India on Monday said it had ratified United Nations Transports Internationaux Routiers Convention, a universal transit system for goods, in an attempt to improve its trade prospects in the region, reported Business Standard. India has thus become the 71st country to ratify the United Nations TIR Convention, as it is more commonly known.

TIR is the global standard for the transit of goods, and is managed and developed by the International Road Transport Union. By ratifying the convention, India will be able to better integrate its economy with global and regional production networks.

The IRU said in a statement that India’s accession to the convention “puts it at the centre of efforts to increase trade and regional integration across South Asia and other regions”. In March, the Union Cabinet had given its approval for India to join the pact.

TIR will also help India implement the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which it signed in 2016. Since the convention allows only approved transporters and vehicles are allowed to operate, it will help Indian traders use a fast, easy and reliable international system to move their goods. TIR will allow India to integrate its trade with Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, as well as to move goods along the International North-South Transport Corridor via the Chabahar port in Iran, and to access Afghanistan.

The TIR Convention will come into force in India in six months, and the IRU will work with India for training and development. The ratification of TIR can be seen as India’s effort to counter China’s One Belt One Road initiative. China, however, had ratified the convention in 2016 itself, reported the The Times of India.