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1997 APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting

Victoria, Canada | 21 - 23 June 1997
1. We, the APEC Ministers responsible for transportation, met today to discuss transportation issues within the APEC Region and to establish the priorities that will form the basis of future work in the transportation sector. In determining these priorities, we stressed the importance of the objectives and general principles contained in the Bogor Declaration, the Osaka Action Agenda, and the initial implementation steps contained in the Manila Action Plan for APEC. It is our intention that APEC transportation work reinforce the shared vision, articulated by Economic Leaders at Subic, that the efforts of APEC will tangibly improve the lives of all our citizens, as we move toward our common goals built through trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, as well as economic and technical cooperation.
Accomplishments to Date
2. At the first meeting of APEC Ministers responsible for transportation in Washington in 1995, Ministers established guiding principles for transportation policies and directed that specific projects be undertaken in the areas of safety and security, infrastructure, urban transport, air services, research and education, and the exchange of technical expertise. Today, in Victoria, we reaffirm those guiding principles and note with satisfaction the impressive accomplishments of the Transportation Working Group with respect to those projects, including:
    • the work of the Group of Experts on Aviation Safety and Assistance in addressing aviation safety issues;
    • the efforts of the Project Team in identifying cooperative actions to facilitate the implementation of satellite navigation and communications systems for the aviation and maritime sectors;
    • the first APEC Urban Transport Forum in Seoul, Korea which looked at the development of energy efficient and environment-friendly transportation systems that reduce congestion, and focused attention on the value of mass transit in achieving these objectives;
    • and, an Options Paper on more competitive air services with fair and equitable opportunity for all members.

3. We also commend the Transportation Working Group for its completed and ongoing work to support regional economic growth by promoting an effective and integrated region-wide transportation system. Of particular note are the "Best Practices" manuals to assist economies in improving or eliminating transportation congestion points; the inventory of Oil Spills Preparedness and Response Arrangements in the APEC Region; the Road Transport Harmonization Project and the development of a model Mutual Recognition Arrangement for automotive product; and, the survey of aviation personnel and air traffic controller licensing requirements to facilitate the supply of skilled personnel.

4. Taken together, we believe that these tangible achievements are of practical use to member economies in the transportation sector, represent solid progress in support of APEC overall goals and, constitute a sound basis for future work.
The Way Ahead - Priorities For Future Action

5. Looking ahead to the turn of the century, and committed to attaining a safe, efficient, integrated and environmentally sustainable transportation system for the Region, we agreed to a number of initiatives to build on the valuable accomplishments to date and set new directions for future cooperation and action. These new directions will require the Transportation Working Group to work cooperatively with other APEC fora to coordinate and integrate their work on cross-cutting issues as emphasized by the framework for economic and technical cooperation endorsed by Leaders We agreed that priority areas for future action should include safe and environment-friendly transportation systems, trade facilitation, promotion of a more competitive transportation operating environment, infrastructure development, human resources development and new transportation technologies.

6. In developing the necessary action plans to move forward on these priorities, we attach great importance to the organizing themes and priorities enunciated at Subic:

    • developing human capital;
    • fostering safe and efficient capital markets;
    • strengthening economic infrastructure;
    • promoting environmentally sustainable development;
    • encouraging greater involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises; and,
    • harnessing new technologies.

7. We recognize the important role of the private sector, as a full partner, in ensuring prosperity for APEC citizens. Accordingly, we direct the Transportation Working Group to increase private sector participation as well as to fully involve the APEC Business Advisory Council and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council in its work and to give careful consideration to their recommendations put forward on transportation issues.

Future Action

Safe and Environment-Friendly Transportation Systems

8. We reaffirm that transportation safety and security in the Region must remain one of the highest priorities of the Transportation Working Group and also recognize the importance of environmentally sustainable transportation to improving the quality of life for APEC citizens.

9. We recognize the urgency of addressing urban congestion-related issues and the need to develop more efficient urban transportation systems in the APEC Region, including the development of a "best practices" manual based on findings arising from Urban Transport Forum meetings ( Second Forum in Chinese Taipei, September 1997).

10. We direct the Transportation Working Group to establish an Experts Group on Maritime Safety to address maritime safety concerns in the Region. We urge member economies to work closely with international organizations having competence in this field, such as the International Maritime Organization, to develop programs and mechanisms to promote the implementation of, and compliance with, existing international rules and standards adopted by these organizations. Recognizing the key role of ship surveyors and inspectors in the elimination of sub-standard shipping and the protection of the marine environment, we support the consideration by the Transportation Working Group of the establishment of an informal consultative forum with classification societies to improve their effectiveness in promoting compliance with international maritime standards in the Region.

11. Following the completion of the inventory of existing regional cooperation arrangements with respect to oil spill preparedness and response, we encourage member economies to undertake the development and maintenance of sub-regional cooperative quick response contingency plans.

12. Recognizing the significance of road transportation safety to an integrated transportation system, we endorse the establishment of a group of experts as a first step in enhancing road safety programs in the Region.

13. Conscious of the unprecedented growth in and globalization of air transportation in the Asia Pacific Region and the associated civil aviation safety issues to which it will undoubtedly give rise, we endorse the objective of developing strong Civil Aviation Authorities within each economy. We accept the Report of the Group of Experts on Aviation Safety and Assistance and its important civil aviation safety recommendations relating to: safety oversight; harmonization of safety rules; prevention of air traffic conflict; the lease, charter and interchange of aircraft; and, accident and incident reporting. We therefore direct the Transportation Working Group to review and bring forward for Ministers consideration, as a matter of priority by year end, appropriate mechanisms to implement these recommendations including a mechanism for advising Civil Aviation Authorities and for administering relevant resources. In our Declaration of Principles made today, we affirmed our commitment to the principle of harmonizing Civil Aviation Safety Rules on ICAO standards across the Region. We also support additional training of nationals of APEC developing economies and encourage greater international and regional cooperation, including programs such as the APEC Technical Transportation Exchange Program.

