Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2011
 
Connectivity
Transport

Data source:
World Development Indicator (WDI)
WHO, Global Status Report on Road Safety: Time for Action
United Nations ESCAP, Transport Division
International Energy Agency (IEA).

In the past decade, movement of goods and people by road, rail and marine container has expanded; energy consumption and CO2 emissions from transport also increased, by 34% and 33%, respectively, between 2000 and 2008.

The 2009 performance in the transport sector of the Asian and Pacific regional economy was highlighted by railway and road increases in specific subregions. Freight and passenger rail services increased slightly over 2008 figures in East and North-East Asia and South and South- West Asia, while a steep fall in rail freight transport in the Russian Federation brought the region-wide average down by 8.9% from its 2008 level. In 2008, of the world’s top 30 container ports in terms of throughput, 20 were in the Asia-Pacific region.1 Half of the substandard roadways in the Asian Highway network, some 11,000 kilometres, were upgraded to the minimum class III standard between 2004 and 2008, leaving only 8.0% of roadways below class III. The death rate from road accidents in 2007 was 17 per 100,000 people, slightly below the world average of 19. Home to about 61% of the world’s population, Asia and the Pacific accounted for only slightly more than one quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions from transport.

Railway

Railway density in Asia and the Pacific is about 6 linear kilometres per 1,000 square kilometres, which is low in comparison to the world average of 9. The largest volumes of freight are carried by the railways of China, India and the Russian Federation; whereas China, India and Japan account for the most passenger kilometres. Demand for rail freight transport services in 2009 was 63% higher than in 2000, although it had fallen to 5,332 billion ton-kilometres from the 2008 record of 5,854 billion ton-kilometres. The 2009 fall in freight can be mainly attributed to a decrease of 552 billion ton-kilometres in rail freight transport in North and Central Asia (535 of which was from the Russian Federation). For the Asia-Pacific region, that reduction was slightly offset by an increase in rail freight transport in South and South-West Asia, which rose by 4.9%, or 27 billion ton-kilometres, in 2009. The rail freight transport in East and North-East Asia rose marginally, by 0.3%, or 8 billion ton-kilometres, in 2009.

Total demand for rail passenger transport services increased by 10% in 2008 from the previous year to reach 2,113 billion passenger-kilometres. Contributing to the increase were large rises in rail passenger transport in East and North-East Asia, by 87 billion passenger-kilometres and in South and South-West Asia, by 81 billion passenger-kilometres. The highest rail passenger transport level, in 2008, was in China, which marginally exceeded that in India.

Roads

The Asian Highway continued to expand by 0.6% between 2004 and 2008 to a network comprising 142,000 kilometres of roads across 32 member countries. The Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network, which entered into force on 4 July 2005, has 28 signatory parties with one yet to ratify it. The network extends to all land-connected countries in the region.

Figure IV.5 – Asian Highway routes, by roadway standard, 2008

Figure IV.5 – Asian Highway routes, by roadway standard, 2008

Development of the Asian Highway network has resulted in upgrading of 11,000 kilometres of roads to meet the minimum standard of class III, thus halving the proportion of routes below that minimum from 16% in 2004 to 8% in 2008. The amount of primary roads more than doubled between 2004 and 2008.

Figure IV.6 – Asian Highway progress, by roadway standard, 2004 and 2008

Figure IV.6 – Asian Highway progress, by roadway standard, 2004 and 2008

Motorization across the region in 2007 was estimated at 43 cars per 1,000 people. The level in Asia and the Pacific was considerably lower than the worldwide average of 107 cars per 1,000 people and the North American average of 443 cars per 1,000 people, which is the highest of any region. The number of cars per 1,000 people in Asia-Pacific expanded from 40 to 43 between 2003 and 2007. Higher vehicle densities result in more road traffic accidents. Worldwide, each year such accidents kill an estimated 1.2 million people (2007) and injure 50 million more. The situation is likely to worsen: road fatalities are forecast to reach 1.9 million worldwide by 2020.2 Traffic-related deaths in Asia and the Pacific, at around 700,000, accounted for more than half of the world’s road fatalities in 2007. The highest rates of traffic fatality in Asia and the Pacific were reported for Afghanistan, Cook Islands, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Kazakhstan.

Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020

Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety.3 The goal of the Decade is to stabilize and then reduce the level of road traffic fatalities around the world, by promoting road safety through activities conducted at national, regional and global levels. The Decade will involve cooperation from WHO, the United Nations regional commissions, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as private partners.

Many countries are working on stabilizing an upward trend in traffic fatalities; however, a few countries have already been able to turn fatality rates around. Based on 2009 and 2007 country status reports,4 a few countries in the region have shown a marked decline in traffic fatality rates: Kazakhstan (19.3%), Brunei Darussalam (14.2%), Russian Federation (11.6%), Bangladesh (10.5%), and Kyrgyzstan (9.9%). The Decade for Road Safety has prompted a few governments to make commitments to reduce fatalities between 2011 and 2020. Australia, Cambodia, and Thailand were among those countries in this region which committed to national road traffic casualty reduction targets of 30% (Australia and Cambodia) and 50% (Thailand).

Container handling at ports

The number of containers handled at Asian and Pacific ports increased by 6.5% between 2007 and 2008, to 276 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). During the same period, container handling at ports worldwide increased by 4.4%, to 473 million TEU. Since 2001, the top five container ports of the world have been in Asia and among the world’s top-30 container ports 20 have been in the Asia-Pacific region (based on throughput).5 The top five countries and areas handling the most port container traffic were China; Singapore; Hong Kong, China; Japan; and the Republic of Korea.

Figure IV.7 – Energy consumption from transport, World regions, 1990 to 2008

Figure IV.7 – Energy consumption from transport, World regions, 1990 to 2008

Energy consumption and CO2 emissions

The transport sector is a major consumer of energy resources – particularly petroleum products. It is also one of the major emitters of carbon dioxide, which contributes significantly to global warming. In 2008, the world road, rail and aviation sectors consumed 2,299 million tons of oil equivalent. Of that amount, the Asia-Pacific region was responsible for 26%, or 598 million tons of oil equivalent, which represents an increase of 34% over consumption in the year 2000. The bulk of this amount in the region, 79% (475 million tons of oil equivalent), was consumed by the road sector, followed by aviation (13%), and rail (4.4%).

In 2008, the transport sector in Asia and the Pacific emitted 1,704 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), compared with 1,854 million tons by North America and 1,032 million tons by Europe. Asia and the Pacific accounted for about one quarter of the global CO2 emissions from transport; however, the regional share of CO2 emissions is rising. The 2008 level of CO2 emissions from the transport sector was 68 million tons (4.1%) higher than the 2007 level, and 421 million tons (38%) higher than the 2000 level. Most of the emissions came from the road sector, which in 2008 released 1,390 million tons of CO2.


1 American Association of Port Authorities, http://aapa.files.cms-plus.com/Statistics/WORLD%20PORT%20RANKINGS%2020081.pdf.

2 Commission for Global Road Safety, Make Roads Safe: A Decade of Action for Road Safety (London, Commission for Global Road Safety, 2009). Available at http://www.makeroadssafe.org/publications/Documents/decade_of_action_report_lr.pdf.

3 United Nations General Assemby, resolution 64/255 adopted on 2 March 2010 (A/RES/64/255).

4 Status of road safety in Asia, Regional Expert Group Meeting on Implementation of Decade of Action for Road Safety, 2011-2020, ESCAP, 2010. Available at http://www.unescap.org/ttdw/common/Meetings/TIS/EGM-Roadsafety-2010/status_report.pdf.

5 American Association of Port Authorities, http://aapa.files.cms- plus.com/Statistics/WORLD%20PORT%20RANKINGS%2020081.pdf.

 
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Table IV.3 Movement of goods and people
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Table IV.4 Railway and road infrastructure
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Table IV.5 Asian highway
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Table IV.6 Passenger cars; Road traffic deaths

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Table IV.7 Energy consumption for transport by transport type
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Table IV.8 CO2 emissions from transport by transport type
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