Regional Conference on Strengthening Transport Connectivity and Trade Facilitation in South and South-West Asia
The Regional Conference on Strengthening Transport Connectivity and Trade Facilitation in South and South-West Asia was organized by ESCAP South and South-West Asia Office jointly with the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan in Lahore, Pakistan on 9-10 December 2013. Regional and subregional economic integration is being promoted across the world as the new driver of growth, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. South and South-West Asia remains one of the least integrated subregions in the world. A key reason for the low intraregional trade in the subregion is poor connectivity between countries, cumbersome border clearance procedures and inefficient arrangements for cross-border and transit transport. Improved transport connectivity and facilitation of cross-border and transit transport in South and South West Asia can help boost intraregional trade. The conference built on an earlier policy dialogue organized by ESCAP in Dhaka on 26-27 June 2013, jointly with the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies.
The main objective of the event was to provide an opportunity for the participating countries to discuss the potential opportunities and challenges for strengthening subregional connectivity, share experience on the current status and measures in enhancing transport connectivity, explore ways to apply various transport facilitation tools developed by ESCAP, and identify concrete and actionable measures required to further strengthen transport connectivity.