JOINT PRESS STATEMENT
Eighth ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting
1. The Transport Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed Protocol 9 on Dangerous Goods. Protocol 9 provides for the simplification of procedures and requirements for the transit transport of dangerous goods in ASEAN, using internationally accepted standards and guidelines. This Protocol is one of the implementing protocols under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Goods in Transit.
2. The Ministers lauded the signing of the ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Air Freight Services, as a first step in the full liberalization of air freight services in the ASEAN region. The MOU, which was signed by the ASEAN Senior Transport Officials/Directors-General of Civil Aviation, allows the designated airlines of each ASEAN member country to operate all-cargo services up to 100 tons weekly with no limitations on frequency and aircraft type.
3. The Ministers agreed to work towards the facilitation of transport services covering air and cruise and ferry transport and in supporting safe and efficient land transport in ASEAN. This is an important step as the ASEAN Tourism Agreement, which is scheduled to be signed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia later in the year and which has called for the facilitation of not only international travel but also intra-ASEAN travel.
4. The Ministers expressed support for the implementation of the transport infrastructure component of the Initiative of ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan containing six projects with a total budget of US$ 2.5 million, to assist the newer members of ASEAN (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam) in the development studies and capacity building activities in the highway, inland waterway, railway and multimodal transport sectors.
5. The Ministers welcomed the evolving cooperative partnership with India and Japan in the ASEAN transport sector. The Ministers welcomed the first consultations of their senior transport officials held on the occasion of the 14th STOM with their counterparts from India and Japan.
6. The Ministers also welcomed the prospects for ASEAN-India joint cooperative activities in promoting transport infrastructure integration and facilitation and in enhancing human resource development in the road, port, inland waterway transport and shipping, and railway sectors. The Ministers were pleased with ASEAN-Japan transport partnership which covers promoting policy dialogue, enhancing human resource development including cooperation in the facilitation of cargo distribution and logistics, promotion of safer and sustainable shipping, enhancement of air transport safety and efficiency. The Ministers looked forward to their first meeting with the Japanese transport minister in 2003. Japan would host the ASEAN-Japan Transport Policy Workshop in early 2003 in Tokyo, as launching activity for the ASEAN-Japan transport partnership.
7. The Ministers adopted the ASEAN transport roadmaps for the Land Transport Infrastructure Integration and Transport Facilitation of Goods. The Land Transport Infrastructure Integration Roadmap sets out the project development and implementation steps towards the realization of the ASEAN Highway and Singapore-Kunming Rail Link Projects, to promote greater land transport inter-connectivity and accessibility in the region. The Transport Facilitation of Goods Roadmap provides for the institutionalization and operationalization of the ASEAN transport facilitation agreements covering transit and inter-state transport of goods, as well as multimodal transport operations, to support AFTA and improve transport logistics in the region.
8. The Ministers were pleased with the progress of implementation of the various strategic programs for the ASEAN highway and railway infrastructure projects and in ASEAN cooperation in air, land and maritime transport sectors and transport facilitation. In particular, the Ministers expressed gratitude to China (HRD in river transport and road traffic management), Japan (maritime sector and cruise studies; road safety, ITS, and urban transport), Republic of Korea (highway preparation studies), Germany (dangerous goods planning in ports), Belgium (HRD on inland waterways/ferry transport) and to the Asian Development Bank (road safety studies) and to International Maritime Organization (study on accession to IMO conventions), for their generous technical assistance and funding support to move forward ASEAN transport cooperation.
First ASEAN and China Transport Ministers Meeting
9. The Transport Ministers of ASEAN had their first policy dialogue with the Minister of Communications of the People’s Republic of China, as a follow-up to the decision of the Fifth ASEAN and China Summit in Brunei Darussalam in November 2001.
10. The ASEAN and Chinese Transport Ministers underscored that this landmark meeting augurs well on pushing forward cooperation process in the transport sector and holds great significance in promoting economic and trade relations between ASEAN and China. They highlighted that building an integrated transport network for smooth and speedy movement of goods and people is a vital supporting infrastructure to a free trade area between ASEAN and China. They committed to pursue collaborative activities in land transport infrastructure and facilitation, facilitation of maritime and river transport, and the expansion of air transport services. They have requested their senior officials to implement mutually beneficial programs in ASEAN + China transport cooperation, for assessment in their next meeting in 2003.
11. The ASEAN and Chinese Transport Ministers endorsed the Terms of Reference (TOR) for ASEAN-China Transport Cooperation prepared by their senior officials in the First STOM + China Meeting held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in May 2002.
12. H. E. Mr. Agum Gumelar chaired the Eighth ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting, with H.E. Maj. Gen. Hla Myint Hwe, Minister of Transport for Myanmar, as Vice-Chairman. H.E. Mr. Huang Zhendong, Minister of Communications, People’s Republic of China, co-chaired the First ATM + China Meeting. The 9th ATM and 2nd ATM + China Meetings would be held in Yangon, Myanmar in September 2003.
The following attended the Eighth ATM and the First ATM + China meetings, together with their respective delegations:
(i) H.E. Pehin Dato Haji Zakaria Sulaiman, Minister of Communications, Brunei Darussalam;
(ii) H.E. Mr. Khy Tainglim, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Cambodia;
(iii) H.E. Mr. Huang Zhendong, Minister of Communications, People’s Republic of China;
(iv) H. E. Mr. Agum Gumelar, Minister of Communications, Indonesia;
(v) H.E. Mr. Bouathong Vonglokham, Minister of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction, Lao PDR;
(vi) H.E. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, Minister of Transport, Malaysia;
(vii) H.E. Major General Hla Myint Swe, Minister of Transport, Myanmar;
(viii) H.E. Mr. Arturo T. Valdez, Deputy Minister for Transportation, Philippines;
(ix) H.E. Mr. Yeo Cheow Tong, Minister for Transport, Singapore;
(x) H.E. Mr. Nikorn Chamnong, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications, Thailand;
(xi) H.E. Dr. Tran Doan Tho, Vice Minister of Transport, Viet Nam; and
(xii) H.E. Dato’ Ahmad Mokhtar Selat, ASEAN Deputy-Secretary General.