Working Group adopts amendments to Asian Highway Network
The 8th Meeting of the Working Group on the Asian Highway, the inter-governmental body governing the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network, was successfully concluded on 19 September 2019.
The Working Group adopted a number of amendments to the Asian Highway Network, thus further enhancing regional transport connectivity. These include:
- adding a new route AH9, connecting the Baltic Sea and Pacific Ocean, from St. Petersburg, Russia Federation through Kazakhstan to Lianyungang, China;
- converting over 15,000km of the potential routes in China into the actual routes;
- adding new potential and actual routes in Georgia and Islamic Republic of Iran respectively, connecting with major ports and sea-routes.
Besides its physical connectivity, the discussion focused on the sustainability of Asian Highway Network. The Working Group highlighted the importance of the Asian Highway Network in international connectivity and its contribution to socioeconomic development. In addition to infrastructure status, operational connectivity was also discussed. The Working Group also welcomed the intention of the secretariat to scale up its analytical and capacity building work in support of green, smart and resilient infrastructure and seamless operational connectivity along Asian Highway Network.
In addition, the Regional Meeting on “Strengthening the capacity of ESCAP member States to harmonize standards on weights, dimensions and emissions of road vehicles for facilitation of transport along the Asian Highway network” was organized back-to-back with the Working Group. Meeting participants recognized the benefits from having a harmonized standards on weights, dimensions and emissions of road freight vehicles as one of the enabling mechanisms for efficient, effective and seamless logistics connectivity through international road transport. Recommended proposed standards were presented and further consultative meeting will be organized on the subject-matter.