The growth of international trade, the continued surge of containerized freight through the ports of the Asia-Pacific region and the recognition of the importance of greater regional integration are encouraging countries to seek efficient connectivity through transport networks.
For the railways of the region, this new international environment offers an opportunity to upgrade existing infrastructure or construct new one with the aim of defining and operating international corridors. It also calls for a higher level of cooperation to find synergies between national infrastructure projects and international corridors.
With this in mind, countries opt to define a framework within which they can discuss and plan the future expansion, upgrading and operation of the Trans-Asian Railway network. At the 60th session of the UNESCAP Commission, they agree that an Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network will provide such a framework and request the secretariat to take action.
Noting the smooth progress of the negotiations at the regional and subregional levels, the 61st session of the UNESCAP Commission endorses the implementation schedule to have the Agreement finalized at an Intergovernmental Meeting in November 2005, adopted by the 62nd session of the Commission and presented for signature at the Ministerial Conference on Transport to be held in 2006.
The Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network opened for signature on 10 November 2006 in Busan, Republic of Korea. On that day, 18 member States signed the Intergovernmental Agreement. Four more States signed it over 2007 and 2008. The Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network entered into force on 11 June 2009
Status of signatories/parties
Latest status of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network