Transportation leaders in the Asia-Pacific region have agreed to continue progress towards free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.
In a three-day meeting, transportation ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies took stock of the progress to date in opening transportation markets, and directed their officials to develop a roadmap of work required to achieve full liberalization in all modes of transportation.
Transportation security was a particularly strong focus of the ministers. In opening this fourth meeting of APEC transport ministers, Indonesia's President Megawati Sukarnoputri stated: "Transportation is the sector that has been most affected by terrorism."
The ministers focused particularly on supporting maritime and aviation security measures, with emphasis on the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) and supporting international efforts to control access to man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). The ministers also resolved, for the first time, to develop a proposal to help secure the transport of dangerous goods. In addition, they agreed to implement an intermodal supply chain security initiative over the next two years. Transport Minister Soenarno from Indonesia said: "To expand trade APEC economies must implement polices to have a safe and secure system for the traveling public, and the business community."
The ministers agreed on measures to promote transportation safety. The APEC region currently accounts for over 40 percent of the 1.2 million road traffic fatalities annually. To combat the rising problem of road traffic fatalities and injuries, APEC will implement a technical assistance initiative to establish a system collect data on road traffic fatalities that will help design better road safety policies. To improve transportation safety and security, the ministers also agreed to a regularized exchange of information and best practices.
Economic and technical cooperation is an important part of APEC work. Transport ministers asked their officials to develop specific action plans for economic and technical cooperation to assist in establishing efficient, safest, secure, and environmentally sustainable transportation systems.
Ministers devoted their first day in Bali to meeting with senior representatives of airlines, shipping companies, automobile manufacturers, ports, and other businesses that keep people and cargo moving in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region.
The twenty-one APEC member economies represent almost 40% of the earth's population, 50% of world trade, and 60% of global production. They also represents a substantial portion of the global transportation industry, including nine of the ten largest sea ports (by volume), and some of the world's largest airlines.
APEC was founded in 1989. Its members are: Australia; Brunei Daresalam; Canada; Chile; the People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States; and Vietnam.
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