Trade facilitation

14. We recognize the benefits of reducing impediments to trade and investment in the Region and direct the Transportation Working Group to further its efforts to improve transportation systems to liberalize trade and investment in the region, and to liberalize trade in services in the transportation sector itself. We direct the Transportation Working Group to work with other international fora to this end. In addition, we support the goal of further facilitation and liberalization of the multi-lateral trading system.

15. We urge APEC economies to fully participate in the ongoing work of the Road Transport Harmonization Project to implement a harmonized system of technical regulations for road vehicle safety and emissions. In that task, we encourage dialogue with the UN/ECE in connection with its proposal to establish a global agreement on road vehicle regulations.

16. We endorse the Model Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Automotive Product developed by the Transportation Working Group for use as a reference to facilitate trade in the Region and expect and encourage members to pursue opportunities, where appropriate, to enter into arrangements using this model. We note that the Model could have other potential applications in the transportation sector.

17. We direct the Transportation Working Group to give consideration, across its activities, to measures that would promote transparency in regulations, resolve differences in conformity assessment and facilitate the mobility of transportation personnel by encouraging mutual recognition of professional qualifications.

More Competitive Transportation Operating Environment

18. Recognizing the mutually complementary and supportive relationship between liberalization, facilitation, and economic and technical cooperation, and noting the importance of promoting a more competitive transportation operating environment, on the basis of fair, reciprocal and equitable access to markets and opportunity for all member economies:

    • We endorse the Options Paper prepared by the Group on More Competitive Air Services with Fair and Equitable Opportunity (the Air Services Group). Further, we instruct the Transportation Working Group to reconvene the Air Services Group to analyze and prioritize the eight options and prepare, on a consensus basis, a recommendation on the options to be developed and how they will be implemented. We direct the Transportation Working Group to submit for our consideration, by mid-1998, a comprehensive final report including recommendations on options to be implemented by each member economy as developed on a consensus basis by the Transportation Working Group.
    • We direct the Transportation Working Group to develop a maritime initiative aimed at promoting an efficient, safe and competitive operating environment for maritime transport with as a first step the elaboration of a Mission Statement which is to be finalized by the 13th meeting of the Transportation Working Group.

Infrastructure Development

19. We encourage economies to utilize and build on the results of the Transportation Congestion Points Study, particularly the "Best Practices Manuals" and direct the Transportation Working Group to monitor its implementation. We reaffirm our commitment to an efficient, integrated regional transportation system and direct that an Intermodal Task Force be established to provide guidelines, standards, and provisional options associated with an integrated transport system.

20. In addition, we support the creation of an experts group to identify "best practices" and methodologies for privatization or corporatization of transportation infrastructure projects. Special attention is to be given to project transparency and the development of opportunities for the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises.

21. We direct the Transportation Working Group to work in cooperation with other APEC fora, such as the Infrastructure Workshop under the APEC Economic Committee and the Senior Environment Officials, in undertaking priority joint infrastructure-related initiatives.

22. We support the Port Experts Group in its efforts to identify common issues and formulate actions for the improvement of port capacity and efficiency in the APEC Region.

Human Resources Development

23. We believe that improving and strengthening transportation education and training through a comprehensive approach is key to the successful development of human resources in the transportation sector. We agree that a study be conducted to ascertain the existing standards of training facilities, instructors, examiners and curriculum for seafarers throughout the APEC Region. We also recognize the important role for a network of institutions which together would constitute a virtual center of transportation research, development and education to access, harness and adopt new technologies for transportation. We ask that the Working Group monitor closely emerging skill needs in the transportation sector, particularly in the developing APEC economies, and consider appropriate responses.

24. We underline our commitment to women and youth by directing the Transportation Working Group to identify training and development initiatives to ensure that these groups are well prepared for career opportunities in the transportation sector and are available for APEC members to draw upon to meet the challenge of maintaining safe, environmentally sustainable, and competitive transportation systems within the APEC Region.

New Transportation Technologies

25. We recognize that the ability to access and harness new technologies such as Electronic Data Interchange, Intelligent Transportation Systems and Global Positioning Systems, and others as they emerge, will be essential to the improvement of the transportation system of the Region and we urge member economies to cooperate in research and development of new technologies and their application. We also note that congestion can be exacerbated both by delays in applying new technologies as well as the inappropriate use of these technologies. We request that the Transportation Working Group expand its current work to include new developments in infrastructure technology and to develop a framework of standards for the initial application of Intelligent Transportation Systems to vehicle identification, safety, location, and tolling. The Group is to report to us by the end of 1998.

26. We note the emerging technologies in cargo, container and small package tracking systems that would enhance the speed and lower the costs of intermodal cargo processing and port clearance, and direct the Transportation Working Group to coordinate closely with the Telecommunications Working Group and the CTI Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures to determine best practices for APEC members as these technologies reach the stage of practical and economical application.

27. We endorse the Joint Policy Statement on Satellite Navigation and Communications Systems as recommended by the Transportation Working Group which calls for a series of cooperative actions to facilitate implementation of satellite-based navigation and communications systems in the APEC Region consistent with ICAO and IMO guidelines, and the establishment of an Advisory Committee to monitor these cooperative actions.