Momentum is growing on the digitalization of the Middle Corridor, linking the European Union and Asia, through Central Asia, the Caucasus, Türkiye and Eastern Europe, through the use of UNECE and UN/CEFACT standards for digitalization of multimodal data and document exchange.
Representatives of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye, Ukraine and Uzbekistan gathered in Baku from 22 to 23 May 2023 for a capacity-building seminar with experts from UNECE, UN/CEFACT, the Permanent Secretariat of TRACECA, the European Commission, CIT, UIC, ICAO and other stakeholders. The objective was to link developers of UN/CEFACT standards for multimodal data and document exchange in the supply chain with practitioners implementing digitalization in the region.
Participants discussed the development of a roadmap for digitalization of information flows in the Middle Corridor; the digitalization of the CIM/SMGS consignment note and the integration of port community systems in the Caspian region in standardized information exchange along supply chains, all based on the UN/CEFACT Multimodal Transport Reference Data Model as a foundation for interoperability, and the involvement of development partners.
The Governments of the region have given a clear mandate to advance this work using the UN/CEFACT standards and tools. The event in Baku on 22-23 May is part of a series of demand-driven capacity-building events for governments and the business community in the region which started with the International High-level Conference on Digital Transformation of Information Exchange in Supply Chains Using United Nations Standards, in October 2022, recommended training for experts in the region on UN/CEFACT standards, and launching implementation pilot projects, notably in the trans-Caspian corridor, and then the 13th International UNECE “Odessa” seminar, in December 2022, recommended aligning data exchange with the UN/CEFACT Multimodal Transport Reference Data Model and the EU Electronic Freight Transport Information Regulation (eFTI).
The SPECA Ministerial Meeting on 17 April 2023 reinforced these recommendations requesting “UNECE to develop a Roadmap for digitalization of multimodal data and document exchange along the trans-Caspian transport corridor using relevant United Nations standards, including through realizing a regional pilot project for SPECA participating States”.
UNECE assists its member States to better integrate into the world economy and to harness trade, innovation and infrastructure financing and investment for sustainable development in the region. UNECE normative tools cover many diverse areas, ranging from trade facilitation and agricultural quality standards to ESG traceability of supply chains, innovation and public private partnerships. UNECE also specifically supports its 17 programme countries in Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe, in close cooperation with UN Country Teams.