Asian countries seek solutions to sustainable transport development

October 29, 2019 | 08:00
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The 12th Intergovernmental Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia opened in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi on October 28 to discuss new initiatives and partnerships for regional sustainable transport development.
asian countries seek solutions to sustainable transport development
The EST 12 Forum was opened in Hanoi

The event, which attracted 335 delegates from the host country and 25 Asian countries, include policy dialogues and discussions about how to share experiences and lessons about policies and technical issues to develop sustainable transport infrastructure.

The three-day EST 12 will comprise of 15 main events and a fact-finding trip about smart city development in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the forum, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung emphasised that EST 12 is an important forum to promote environmentally sustainable transport development in the region. “As a country adopting the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, the Vietnamese government has made active efforts to pursue sustainable development by building and implementing the national strategy on sustainable development; building the national action plan to implement Agenda 2030, and others.”

asian countries seek solutions to sustainable transport development
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung addressing the opening ceremony

Also, in the country’s social-economic development strategy for 2011-2020, and in the 2021-2030 draft strategy, the development of transport infrastructure and big urban area infrastructure remain a focus.

Over the past years, Vietnam has given priorities to the development of economic-technical infrastructure, including transport and big urban area infrastructure, while focusing on finding feasible solutions to control vehicle emissions, promoting the use of renewable energy, and develop a smart transport network.

“With the efforts, Vietnam’s transport and urban infrastructure have been improved strongly. Reports from the World Economic Forum (WEF) showed that the quality of Vietnam’s transport infrastructure has improved much over the past decade, rising 36 places in 2010-2015,” said the Deputy PM.

Dung, however, noted that the country is still facing a lot of challenges. Transport infrastructure development has yet to the meet growing demand, putting pressure on the environment and negatively affecting people’s life quality.

Similarly, Transport Minister Nguyen Van The highlighted smart transport and low-carbon technology as an inevitable trend in transport development across the world amid the wide influence of Industry 4.0.

asian countries seek solutions to sustainable transport development
Vietnamese Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The delivering a speech

The went on to elaborate that in transport development in big cities, Vietnam focuses on the development of buses as well as on investment in public transport such as elevated railways and metro lines, thus gradually reducing private vehicles, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The country will also encourage the development of smart transport. A lot remains to be done, and Vietnam seeks to closely co-operate with international partners on the issue.

Present at the forum, Shantanu Mukherjee, chief of the Policy and Analysis Branch of the Division for Sustainable Development at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), said that EST12 has helped strengthen policy dialogues and ties among the regional governments: “At this forum, with the participation of ministers, businesses, and scientists, we expect to commitments, partnerships, and initiatives for sustainable transport development.”

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By Bich Thuy

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