India clears the decks for multi-modal transnational connectivity

India is moving ahead with its plans of accessing transnational multi-modal connectivity.

As part of this strategy, the Union cabinet on Monday approved the signing of the Transports Internationaux Routiers or International Road Transports (TIR) Convention by the government.

The multilateral international transit treaty—Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets—is also referred to as the TIR Convention and functions under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

India will be the 71st signatory to this international transit system, designed to facilitate the seamless movement of goods throughout these countries in Asia and Europe. India’s participation in TIR may also facilitate trade with its eastern and western neighbours.

“(The TIR Convention) is to improve the international connectivity and movement of cargo across the countries in the multi-modal format. Goods can go from Mumbai or Kandla Port to Iran. From Iran they can go via rail or road to Central Asia or Europe,” a senior government official said, requesting anonymity.

The TIR Convention will help India move goods along the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)—an ambitious multi-modal transportation established in 2000 by Iran, Russia and India to promote transportation cooperation. INSTC is to connect the India Ocean and Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea through Iran and then onwards to St. Petersburg and northern Europe through Russia.