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03 November 2022, 09:30 - 12:30 Indochina Time / Bangkok | By invitation only

Online and United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok, Thailand

Rural connectivity is a lifeline for roughly 50% of the population of the Asia-Pacific region. Rural areas across much of Asia and the Pacific are undergoing profound economic, social, and demographic changes. Movement of people and goods, ideas, values, and cultural practices are being exchanged both physically and virtually across many communities in different forms, creating new opportunities, but also risks that have been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Progress in the global economy has achieved remarkable developments in technological innovations, transport means and information and communications technology (ICT), resulting in significant social changes, which can be qualitied as a new era. Yet not all countries have benefited from these developments and the accessibility to these innovations remain uneven. While bringing significantly greater access to information, the new technology has also widened the gap among countries. In particular, the COVID-19 crisis has shown the vital importance of digital services in making societies more resilient and more connected within the Asia-Pacific region. 

In the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the availability of reliable transport infrastructure and services are essential to achieve economic growth. Asia-Pacific has not yet been able to realize the full potential of efficient regional transport connectivity. The least developed and landlocked developing countries are not bridging the gap between them and the most developed countries. Better use of technology, through the development of digitalization and automation of highways will create more resilient economies, while improving social inclusion in the road transport sector by making road safer. 

  • In response, the ESCAP secretariat is collaborating with partners to strengthen the capacity of government officials in target Asia-Pacific countries to develop economically feasible and innovative strategies for improving rural digital and transport connectivity for socio-economic resilience through the project “Digital and transport connectivity for the socioeconomic resilience of rural communities during the post-COVID-19 period in Asia-Pacific countries.” Digital and transport connectivity is also critical to enable economies of low-income countries to accelerate their progress towards the achievement of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. ESCAP has supported its member States in promoting regional cooperation for ICT, digital and transport development. 

The objective of the inception meeting is to discuss project focus and deliverables, secure multi-stakeholder support, discuss selection of target rural communities in each pilot country, and national focal points for the project. This inception meeting will mark the start of a multi-year development of national and regional policies and enable policy makers from Bangladesh, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Samoa to capture the benefits of such changes. The participants of the hybrid event will be i) official representatives from Bangladesh, Lao PDR, and Samoa (in-person), ii) stakeholders from Bangladesh, Lao PDR, and Samoa (online), iii) ESCAP consultants and staff members from the ICT and Disaster Risk Reduction Division and Transport Division staff (in-person).

for more information, please contact

Transport Division +66 2288 1234 [email protected]
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