BRUSSELS – Transport plays a key role in fostering economic growth, job creation, and connecting people to essential services. In this ever-changing global landscape, sustainable, secure, and efficient transport corridors are vital for regional trade, cost reduction, and economic growth. Recent crises, from climate risks to the COVID-19 pandemic, have profoundly affected the global supply chain and the transport sector. This has underscored the importance of transport corridors in geopolitics, with initiatives like the Trans-Caspian corridor, Lobito corridor in Africa, and the India-Middle East-Europe Economic corridor gaining prominence.
These were discussed in the parallel leaders’ session on transport corridors at the Global Gateway Forum, an event that brought together representatives of governments from the European Union and from around the world with the private sector, civil society, leading thinkers, financing institutions, and international organisations in Brussels on 25 and 26 October 2023.
Transport is a core part of the Global Gateway strategy, aimed at enhancing sustainable connectivity across all forms of transport worldwide. The session on transport corridors at the Global Gateway Forum discussed the challenges, implications, and implementation issues of key corridors, including the Trans-Caspian, Lobito, and India-Middle East-Europe corridors.
This discussion featured high-level keynote speakers, including H.E. Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, H.E. Dorin Recean, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, and H.E. José Ulisses de Pina Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of the Republic of Cabo Verde. The panel also included the following high-level speakers – H.E. Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Serbia, H.E. Marat Karabayev, Minister of Transport of Kazakhstan, H.E. Serdar Jorayev, Minister of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan, H.E. Abdulkadir Uraloğlu, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of Türkiye, H.E. José De Lima Massano, Minister of State for Economic Coordination of Angola, Mr Boudewijn Siemons, Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO, and Ms Odile Renaud-Basso, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
In a dynamic debate, framed by the introductory remarks of Ms Adina-Ioana Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, and moderated by the Transport Community Director, Mr Matej Zakonjšek, the session emphasised the importance of international collaboration in developing transport corridors that contribute to sustainable economic growth and environmental responsibility. It also highlighted the critical role the European Union plays in extending transport networks to neighbouring countries, fostering integration. The concluding remarks were delivered by Mr Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement.
Enhancing the resilience of a global, green transport system is imperative to adapt to evolving challenges. This applies to both freight and passenger mobility. Road traffic accidents also claim millions of lives each year, primarily in developing countries. Transport is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, too. To mitigate this, innovation and sustainable solutions are crucial, such as alternative fuels, electric batteries, digitalisation, and green infrastructure.
Photo: Global Gateway Forum, European Union