Environment and standards topped the agenda
APEC transportation ministers pledged on September 14 to continue working towards a safe, secure, seamless, and sustainable transportation system at the 7th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting in San Francisco, California.
Ministers discussed the efficient and safe transportation of people and goods given that it is a key component for free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. The promotion of trade involves improving the procedures regulating the international movements of goods as they impact on costs, apart from reductions in tariffs.
While Ministers recognized the transportation sector’s immense contributions to economic development, they also agreed safety and security are critically important aspects.
They also discussed the importance of and ways for encouraging women to work in transportation.
At the conclusion of the ministerial meeting, a joint ministerial statement was issued. It covers:
- Promoting green growth and innovation in transportation
- Enhancing regulatory cooperation
- Strengthening regional economic integration
Some of the actions pledged by the ministers include:
- Promoting energy efficient transport. They directed the APEC Transportation Working Group to give priority to developing and promoting fuel efficient transport practices, including the use of alternative fuels as well as the development of corresponding energy efficient transport infrastructure.
- Protecting the environment and ensuring sustainable, long-term growth in the region.
- Enhancing cooperative efforts to align domestic standards to relevant international standards where possible by focusing on concrete results to improve regulatory outcomes consistent with international obligations and with good regulatory practice.
- Urging economies to comply with the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, and instructing the APEC Transportation Working Group to collaborate with these organizations in the areas of security, safety and the environment where appropriate.
Steven Fletcher, Canada’s minister of state for transport, took part in the meetings.
“The APEC meeting provided an excellent opportunity to engage ministers and senior officials from 21 Asia-Pacific economies,” said Fletcher. “My APEC colleagues and I are committed to working together to achieve important transportation objectives such as sharing best practices on disaster preparedness; enhancing regulatory cooperation; and strengthening regional economic integration and expanding trade.”
“Our government has recognized the opportunities that growth in the Asia-Pacific region has provided for our economic prosperity,” said Minister Fletcher. “Our investments in the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative have given Canada a competitive advantage in international trade and economic growth.”
APEC’s primary goal is to support economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region by championing free and open trade and investment, promoting and accelerating regional economic integration, encouraging economic and technical cooperation and facilitating a favourable business environment.