The 3rd ASEM Transport Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMTMM3), themed, “Development of Euro-Asia Multimodal Transport Linkages–Status Quo & Blueprints for the Future”, was held on 29-30 April 2015 in Riga, Latvia. The meeting reinvigorated and gave new impetus to the ASEM Transport Ministers’ Meeting format and followed up on the conclusions of the previous two Meetings in 2009 in Vilnius, Lithuania, and in 2011 in Chengdu, China.
The growing trade volumes between Asia and Europe call for revolutionary new supply chain solutions. Many have already emerged, with many new to follow – from different variations of the ancient Silk Road to innovations without historical precedent. As the Chair’s Statement of the recent, highly successful ASEM Summit – hosted by Italy and chaired by President of the European Council on October 16-17, 2014 in Milan, Italy – summarizes:
Leaders underscored the significance of connectivity between the two regions to economic prosperity and sustainable development and to promoting free and seamless movement of people, trade, investment, energy, information, knowledge and ideas, and greater institutional linkages. They thus called for the establishment of an integrated, sustainable, secure, efficient and convenient air, maritime and land transportation system, including intermodal solutions, in and between Asia and Europe.
Following in the footsteps of the vision espoused by the ASEM Leaders at the Summit, the aim of the 3rd ASEM Transport Ministers’ Meeting was to broaden understanding of the recent development of the transport linkages between Asia and Europe, to identify bottlenecks and weaknesses, and to foster closer cooperation among all major stakeholders in order to harmonize strategic planning efforts.