While transport has been an essential element in the rapid growth and economic development of Asia and the Pacific, the sector is now at a crossroads more than ever before. Rocketing demand for transport services is putting extreme pressure on existing infrastructure at a time when public budgets are constrained and awareness about the negative externalities of transport activities is growing. The challenge is therefore to ensure that today’s transport policies and investments will contribute to a sustainable and inclusive development path for the future.
Against this background, the 2013 Review of Developments in Transport in Asia and the Pacific looks at emerging trends in transport in the region and presents initiatives, including those of ESCAP, that are making transport systems cleaner, safer, more efficient, and more affordable. 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.
For the first time, the Review also includes a chapter on Inter-Island Shipping which looks at the specific transport challenges facing Pacific Island Countries and Territories. It also explores options for sustainable transport systems in urban areas which reduce pollution, congestion, deaths and accidents on the roads while meeting the mobility needs of different sections of the population. Finally, it investigates the potential for private sector involvement in financing transport investments and the growing importance of Asia’s emerging economies as investors in regional transport networks in Asia and the Pacific.