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China offers fresh proposals at ASEM meeting

Updated: 2015-04-30
By Huan Cao (chinadaily.com.cn)
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Multimodal transport linkages between Asia and Europe were in focus at the 3rd Asia Europe (ASEM) Transport Ministers' Meeting that started in Riga, Latvia on Wednesday, while a Chinese official called for more efforts in this field.

Addressing the meeting, Latvian President Andris Berzins named efficient and multimodal connectivity as one of the preconditions for deepening cooperation between the two regions.

Until now, cargo transportation between Europe and Asia has traditionally relied on sea connections, but growing trade between Europe and Asia, as well as globalization trends in production and sales markets are creating demand for new, innovative solutions, the Latvian president said.

Fast-growing land transportation corridors, or the New Silk Road, are playing a special role here, with continental railway links serving as the backbone of integrated and multimodal logistics solutions, covering the Eurasian continent, the Latvian president indicated.

Weng Mengyong, China's Vice-Minister for Transport, said the development of Asia-Europe multimodal transport linkage is the priority area and important foundation for jointly building "Silk Road Economic Belt" and "21st century maritime silk road".

"China is willing to work closely with the Eurasia countries to foster the development of an integrated, safe and efficient transport linkage between Asia and Europe," he added.

The Chinese official put forward a number of proposals which include:

First, more efforts will be made in improving the integrated transport network between Asia and Europe.

Second, efforts will be made to improve transport facilitation between Asia and Europe. Eurasia countries should make continuous efforts in improving the international transport cooperation mechanisms and related instruments to remove non-physical barriers.

Third, efforts will be made to move forward the development of international logistics. Eurasia countries should make the building of a low-cost and efficient international logistics system as a priority for the development of multimodal transport.

Fourth, more efforts will be made to further regulate international transport market.

Latvian Transport Minister Anrijs Matiss said the EU's transport policy should not be limited to internal connections and linkages with the bloc's nearest neighbors, but also reflect globalization trends in cross-border supply chains.

The previous two meetings were held Vilnius, Lithuania in 2009 and Chengdu, China in 2011.

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