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Chair's Statement of the 11th APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting

Detroit, The United States | 19 May 2023

Secretary Buttigieg_11th APEC TMM

Detroit, Michigan, USA


All APEC transportation ministers agreed to paragraphs 1 – 15, and 17.

Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All

  1. We reaffirmed our commitment to the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 of “an open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations”, including through the implementation of the Aotearoa Plan of Action and Bangkok Goals on Bio-Circular-Green Economy.

  2. We underscored the critical role that transportation plays in driving economic growth and opportunity, facilitating trade and investment, continuing our efforts to keep supply chains open, secure, and resilient, and improving connectivity across the Asia-Pacific region, as our economies continue towards a safe, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable recovery. 

  3. Transportation Working Group:  We reaffirmed the crucial role of the APEC Transportation Working Group (TPTWG) work towards economic integration and facilitation in the transport sector, economic and technical assistance, and capacity building, and recognized that a strong TPTWG is essential to achieving our collective goals of developing safe, secure, efficient, and sustainable transportation systems. We applauded the TPTWG’s achievements, including its reorganization, as it seeks to address transportation challenges including new and emerging opportunities.  We directed the TPTWG to continue its work and explore cooperation to support economic integration in the region and economic recovery. We encouraged the group to continue to find ways to be well-positioned to address cutting edge transportation innovation and change including through capacity building and workforce development.
  4. We reaffirmed our commitment to APEC cross-fora collaboration to improve synergies and further advance our shared vision, as well as engagement with relevant stakeholders including private industry, NGOs, and civil society.

  5. We reaffirmed our commitment to enhance an open and interconnected Asia-Pacific region, including through the implementation of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint (2015-2025). We discussed strengthening physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity as well as take advantage of digital connectivity. We also noted the work of the APEC Port Services Network, APEC Seafarers Excellence Network, and APEC Safe Passage Taskforce.

  6. We directed the TPTWG to engage on the following specific areas in its future meetings and work: 

  7. Supply Chains and Connectivity: We recognized the value of cooperation with stakeholders on supply chains and connectivity to quickly respond to operational needs and disruptions. We encouraged cooperation on land, maritime, and air connectivity, with a view to deliver, a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, and predictable trade and investment environment. We underscored the TPTWG’s continued efforts to utilize data and analysis to inform best practices. We welcomed input from industry and other stakeholders to strengthen the region’s connectivity and deliver greater economic growth, opportunity, and job creation. 

  8. We stressed the need to support, including through human resource development, essential supply chain workforces, whose people deserve to be recognized with dignity and who play crucial roles in supply chain function, security, and resilience. 

  9. Climate: We underscored the important role of the transportation sector in addressing climate change as transportation is one of the largest sources of GHG emissions, contributing approximately 25 percent of total energy-related CO2 emissions. As noted in the Bangkok Goals, “APEC is determined to continue advancing its sustainability objectives in a bold, responsive, and comprehensive manner.” Addressing this challenge also presents opportunities – to develop new, cleaner, innovative transportation technologies, and to grow our economies by pursuing the transition to these new technologies. We recalled our commitment to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, while providing those in need with essential energy services.

  10. During our meeting, we discussed specific and tangible actions for the TPTWG to pursue, such as catalyzing the transition towards low and zero emissions light-duty vehicles (battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, fuel cell electric vehicles, and others), facilitating the development of and the transition to sustainable aviation fuels, and advancing low and zero emission maritime shipping and port decarbonization as avenues for the APEC region to help reduce GHG emissions.

  11. We welcomed the leadership of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector. We will seek to find ways to measure our progress and deepen engagement with other international organizations such as ICAO and International Maritime Organization (IMO). We also noted the importance of reaching an ambitious outcome at the IMO 80th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC80) on the revised IMO Strategy on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships, including with a strengthened level of ambition.

  12. We recognized that the people in vulnerable situations, such as Indigenous Peoples as appropriate, and those living in remote or rural areas, often bear a disproportionate burden of the impacts of climate change and are critical for making the development of environmental sustainability and recovery efforts more effective. 

  13. Inclusivity and Gender Equality: We underscored the importance of ensuring that transportation policies promote infrastructure investments that are inclusive, accessible, and safe. These policies and investments should lead to economic benefit for all, including for micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs), women and other groups with untapped economic potential, such as Indigenous Peoples as appropriate, people with disabilities, and those from remote and rural communities, both as transportation users and workforce. We will advance gender equality and greater integration and empowerment of women and girls of diverse backgrounds. We welcomed the achievements of the APEC Women in Transportation Initiative, launched at the 2011 APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting, and its work to accelerate the implementation of the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth. 

  14. We seek to increase public awareness about the illicit use of transportation systems for human trafficking, which disproportionately affects women and girls of diverse backgrounds. We encouraged economies to partner with transport and other stakeholders to bring an end to this criminal activity.

  15. Innovation: We emphasized the importance of innovation and technology in building a digital, inclusive, and sustainable economy; making supply chains more efficient, and allowing people to move more easily; and driving economic growth, investment, and prosperity. We directed the TPTWG to ensure that innovation and emerging technologies feature prominently in the group’s discussions and work, including ways to improve the resiliency of technologies against evolving cyber threats. 

  16. As our Leaders highlighted last November, we have witnessed the war in Ukraine adversely impacting the global economy. There was a discussion on the issue. We reiterated our positions as expressed in other fora, including the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, which, in Resolution No. ES-11/1 dated 2 March 2022, as adopted by majority vote (141 votes for, 5 against, 35 abstentions, 12 absent) deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine.Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks. There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions.Recognizing that APEC is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy.[1]

  17. Finally, we share our gratitude to the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan for serving as host to our 11thTransportation Ministerial Meeting, and we look forward to our next Ministerial in due course. 

[1] Paragraph 16 of this document, taken from the APEC Bangkok Leaders’ Declaration from November 19, 2022, was agreed to by all member economies except the People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; and the Russian Federation.