1. The Third ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting was held in Mactan, Cebu, Philippines on 5 September 1997. The Meeting was preceded by the Fourth Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM) held on 2-4 September 1997.
2. The Third ATM was chaired by H.E. Mr. Arturo T. Enrile, Secretary of Transportation and Communications of the Philippines, with H.E. Mr. Mah Bow Tan, Minister for Communications of Singapore as Vice-Chairman. The Meeting was attended by H.E. Pehin Dato Haji Zakaria Sulaiman, Minister of Communications for Brunei Darussalam; H.E. Dr. Haryanto Dhanutirto, Minister of Communications for Indonesia; H.E. Mr. Phao Bounnaphol, Minister of Communications, Transport, Post and Construction for Lao PDR; H.E. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, Minister of Transport Malaysia, H.E. Lt. Gen. Thein Win, Minister of Transport for Myanmar; H,E. Mr. Direk Charoenphol, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications for Thailand; and H.E. Prof. Dr. Sc. La Ngoc Khue, Deputy Minister of Transport for Vietnam; and their respective delegations. Dr. Suthad Setboonsarng, Deputy Secretary-General for Economic Cooperation, on behalf of H.E. Dato’ Ajit Singh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, and staff of the ASEAN Secretariat were also in attendance.
3. The Transport Ministers extended warmest welcome and felicitations to the Transport Ministers of Lao PDR and Myanmar on their official admission into ASEAN and to their participation in the ATM Meeting for the first time as full-fledged members. With both Lao PDR and Myanmar into the ASEAN fold, the Ministers expressed hope that the integration process would be further enhanced, through the technical assistance of the senior transport officials with the collaboration of the ASEAN Secretariat.
4. At the Third ATM, the Ministers reviewed the progress made on the implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action in Transport and Communications and other new initiatives adopted at the Second ATM in Chiang Mai. The Ministers also discussed other initiatives such as ASEAN Vision 2020, ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services, and the Singapore-Kunming (China) Rail Link Project.
5. The Transport Ministers expressed satisfaction on the overall progress in the implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action in Transport and Communications and commended STOM for the marked progress in a number of transport projects and activities. The Transport Ministers also affirmed their support to STOM and its Working Groups in the enhanced implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action.
6. In considering the progress of the work activities under STOM, the Transport Ministers agreed on the following :
- to finalise the draft Framework Agreement on Multimodal Transport and Trade Facilitation incorporating all inputs from all relevant governmental bodies and the private sector;
- to formulate the ASEAN agreement on the mutual recognition of commercial vehicle inspection certificates;
- Thailand, as the country coordinator, to convene the meeting of ASEAN Highway Experts, to follow-up the proposed development of the ASEAN Highway Network Project; and
- Thailand to convene the Joint SEOM-STOM Working Group, to consider the draft ASEAN Inter-State and Transit Transport Agreement, in line with the directive of the 28th AEM and the First ASEAN Informal Summit to formulate a framework agreement on the Facilitation of Goods in Transit.
7. In line with the ASEAN Vision 2020 which would foster closer integration and competitive environment in the ASEAN region, the Transport Ministers endorsed the project proposal on National and Regional Workshops on the Role of Transport and Communications in the ASEAN Region in the 21st Century to translate the transport vision into action. In this regard, the Ministers requested the Secretary-General of ASEAN to accord high priority to this project and explore early funding support.
8. The Transport Ministers reaffirmed the importance of the development of competitive air services policy in ASEAN. In this regard, the Ministers agreed to accelerate the work programme to implement the air services liberalisation within the ASEAN sub- regional groupings such as BIMP-EAGA, IMS-GT and IMT-GT, subject to bilateral agreements.
9. The Transport Ministers noted that the Inception Report on the feasibility study on the Singapore-Kunming (China) Rail Link Project would be considered by the Second Special Working Group Meeting in Kuala Lumpur by end September 1997.
10.The Transport Ministers noted the progress of the sectoral negotiations in Air and Maritime Transport under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services. The Transport Ministers also noted that the implementation of the initial package of commitments, which is due for consideration during the 29th AEM in October 1997, is targeted no later than 31 March 1998.
11. The Ministers further noted that STOM will hold informal consultation with the senior transport officials of the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA or CER) at the Fifth STOM in Singapore.
12.The Transport Ministers agreed to hold the Fourth ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting in Singapore in September 1998.
The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN solidarity, cordiality and cooperation.