Myanmar formulating National Transport Master Plan, with assistance of Government of Japan

Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham poses for documentary photo with ASEAN Transport Ministers at the opening ceremony of 20th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting in Mandalay.—mna
Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham poses for documentary photo with ASEAN Transport Ministers at the opening ceremony of 20th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting in Mandalay.—MNA

Mandalay, 27 Nov—Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham delivered an address at the opening ceremony of the 20th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting in Mandalay on Thursday. He said: In accordance with the ASEAN Vision 2020, the ASEAN Community, is based on three pillars, namely, Political and Security, Economic, and Socio-Cultural pillars.  Each of these pillars needs Connectivity. Hence, Connectivity is important for ASEAN, which will play a central role in realising ASEAN’s post 2015 vision.
The November 2014 Nay Pyi Taw Declaration, on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision, commits to the ASEAN, that is forward-looking, politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible, and people-centred,  that will effectively respond to current and future  opportunities and challenges.
Clearly, to achieve such a bold vision, ASEAN must have enhanced connectivity in every sense: not only greater infrastructure connectivity, but also stronger institutional connectivity and greater people-to-people linkages.  We need such connectivity between countries   as well as within countries.  ASEAN has recognised that importance by adopting and implementing the Master Plan.  The continuing work of the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee, (ACCC) in facilitating and implementing the Master Plan,   is highly appreciated. In this regard, the transport sector included in the development of transport modes, transport systems, and transport related institutions in the region, will undoubtedly, contribute to intra-regional trade and economic growth. It surely will reduce the regional development gaps and strengthen the ASEAN integration.
We would like to welcome the progress, made in the implementation of the Roadmap for the ASEAN Community. The roadmap provides blueprints for ASEAN’s three pillars as mentioned. The Political-Security blueprint emphasizes—sharing responsibility for the comprehensive security, combatting transnational crimes, and managing disasters and other regional challenges.
Cooperation in all of these areas requires good connectivity across borders. Furthermore, roads in poor areas, contribute to reducing poverty, narrowing development gaps and improving the well being of communities. Often, the groups who have been left behind in the development process, are those living in remote or mountainous areas, in villages without any road or rail access.
These communities have high rates of poverty, maternal and child mortality, malnutrition, and low rates of school enrolment and literacy. With regards to connectivity, I would like to highlight some of the opportunities and challenges for Myanmar. Myanmar has unique opportunities regarding its geographic location. It forms a natural bridge, between the transport and trade networks of China and South East Asia on one hand, and those of South Asia on other hand. This makes us believe that, Myanmar could become a transportation and logistics hub for the region, in the years to come. Currently, the quality and quantity aspect of our transport networks and infrastructure need much improvement. Nonetheless, we are committed to upgrading the existing transport infrastructure, and constructing new infrastructure for multimodal transport.
To this end, Myanmar is formulating the National Transport Master Plan, with the assistance of the Government of Japan. This Master Plan includes all transport modes: road, rail waterways, aviation and maritime transport. With the implementation of our National Transport Master Plan, we intend to improve the life of the people, with a safe, efficient and affordable transport system. Nevertheless, building transport infrastructure, requires not only   huge financial resources, but also modern technology to meet health, safety, social and environmental concerns. Here, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) plays an important role in meeting the infrastructure gap. Taking this into consideration, we are facilitating private sector participation, and developing the ASEAN principles for the PPP Framework.
In order to strengthen ASEAN’s competitiveness, and enhance connectivity in the region, the ASEAN leaders reaffirmed their strong commitments, to developing an efficient, secure, sustainable, and integrated transport network, including the completion of:
– the ASEAN Highway Network,
–     the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link,
–     the ASEAN Single Aviation Market,   and
–     the ASEAN Single Shipping Market initiatives.
In this regard, I am pleased to learn that, the 38th Senior Transport Official Meeting, also known as STOM, has been successfully concluded.  Based on the recommendations of STOM, the ASEAN Transport Ministers will deliberate on three main issues: – adoption of the ASEAN Transport Cooperation Vision from  2016 to  2025, – adoption of the Implementation Framework of ASEAN Single Shipping Market, and  – adopting and signing of the MOU, on the ASEAN Mechanism for Joint Oil Spill Preparedness and Response.
The theme Myanmar has set for 2014, as the ASEAN Chair is, “Moving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community”.
The Ultimate goal of the ASEAN, is to reach a peaceful and prosperous community, and I hope that this 20th ASEAN Transport Ministers’ Meeting, will produce a fruitful outcome that will benefit nationally, and regionally as well.
After the ceremony, the Vice President met ASEAN Transport Ministers at Shwe Pyi Tha Hotel.
Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham also attended the ceremony to donate cash to the fund of Mandalay General Hospital on Thursday.
Deputy Minister for Health Dr Win Myint accepted cash donation from wellwishers.
The Vice President viewed digital X-ray machine, CT scan 64 slide and MRI machines. He comforted patients at Ward 3 and met specialists, doctors and nurses.

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