This latest biennial Review sets out transport developments in the Asia-Pacific region and serves as a mechanism for reporting on the provision of transport infrastructure and services; the challenges remaining in regional, urban and rural connectivity; and public health issues, such as road safety and emission pollutions.
The Review finds that regional connectivity has been placed high in policy agenda of many countries in the region. This has resulted in the strong demand for strengthened regional transport connectivity, largely emanating from the desire to have smooth flow of goods movements within the region that also provides inclusive access for the emerging development opportunities to all countries in the region, in particular those with special needs such as least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states.
2015 saw the adoption of the global mandate in the 2030 UN development agenda and the agreement to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Of the 17 goals and 169 targets, transport is specifically mentioned in four targets and indirectly in seven others. To achieve the SDGs, transport’s contribution will need to focus towards achieving an integrated intermodal transport system that provides balanced integration of the three pillars, economic, social and environmental, of sustainable development. The Review shows adoption of overall policy on developing the integrated intermodal transport systems in a number of countries. It provides an update on the status of the Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway networks, as well as progress in the development of intermodal linkages such as dry ports. It describes regional strategies and mechanisms to facilitate the cross-border movement of transport.
In the context of SDG 11 on more sustainable cities, the Review reports on the initiatives of the cities of the region to stem the social and economic losses from the burden of increasing congestion and pollution caused by private vehicles. The Review acknowledges the increasing role of intelligent transport systems for urban and inter-city mobility and recognizes the role of rural accessibility as a key component of success in connecting production with consumption to end hunger and promote sustainable agriculture. It also reports the region’s greater interest and the need in further improving road safety, which resulted in social and economic loss from road traffic fatalities with some 733,000 deaths on Asia-Pacific roads in 2013. Finally, it investigates the potential for private sector involvement in financing transport investments. Increasing investment in environmentally sound railway and intermodal transport hubs has been seen in many countries in the region.