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Government considering new state programme to boost transit potential
Belarus intends to raise its transit revenue by up to $1.5 billion over the coming five years. Obviously, it won’t be easy, as sanctions between Russia and the European Union affect our earnings (though such sanctions surely won’t last forever). Two trans-European corridors pass through Belarus but we are yet to fully take advantage of this, providing a high level of service to foreign carriers and guests.
Everything should come together as in a puzzle: quick customs clearance, high-quality roads, and a well-developed network of cafes, hotels and service stations. A special clause in the draft programme stipulates the development of logistics infrastructure. According to the plan, the total area and volume of services will increase 1.5-fold. The Belarusian Transport and Communications Minister, Anatoly Sivak, tells us, “Each kind of transportation will have its own approach. For instance, railway transport will be developed to reflect potential for cargo transportation between China and Europe. We’ll reach the 78,000 container mark this year. On average, two container trains will cross Belarus every 24 hours. Four years ago, we had only one such train weekly.”
By 2020, more than a thousand kilometers of roads are planned for building or reconstruction: doubling the volume targeted for the past five years. Legislation is being updated, to reduce the number of documents needed for international road transportation of cargo, and the use of digital documents is being expanded.
The Chairman of the Belarusian Association of Transport Experts and Surveyors, Yuri Vazhnik, adds, “Transit is complex and multifaceted, and requires wise and efficient planning. For example, in Poland, the total volume of transport services per capita is twice that of our own. Poland receives significant revenue from private, business and tourist trips by foreign citizens. Why aren’t we doing the same? We need to kindle tourists’ interest in visiting us.”
By Yevgeny Kononov
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