1. The First ASEAN Transport Ministers’ Meeting was held in Bali, Indonesia on 17-19 March 1996. The Meeting was preceded by the Second ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting held on 15-16 March 1996.
2. The Meeting was attended by H. E. Dato’ Seri Laila Jasa Haji Zakaria B. Datu Mahawangsa Haji Sulaiman, Minister of Communications for Brunei Darussalam; H.E. Dr. Haryanto Dhanutirto, Minister of communications for Indonesia; H.E. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, Minister of Transport for Malaysia; H.E. Dr. Primitivo C. Cal, Undersecretary for Transportation for the Philippines; H.E. Mr. Mah Bow Tan, Minister for Communications for Singapore; H.E. Wanmuhamadnoor Matha, Minister of Transport and Communications for Thailand, H.E. Prof. Dr.Sc. La Ngoc Khue, Vice-Minister of Transport for Vietnam; and their respective delegations. H. E. Dato’ Ajit Singh, Secretary-General of ASEAN and members of his staff were also in attendance.
3. The Ministers signed Ministerial Understanding on ASEAN’ Cooperation in Transportation which identified priority areas for cooperation, mechanism for coordination and implementation pertaining to ASEAN cooperation in transport.
4. The Ministerial Understanding has the following objectives :
a. to establish and develop a harmonised and integrated regional transport system in order to provide safe, efficient and innovative transportation infrastructure network;
b. to enhance cooperation in the Transport sector amongst Member States in order to contribute towards the achievement of the objectives of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA);
C. to establish a mechanism to coordinate and supervise cooperation projects and activities in the transport sector; and
d. to promote interconnectivity and interoperability of national networks and access thereto taking particular account of the need to link islands, land locked, and peripheral regions with the national and global economies.
5. The ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) shall meet twice a year on rotational basis to discuss issues of common interest and to set policy directions in the transport sector. The Meeting of ASEAN Transport Ministers shall be chaired by the host country.
6. The ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM) shall be the executive body to supervise, coordinate, and review programmes and directions set by ASEAN Transport Ministers. The STOM shall also be the consultative body on developing consensus on-transportation issues in areas of common interest in international fora.
7. The STOM shall meet regularly and report to the ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting; provide a mechanism to promote and enhance participation from private sector and non-governmental organisations; work closely with ASEAN Secretariat in the initiation, coordination and implementation of ASEAN transport policies and programmes; and as and when necessary, establish working groups and invite experts from the regional and international organisations in the transport sector to assist it in carrying out its functions.
8. With regard to the ASEAN Plan of Action on Transport and Communication 1996-1998, the Ministers agreed that member countries shall endeavour to complete the implementation of the Plan of Action which includes the following theme issues:
a. Development of Multimodal Transport and Trade Facilitation;
b. Development of ASEAN Interconnectivity in Telecommunications, including Fixed and Mobile Voice and Data and EDI Services for Trade and Business Communications, and to Enhance Land, Sea, and Air Transport;
c. Harmonisation of Road Transport Laws, Rules and Regulations in ASEAN;
d. Improvement of Air Space Management in ASEAN;
e. Safety of Maritime Transport and Prevention of Pollution from Ships;
f. Human Resources Development in Transport and Communications;
g. Developing a Competitive Air Services Policy which may be a gradual step towards an Open Sky Policy. in ASEAN.
9. The Ministers agreed that liberalization of air services Lecithin ASEAN which had already begun within the sub-regions such as IMT-GT and BIMP-EAGA should continue to be pursued vigorously and expanded to other sub-regions.
10. The Ministers urged senior transport officials to actively participate in the negotiations under the ASEAN Frame, work Agreement on Services especially in the area of maritime and air transport.
11. The Ministers noted the information by Malaysia on ASEAN Cooperation in Mekong Basin Development and that a concept proposal is being developed to establish an electric train from Singapore to Kunming.
12. The Ministers also noted the forthcoming ASEAN Plus-3 Transport Vice-Ministerial Meeting to be hosted by Japan. The Ministers agreed that ASEAN member countries should be represented at an appropriate level.
13. The Ministers agreed to meet again in October 1996, in Chiangmai, Thailand.
14. The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN solidarity and cordiality.