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The growth of the economies in the CIS countries

June 2008.

Today in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Yakunin, President of Russian Railways, spoke at the roundtable "The CIS: Enhancing Economiс Competitiveness through Integration and Cooperation," which was held at the XII St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

"Time has shown that one of the real tools to enhance the global competitiveness of the member countries of the CIS is the active exploitation of our transport system’s advantages. The state and development of the largely integrated railways, with a single standard gauge of 1520 mm, has a direct influence on the prospects for the further growth of our economies," said Vladimir Yakunin.

Speaking about the main areas of growth for railways in the CIS countries, the President of Russian Railways highlighted the development of the international transport corridors. In Yakunin’s view, the priorities should be shifted towards the formation of through and direct "superhighways" - international corridors which are balanced in terms of their throughput capacity and their level of technological development, and which ensure a high level of service.

Among the measures required to achieve this goal, Vladimir Yakunin mentioned the harmonisation of transport law in the CIS countries, the establishment of competitive through tariffs, the coordination of efforts to attract investment to develop transport corridors, the establishment of logistics operators and the construction of "rail ports" in the industrial and transport centres of the CIS countries.

The key problem in the development of cooperation between CIS countries with regard to railway transport according to Yakunin is the absence of a unified long-term strategy for the balanced development of the rail sector. In this connection, Yakunin highlighted the development of institutions such as the CIS Railway Transport Council, as well as the international business forum "Strategic Partnership 1520," in formulating a unified concept for the development of railway transport in the CIS countries.


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