India to sign international agreement on dry ports

The union cabinet on Tuesday gave the nod to the signing and ratifying of an inter-governmental agreement on dry ports that will facilitate and expand international goods transport.

The decision was taken by the union cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The approval was given for “signing and ratifying of the inter-governmental agreement on dry ports of international importance”, an official statement said.

To be signed at the UN headquarters in New York, the agreement is a follow up of the resolution of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) regarding development of dry ports within its member countries, including India.

“This current agreement promotes international recognition of dry ports, facilitates investment in infrastructure, improves operational efficiency of inter modal transport services, establishes guiding principles for development and operation of dry ports and enhances the environmental sustainability of freight transport,” the statement said.

The agreement will help in connectivity and integration of the Asian highway network, the trans-Asian railways network and other modes by working towards development of dry ports.

“There is need to promote and develop an international integrated intermodal transport and logistics system in Asia with its neighbouring regions. The agreement will facilitate and expand international goods transport as a consequence of growing international trade in the region,” the statement said.

The agreement will also strengthen connectivity and seamless international movement of goods, facilitate increased efficiency and reduce cost of transport and logistics as well as extend reach to inland areas and wider hinterlands.