ASEM Transport Ministers adopt Riga Declaration to foster closer cooperation in the field of transport and logistics

30 April 2015

Riga, 30 April 2015. On 29-30 April, the 3rd ASEM Transport Ministers’ Meeting took place in Riga during which the Riga Declaration was adopted. ASEM member countries committed themselves to foster closer cooperation in the field of transport, establishing integrated, sustainable and efficient land transportation system, including intermodal solutions between Asia and Europe.

“European transport policy must not be contained to the development of Europe’s internal transport system and its linkages with the immediate neighborhood. Instead it must be updated to fully reflect the globalised nature of cross-border supply chain management, especially between the two world’s largest trading partners – Europe and Asia,” stressed Latvian Minister for Transport Mr Anrijs Matīss.

Ms Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport: “We all face common challenges and opportunities when speaking about 'connectivity', therefore I invite all ASEM members to join our efforts towards a sustainable and integrated transport system which will bring advantages for all our citizens. In this sense, it is vital that proposals to improve transport connectivity between Europe and Asia incorporate all modes of transport. It is also vital to develop decarbonized and innovative transport solutions, and to find synergies between the different national and regional plans, respecting environment and market rules.”

The Ministers discussed the importance of common vision for the development of transportation networks between Asia and Europe and emphasised the significance of connectivity between the two regions for the achieving of economic prosperity and sustainable development.

During the meeting the urgent need to expand transport networks in order to accommodate the growing trade flows between Asia and Europe was emphasized especially in relation to the Trans-Eurasian overland transport corridors as alternatives or supplements to the traditional ocean routes.

The importance of transcontinental railway transport links was especially underlined. Railway transport is regarded as an environment-friendly mode of transport between Asia and Europe in the rapidly expanding niche. Therefore the ASEM meeting stressed the emergence of Trans-Eurasian rail-based supply chains that have given impetus to a new wave of innovation in multimodal and intermodal logistics.

The meeting, that was opened with the speech of the President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš, brought together ASEM Transport Ministers, the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat; international institutions (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), Organisation for Co-operation between Railways (OSJD), World Customs Organization (WCO), International Road Transport Union (IRU), European Investment Bank), the non-governmental sector, academia and business practitioners – ranging from global lead logistics providers and global/regional transport and logistics companies (national rail operators, road haulers, logistics centre operators, sea and dry ports) to big brand manufacturers and cargo owners (in industries such as electronics, automotive, textile).

The two-day event included a closed ministerial round-table meeting and several high-profile panel discussions. The ministers and stakeholders analysed the development of land-based transport connectivity between Asia and Europe with a particular emphasis on the possibilities and development of multimodal transport in the transport corridors connecting these two continents.

The 3rd ASEM Transport Ministers’ Meeting is organised by the Ministry of Transport of Latvia under the auspices of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Rolands Rumba
Public relation specialist
Ministry of Transport of Latvia
Phone: +371 67028390