Japan has been instrumental in ASEAN connectivity development, extending a helping hand in a vast spectrum of major infrastructure projects across the Southeast Asian economic bloc, especially in the Kingdom.
Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol made the remark on November 12 at the virtual 19th ASEAN and Japan Transport Ministers Meeting (19th ATM Plus Japan).
Chanthol, who is also chairman of the ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting for 2021, co-chaired the meeting, along with Japanese deputy transport minister Norihiro Nakayama.
He described Japan as a vital trading and investment partner and leader in regional connectivity initiatives, and said that the country pursues an active role in ASEAN Community-building efforts and provides a considerable amount of resources to optimise the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025.
The minister underlined that a range of projects, programmes and activities have also been fruitfully carried out under the framework of ASEAN-Japan Transport Partnership (AJTP).
“In the transport sector, the relationships between ASEAN and Japan have now reached a new height of maturity and understanding due to the development of their interdependent relationships.
“Stronger and wider ties are being established through institutional integration, which is evident in the progress on key transport cooperation initiatives,” Chanthol said.
He noted that the AJTP centres on four main policy pillars – Transport Facilitation; Transport Infrastructure; Quality and Sustainable Transport; and Human Resource Development.
And with a view to driving operational efficiency in the Cambodian logistics field, Japan offers assistance in the development of hard infrastructure, and has worked with the Kingdom to put together a Master Plan on Intermodal Transport Connectivity and Logistics System, a Port Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Autonomous System, and capacity building programmes, he said.
Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Japanese deputy transport minister Norihiro Nakayama at the Special Meeting between the ASEAN Transport Ministers with Dialogue Partners and Development Partners on Friday. COURTESY OF NORIHIRO NAKAYAMA
The minister voiced appreciation to Japan for rehabilitating and building two bridges across the Mekong River, widening National Road 5 from two lanes to four, and upgrading National Road 1 from Phnom Penh to the Bavet-Moc Bai border with Vietnam, which also forms part of Asian Highway 1 (AH1) – the longest route of the Asian Highway Network.
Japan is also bankrolling an expansion of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port – which serves more than three-fifths of the Kingdom’s international trade – while providing the necessary expertise and technical assistance, according to Chanthol.
“With our collective efforts and strong commitment, the two adopted deliverables – namely [a] Report under Proof of Concept on ICT Solutions for Over-loaded Vehicle Control; and ASEAN-JAPAN Guidelines of Certification Audits for Cold Chain Logistics Standards – and one new initiative on Utilisation of Big Data to Improve Mobility will be successfully implemented in a timely manner,” he said.
And in a statement following the 19th ATM Plus Japan and subsequent Special Meeting between the ASEAN Transport Ministers with Dialogue Partners and Development Partners, Japanese deputy transport minister Nakayama said he touched on big data utilisation, standards for autonomous vehicles and other digital transformation trends specific to the transportation and logistics industry.