ports find further merit to improve transport efficiency and meet supply chain requirements. Disruptions caused by the pandemic have provided the impetus to increase additional warehousing capacity or dry ports to shorten the time to get goods to market. To this end, dry ports—being points of convergence grouping access to transport modes together with customs processing, warehousing and clustering of economic activities—offer ideal settings to boost integration into global/regional supply chains.
The Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports, facilitated by ESCAP and entered into force in April 2016, is a fundamental pillar for the development of dry ports in the Asia-Pacific region. ESCAP, in coordination with the Investment Research Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mongolia, conducted a technical assessment of dry ports identified by Mongolia in the Agreement (i.e., Altanbulag, Sainshand, Ulaanbaatar, Zamyn-Uud and Choibalsa) as well as possible new dry ports locations (Tsagaannuur Free Economic Zone along AH4 on the western part and Bichigt Port which is the Eastern port bordering with China).
Following the assessment study, a technical consultation workshop will be jointly organized by ESCAP and the Investment Research Center. The workshop aims to:
- consult with officials and stakeholders involved in dry ports development in Mongolia on the findings of the study towards identifying priority areas for possible technical assistance and capacity building;
- update parties involved in the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor Program on dry ports development and other projects; and
- exchange information on dry ports development towards identifying possible areas for collaborations.