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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   3 December 2012 

Asean ministers agree to enhance transportation


The transportation ministers of Asean member states agreed to enhance and strengthen transportation connectivity on Friday as part of building the region's economic community by 2015.

During the ministers' 18th Asean Transport Ministers Meeting in Nusa Dua, the ministers committed to implementing the blue print of the Asean Economic Community, the Master Plan for Asean Connectivity and the Asean Strategic Transport Plan.

They expressed their commitment to continue cooperation with Asean dialogue partners, international organisations and the private sector to realise the projects.

On air transportation, the ministers focused their attention on the Air Transport Technical Cooperation work plan to support the effective Asean Single Aviation Market and realise their vision of a "Seamless Asean Sky".

"We are also finalising the framework agreement on the cross-border transport of passengers to ease procedures and requirements on people movement in cross-border areas," said Indonesian Transportation Minister E.E Mangindaan, who chaired the meeting.

The countries are also working on the finalisation of research on the Asean Single Shipping Market implementing strategy to enhance connectivity between states in the region, most of which are archipelagic.

Mangindaan said that in supporting the Asean Community, some dialogue partners had also indicated their interest in implementing projects listed under the Master Plan on Asean connectivity.

"There are priority transport projects that have been highlighted, such as the Asean Highway Network, the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link and the Master Plan Feasibility Study on the establishment of the Asean Roll-on Roll-off Network and Short Sea Shipping."

Cambodian Minister of Public Works and Transport Tram Iv Trek, who chaired last year’s meeting, acknowledged the milestone that had been achieved over the last year thanks to close cooperation among members in the region.

"On the Asean Community, we have made steady progress in implementing various measures under the Asean Strategic Transport Plan 2011-2015 and transport-related measures under our connectivity master plan covering air, land and sea transport."

In air transport, he said, the countries had issued a declaration on the adoption of the implementation framework on the Asean Single Aviation Market, and added it was a significant undertaking that would guide key work in the aviation sector toward 2015 and beyond.

On the seamless transportation of goods, the countries have signed Protocol 6 on railway borders and interchange stations, a significant milestone in their endeavours to facilitate the cross-border movement of goods trains within the region.

"With our dialogue partners, the cooperation further strengthened and progressed.

All we have to do next is push forward the operational sides of these agreements, protocols and measures to meet the targets set out in the Asean community blue print," he said.

During the two-day meeting, the Asean ministers also held bilateral meetings with their counterparts from China, Japan and Korea.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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