Transport links to boost Asean Economic Community goal

BANGKOK (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - Minister of Communications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof highlighted Brunei Darussalam’s ‘Sustainable Transport’ policies and strategies which included initiatives under the land and air transport sectors.

The minister made this remark at the 24th ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand.

For land transport, the Brunei Land Transport Master Plan (LTMP) outlines several strategies leading towards sustainable, equi-table and efficient transportation and mobility in support of Vision 2035.

The 24th ATM Meeting and its related meetings were held on November 8-9. The Minister of Communications headed a delegation comprising senior officials from the ministry.

Also included in the delegation was Brunei’s Darussalam Ambassador to Thailand Haji Ismail bin Haji Manap.

Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urged ASEAN member states to enhance transport connectivity within and beyond the region to boost trade, tourism and investment.

The ATM Meeting is an annual platform at which transport ministers from ASEAN member states gather to discuss and enhance cooperation within the region and with its dialogue partners.

Topics covered included projects and initiatives to improve connectivity and establish a transportation system which is efficient, safe and sustainable to support the goal of an ASEAN Economic Community.

For air transport, the meeting saw the signing of Protocol 4 under the MAFLPAS (ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on the Full Liberalisation of Passenger Air Services) on ‘Co-Terminal Rights between Points within the Territory of Any Other ASEAN Member State’.

This protocol extends the ASEAN Open Sky Policy to achieve the liberalisation and integration of air services.

With this protocol, airlines of the ASEAN member states are given the traffic rights to provide services to two or more destinations in another member state.

Other deliverables endorsed included the ASEAN Fuel Economy Roadmap for Transport Sector 2018-2025 with focus on light-duty vehicles, guidelines on sustainable land transport indicators on energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The transport ministers held meetings with ASEAN dialogue partners, namely China, Japan and South Korea where they appreciated the progress achieved in the transport cooperation with the three countries.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib attended a press conference along with the other transport ministers and dialogue partners upon the conclusion of the meetings.

The 24th ATM Meeting was preceded by the 46th ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting (46th STOM) and its related meetings, held on November 5-7.

Brunei's delegation to the 46th STOM was headed by Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications Dr Haji Supry bin Haji Awang Ladi.