Review of developments in transport in Asia and the Pacific

2411-8087 (online)
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The Review of Developments in Transport in Asia and the Pacific is a biennial publication of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). This year the Review focuses on trend and development relating to the following areas: railways; roads and highways; maritime ports and developments in shipping; dry ports, intermodal terminals and logistics development; facilitating transport across borders; and safe and sustainable transport.
Review of developments in transport in Asia and the Pacific 2013

Review of developments in transport in Asia and the Pacific 2013

Transport as a key to sustainable development and regional integration You do not have access to this content

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08 July 2014
9789210567855 (PDF)

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This review is biennially produced by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). It describes the environment within which the transport sector is developing and the principal challenges that this environment poses to governments, the transport industry and society at large. The publication also focuses on tracing the significant development of roads, railways, shipping, ports, inland waterways and air transport industries and infrastructure in the region. In addition, it considers the changing delivery mechanisms across all transport sectors and discusses urban transport issues. Finally, the review examines the process of globalization, trade agreements related to transport, regionalism, collocation of production transport facilities, as well as intermodal transport systems.
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  • Foreword
    This Review is published at an important time for future policy and planning of transport investments. Transport accounts for around 60 per cent of all fossil fuels used on the planet, around 30 per cent of all energy use and an estimated 23 per cent of global CO2 emissions. To reduce these negative externalities, we need regional solutions today that will support sustainable development, solutions which are fuel efficient and which reduce pollution, congestion, accidents, and deaths on the roads, while meeting the needs of business, people and our planet.
  • Explanatory notes
    The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
  • Introduction
    Transport is an essential element in the development of Asia and the Pacific, and has played a critical role in the region’s rapid economic growth. Transport networks facilitate the movement of people and goods, ensuring that labour, raw materials, products and ideas can move around easily and contribute to the social, economic and environmental betterment of the region. The challenge of the coming decades will be, however, to ensure that transport policies and investments contribute to more sustainable and inclusive development paths. Mitigating the negative externalities of transport is a necessary step in ensuring the sustainability and inclusiveness of transport networks.
  • Integrating regional transport networks
    While international trade has relied predominantly on maritime transport as the most efficient and cost-effective mode to move vast volumes of cargo, the recent growth in intra-regional trade has increased the relevance of more direct land transport routes within the region. It is expected that as the economic size of trading partners in the region increases and transport connectivity improves, intra-regional trade will continue to increase significantly. Illustrating this trend, while China was the fourth largest trading partner for the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2000, after the United States of America, Japan and the European Union, it has been the first one since 2009. Bilateral trade between China and ASEAN members reached $232 billion in 2010, up from $32.3 billion in 2000. Over the same period, India’s trade with ASEAN members has grown at an annual average growth rate of close to 20 per cent, reaching $55 billion in 2010, while its trade with China also jumped from $7.6 billion in 2003 to $66.6 billion in 2012.
  • Facilitating operations on regional transport networks
    Although international trade is largely transported by sea due to the cost advantages provided by this mode, land transport remains critical for regional economic exchanges as it is commonly used for short and medium distances as well as for long distance haulage, particularly when minimising time is important. For countries which are landlocked, it is the only available option for accessing world markets. For these landlocked countries, Figure 2.1 highlights how physical and non-physical barriers are ultimately reflected in transport costs, with many paying more than double the world average export or import transport costs.
  • Financing transport infrastructure
    Against this backdrop, this chapter will review recent trends in transport infrastructure financing. Firstly, historical investments in the region will be presented, along with an analysis of traditional options for financing transport infrastructure. Secondly, the role of the private sector as an alternative source of financing will be further investigated, and different policy options for attracting and steering private sector contributions will be outlined. Finally, the growing importance of intra-Asian cooperation for addressing regional transport infrastructure challenges will be reviewed.
  • Promoting sustainable transport for inclusive development
    With half the world’s people now living in cities and towns, the provision of integrated and inclusive urban transportation systems is a critical challenge in the region. Meanwhile, the increasing numbers of fatalities due to road accidents in the region are a major cause for concern requiring urgent action. These two substantive issues, urban mobility and road safety will be further explored in this chapter, with innovative strategies and policies that could make transportation more sustainable and inclusive in the region. Examples of initiatives and projects that are making positive change will also be showcased.
  • Strengthening inter-island shipping in the Pacific
    This Chapter describes the various constraints facing interisland shipping in the Pacific and their possible consequences and relationships with other factors. It will then highlight a number of innovative approaches which some Pacific Island Countries and Territories have initiated, which demonstrate that through careful assessment and planning, strong political will and a resilient cooperative spirit, it is possible to effectively tackle these challenges.
  • Consolidated reference list
  • Acknowledgements
    The Review of Developments in Transport in Asia and the Pacific 2013 was prepared under the guidance of Dongwoo Ha, Director, Transport Division (TD) of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
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