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Singapore Hosts The 13th ASEAN Transport Meeting


Singapore Hosts The 13th Asean Transport Ministers Meeting

The 13th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting (ATM) is being held in Singapore from 1 - 2 November 2007. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opened the meeting today, Thursday, 1 November 2007.

The Singapore Meeting begins with the election of the new Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the 13th ATM.

Singapore's Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs Raymond Lim is slated to take over from H.E. Admiral Thira Hao-Charoen, the Minister for Transport for Thailand, as Chairperson; while H.E. Leandro R Mendoza, Secretary for Department of Transportation and Communications, Philippines, will assume the role as Vice-Chairperson.

During the Meeting, Transport Ministers from the 10 ASEAN countries are expected to endorse the adoption of several cooperative frameworks among the ASEAN member countries, and between ASEAN and its dialogue partners, China and Japan. These include the following:

* The ASEAN Maritime Transport Roadmap, which aims to promote the progressive liberalisation of Maritime Transport Services in ASEAN, with provisions for port development and raising capacity;

* The ASEAN-China Aviation Cooperation Framework which aims to strengthen cooperation in fields such as air services agreements, airline cooperation and airport infrastructure construction. This framework will help support and facilitate the traffic and movement of passengers and cargo to boost trade and economic flows in ASEAN and China;

* The ASEAN-Japan Regional Roadmap for Aviation Security which aims to enhance aviation security infrastructure, through cooperative efforts and harmonised aviation security networks within ASEAN and Japan;

* The Meeting will also witness the signing of the ASEAN-China Maritime Transport Agreement which provides for greater areas of cooperation between ASEAN member countries and China in maritime matters

During the Meeting, the 10 ASEAN member countries will also be meeting their dialogue partners, China and Japan, on cooperation initiatives aimed at enhancing transport integration between ASEAN and the two Asian giants.

The ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting (ATM) comes under the auspices of the ASEAN Economic Community, which serves as the end-goal of the economic integration measures outlined in the ASEAN Vision 2020.

BACKGROUNDER

Asean Transport Ministers Meeting (ATM)

The first ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting was held in Bali, Indonesia, in 1996.

Since the establishment of this ministerial platform, various agreements related to cooperation in civil aviation, land transport and maritime transport were signed and implemented in the ASEAN region and between ASEAN member countries and dialogue partners.

Together with the ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM) which was established to implement and oversee the various transport cooperation activities and projects, the ATM has provided the ASEAN countries with a structured forum to cooperate on ASEAN-wide transport projects and developments. These forums also provide the ASEAN Transport Ministers and senior officials with a platform for regular dialogue and enhancing relations amongst the member States.

In line with ASEAN's objective of assuming an active role within the international community, ASEAN member countries also work with dialogue partners on collaborative transport projects and maintain their interest in the ASEAN region. The first ATM with China and with Japan were held in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

Background on ASEAN

ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with five founding member countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined on 8 January 1984, Vietnam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999.

ASEAN's main objectives are: to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region; and to promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries in the region through adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.

The ASEAN region has a population of about 550 million, a total area of 4.5 million square kilometres, a combined gross domestic product of almost US$700 billion, and a total trade value of about US$850 billion.

ENDS

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