Following the Hanoi Declaration on the Closer ASEM Economic Partnership at the 5th ASEM Summit (ASEM5) held on 8-9 October 2004 in Hanoi, Viet Nam, ASEM partners committed themselves to fostering a closer ASEM economic partnership including also enhanced cooperation in the field of transport. This dialogue is to bring solid outcomes in facilitating trade between the regions contributing to global economic dialogue.
Effective, safe and secure transport systems are the key tool facilitating trade flows in global markets. Trade flows between Europe and Asia have been rising dramatically. In order to sustain current economic growth, adequate transport policy is of crucial importance. Sharing of experience and identifying mutual interests in the dialogue on transport between Europe and Asia is a very important component of the economic cooperation between ASEM member states. In order to assure successful cooperation within economic pillar, to implement the principles of the Hanoi Declaration to further pursue new initiatives relating to the facilitation and promotion of trade and investment, ASEM could provide a platform for transport issues to be discussed.
In this regard, during the 8th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM FMM8) held in Hamburg, Germany on 28-29 May 2007 Lithuania introduced its initiative to hold the first-ever ASEM Ministerial Meeting on Cooperation in Transport on 19-20 October 2009.
Asia–Europe Transport Development Forum
Together with the ASEM Transport Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM TMM), the Asia-Europe Transport Development Forum was also held on 19 October 2009 in Vilnius, Lithuania with the aim of strengthening of relations between Asian and European business representatives and academic circles. In the Forum, business representatives discussed topical issues of Asia-Europe cooperation in Transport and logistics sectors, define priority projects, identify the main investment demands of governments, and searched for the best solutions for financing of principal infrastructure projects in the sectors of transport and logistics.
With the perspective of cooperation in transport development the 1st ASEM Ministerial Meeting on Cooperation in Transport (ASEM TMM1) focussed on the following objectives: