Ukraine and Georgia have signed an agreement at the governmental level on arranging direct international railroad services through the two countries’ seaports, the Ukrainian Infrastructure Ministry press service reported.
The agreement was signed at the International Maritime Forum in Batumi on September 13.
“We signed a very important document today, which links Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan along the Silk Road. This initiative has gotten a second wind and, undeniably, has great prospects. Our countries have applied a lot of effort to simplify the logistics, make the transit cheaper, and, above all, speed up the delivery of goods, so as to make it as comfortable for business as possible”, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said.
Under the current market conditions, the speed of goods delivery is just as important as the delivery cost, and increasingly more companies agree to bear extra expenditures to deliver goods not in two or three months but in 9-15 days, he said.
“We should increase the speed at which containers pass from China to Ukraine’s western border to 9-10 days”, Omelyan said.
The two countries are continuing negotiations on introducing a through rate and simplifying the customs procedures, he said.
“I hope we will complete the formalities this year and will start deliveries as such next year. We see great interest on the part of the EU countries. This is not only an economic but also a political project for Ukraine. We should be independent from a particular country’s moods. We should launch a procedure in such a way that cargo be delivered timely and in any weather, either political or economic”, he said. (Interfax/Business World Magazine)