PETALING JAYA: Asean transport ministers have been called to work closely together to ensure the sector continues to grow in the region.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said this was to ensure the sector continued to play an integral role in the region’s economic development and integration, propelling the region to greater heights.
Liow said despite uncertainties in the global economic conditions, Asean remained resilient, recording growth of 4.7% last year, exceeding US$2.5tril (RM11tril).
“Asean is expected to expand constantly over the next decade, making it one of the most attractive economic blocs in Asia.
“As a growing economic zone, Asean presents endless opportunities, offering new avenues of growth with much potential that can be tapped into,” he said in a statement after attending the two-day 22nd Asean Transport Ministers Meeting in Manila, which ended yesterday.
The meeting also endorsed key performance indicators for air, land, maritime, sustainable transport and transport facilitation.
This, said Liow, would facilitate the implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025 and plans for the transportation framework.
“In terms of land transport, road safety is a key priority for member states.
“To this end, the ministers launched the Asean Road Safety Booklet prepared by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) in its capacity as the Asean Regional Road Safety Centre.
“The booklet will serve as a tool for dissemination of key highlights from the Asean Regional Road Safety Strategy in enhancing public awareness on the importance of road safety in the region,” he added.
Liow also said the realisation of open skies for the Asean market has come true with the full ratification of Asean Open Skies Agreements through the meeting.
He said these were critical elements in order to form an Asean Single Aviation Market, which came into effect in January last year.
“Under these agreements, there will be greater regional and domestic air transport connectivity which will facilitate greater growth of the aviation industry and tourism sector, further boosting the regional economy,” he added.
Liow said Asean is also keen to further strengthen aviation cooperation through the establishment of more “liberal and mutually beneficial” air services agreements with dialogue partners, including the European Union and India.
“This will enhance connectivity within and beyond Asean countries and subsequently support the AEC vision,” he added.
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