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Capacity-building in developing inter-regional land and land-cum-sea transport linkages

Background:

The ongoing processes of globalization and liberalization of national economies have greatly enhanced the scope for intraregional and interregional trade and tourism although developing countries are often constrained by inadequate transport infrastructure and services. To address these constraints, regional commissions have been entrusted to initiate actions to promote intraregional and interregional land and land-cum-sea transport linkages. Common tools will be developed for the assessment and monitoring of current international transport policies, including transport planning methodologies, coordination and integration of transport planning within regional development strategies and harmonization of transport conditions.

Objective:

  • To assist Member States of ECA, ECE, ESCAP, ESCWA and ECLAC in strengthening their national capacities for developing interregional land and land-cum-sea transport linkages
  • To promote interregional cooperation to facilitate interregional trade and tourism

Expected accomplishments:

  • Enabling the countries to identify potential interregional transport linkages and their expected impacts on regional and economic development
  • Further strengthening of the capacities of national officials in the developing countries with regard to identification of the physical and non-physical impediments to the movements of goods and passengers both by road and rail, commercialization/privatization, inland container depot development, land border crossing practices and formalities, seaport operations, electronic data interchange applications and financing road maintenance
  • Operationalizing an interregional network on transport linkages

Effects and Impact:

After a slow start implementation of the project picked-up in every component. The first major activity of the project, namely the identification of interregional transport linkages, has been completed for most components. The routes proposed under the ECE-ESCAP component were adopted during the 2nd Expert Group Meeting held in November 2004, while those proposed under the ESCWA-ECE-ESCAP component will be reviewed at a meeting to be held in April 2005. Given Iraq’s pivotal position in the ESCWA-ECE-ESCAP component and the ongoing conflict in this country, other participating countries are expected to participate more actively once conditions permit their direct involvement in the project. Countries and Regional Economic Communities of Africa participating under the ECA component have expressed great interest in the project and will be actively involved in activities throughout 2005. The Ports Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) have also indicated their interest in cooperating with the ECA in implementing the project, especially in aspects that are directly related to its activities.

The next phase of the project will focus on facilitation issues along interregional linkages, bringing countries closer to the ultimate goal of increasing and improving transport operations between the regions.