JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT
1. We, the Transport Ministers of ASEAN and China, held our Third Meeting on 24 November 2004 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. H.E. Mr. Sun Chanthol, Minister of Public Works and Transport for Cambodia and H.E. Mr. Zhang Chunxian, Minister of Communications of the People’s Republic of China, co-chaired our Meeting.
2. Recognizing the significant potential of ASEAN-China strategic partnership in transport and its crucial support for the ASEAN-China free trade area initiative, we adopted the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Governments of Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Transport Cooperation. The MOU will be signed by the ASEAN Secretary-General and the Minister of Communications of China at the sidelines of the ASEAN-China Summit in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 27 November 2004.
3. Under the MOU, we agreed to further strengthen our policy and information exchange and implement joint projects and activities in the following cooperation areas: (a) Transport Infrastructure Construction; (b) Transport Facilitation; (c) Maritime Safety and Security; (d) Air Transport; and (e) Human Resources Development. Working groups or ad-hoc expert task forces may be formed to expedite the implementation of these areas.
4. We also agreed to work towards developing and signing an ASEAN-China regional maritime transport cooperation framework agreement as well to pursue the proposal to explore the possibility of concluding an ASEAN-China regional passenger and cargo air services arrangement. These agreements will provide greater impetus and dynamism into the development of international ocean shipping industry and air services liberalization in this region that also reinforces the establishment of an ASEAN-China free trade area.
5. We welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN STOM + China Maritime Consultative Group as the cooperative platform to work out and recommend the details of the initiative concerning the ASEAN-China maritime transport agreement, as well as to discuss the relevant projects and activities to advance cooperation in maritime safety and security. China will host the first ASEAN STOM + China Maritime Consultative Group meeting in Shanghai in the second quarter of 2005.
6. We are pleased with the substantive progress on the ASEAN–China transport cooperation since the Second ATM + China meeting. In particular, the ASEAN-China transport cooperation which began two years ago has contributed towards strengthening infrastructure linkages and enhancing cross border movement of goods and people between the two sides. Some of these joint cooperation projects and activities include:
- Construction of Lao PDR section of Kunming-Bangkok Highway funded by US$ 30 million from the Chinese government which started early this year and is due for completion by June 2006;
- Navigation Channel Improvement Project on the upper Mekong River which was completed in April 2004. The project was jointly executed by China, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand with Chinese funding of US$ 5 million;
- The pre-feasibility study of the missing link of the Trans-Asian Railway inside Cambodia, with US$ 1 million financial assistance from China;
- Ongoing Negotiations on Annexes/ Protocols of the GMS Agreement for the Facilitation of Cross-Border Transport of Goods and People, whose first stage was concluded in Phnom Penh in late April 2004 and part of second stage to be concluded in Lao PDR next month; and
- Port Management and Marketing Workshop for ASEAN High-level Officials and Managers in Dalian in August/September 2004; the ASEAN-China Workshop on Ships’ Ballast Water Management in Beijing in September 2004 and the China-Philippines Joint Table-Top Search and Rescue Exercise Project in Beijing and Manila separately this year.
7. We looked forward to the implementation of the following activities starting in 2005;
(a) Development Study for the Inland Waterway Improvement Project in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam;
(b) China’s scholarship for two ASEAN officials each year, to study one-year master’s degree course in World Maritime University Branch in Dalian;
(c) China Drill on Search and Rescue at Sea to be held in Shanghai in July 2005, followed by a China Workshop on Compensation for Oil Pollution Caused by Ship;
(d) China Workshop on Management of Seafarers in response to ILO’s Consolidated Maritime Labor Convention for adoption in 2006, the implementation of the IMO International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, and International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers (STCW) as amended; and
(e) Workshop on the Regulation Techniques of Inland Waterways for ASEAN High-level Officials and Technical Personnel in 2005.
8. We agreed to seek additional financial and technical assistance from international organizations to support transport infrastructure development projects and to promote transport facilitation in the region.
9. We thanked the Royal Government of Cambodia for excellent organization of the Meeting and agreed to hold our Fourth ATM + China Meeting in Lao PDR in 2005.
List of Ministers
- H.E. Pehin Dato Haji Zakaria Sulaiman, Minister of Communications, Brunei Darussalam;
- H.E. Mr. Sun Chanthol, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Cambodia;
- H.E. Mr. Zhang Chunxian, Minister of Communications, China;
- H.E. Mr. M.Hatta Rajasa, Minister of Communications, Indonesia;
- H.E. Mr. Sommad Pholsena, Deputy Minister of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction, Lao PDR;
- H.E. Dato’ Sri Chan Kong Choy, Minister of Transport ,Malaysia;
- H.E. Maj. Gen. Thein Swe, Minister of Transport, Myanmar
- H.E. Mr. Arturo T. Valdez, Undersecretary (Deputy Minister) for Transportation, Philippines;
- H.E. Mr. Yeo Cheow Tong, Minister for Transport, Singapore;
- H.E. Mr. Nikorn Chamnong, Deputy Minister of Transport, Thailand;
- H.E. Mr. Nguyen Tien Sam, Vice Minister of Transport, Viet Nam; and
- H.E. Mr. Ong Keng Yong, ASEAN Secretary General.