The Asean Regional Road Safety Strategy has been finalised, said the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said the strategy, which followed the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, would enhance regional safety as development.
He told the opening of the 21st Asean transport ministers’ meeting in Kuala Lumpur that road and rail development were equally crucial to boost mobility and achieve greater Asean integration.
Zahid said the transport sector played a pivotal role in ensuring that Asean maintained its position as one of the leading global economic blocs.
“Certain enhanced linkages, such as the Asean Open Skies and Single Aviation Market, Asean Highway Network, Singapore-Kunming Rail Link and a well-developed port and logistics infrastructure in Asean, will enhance possibilities for trade and tourism on a regional and global scale,” he said.
Zahid said a vital stage to the establishment of the Asean Economic Community was the liberalisation of the region’s aviation sector, which would boost growth.
“I am pleased to note the progress that has been achieved in the implementation of the Asean Single Aviation Market (Asam) roadmap.
“Efforts to realise the establishment of Asam, as well as full ratification and implementation of the Asean Open Skies Agreements, are great importance,” he said.
He stressed the importance of technical initiatives, such as air traffic management, security cooperation and aviation safety, which he said was the paramount focus.
Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told the meeting in Kuala Lumpur: “It’s an overall plan that covers connectivity; that covers how we connect with China, Japan and Korea; how we can further enhance our economic growth.
“An efficient and integrated transport system is imperative for Asean to improve our economic competitiveness and facilitate integration with the global economy,” Mr Liow said.
Goals of the meeting include reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector, forming a single shipping market and developing Asean’s Single Aviation Market.