Now more than ever, the region’s development is reliant on its transport system. Whether to carry manufactured and agricultural products to international markets, food to rural and urban communities, workers to their jobs, the young to schools or the sick to hospitals, transport is essential. While development patterns across the region vary, countries that have been able to improve transport capacities and efficiency have been the most successful in achieving sustainable development.
By supporting the development of an intermodal regional network, incorporating the Asian Highway network, the Trans-Asian Railway network and the network of Dry Ports, ESCAP works with its member States to strengthen connectivity, optimize the use of existing infrastructure and increase the level of integration between the different transport modes. In order to finance these transport infrastructure and systems, ESCAP offers advice on financing options and advocates public-private partnerships including network coordination, diagnostic workshops and online training materials and courses.
While infrastructure development is a prerequisite for achieving regional connectivity, tackling non-physical barriers to cross-border and transit transport is also essential. To this end, ESCAP promotes the unhindered and safe movement of vehicles, goods and people across borders and through countries of the region through the establishment of regional facilitation frameworks and standards, provision of facilitation tools and the harmonization of documentation and procedures. ESCAP also assists countries in developing transport logistics policies and in enhancing the professionalism of logistics service providers.
Working closely with the organizations involved in sustainable transport solutions, ESCAP also facilitates the sharing of knowledge on sustainable transport solutions, including modal shift to rail, more use of inland and coastal waterways, safer transport systems and promotion of public transport, non-motorized vehicles and creation of pedestrian spaces in urban environments.