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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

17 October 2023


Excellencies, Distinguished participants,  

It is my pleasure to participate in this Ministerial Roundtable of the 29th ITS World Congress.

With advances in digital technologies, our cities and societies have been transformed at an unprecedented scale. Asia and the Pacific is emerging as a center of digital innovation.  

The transport sector is also in the midst of digital transformation: Smart transport systems have proliferated in many member States as an intrinsic element driving the efficiency of transport networks, mitigation of traffic congestion and CO2 emissions, and provision of inclusive access to all.

Last year, the market size of smart transport systems in the Asia-Pacific region was estimated at $6.42 billion, which is the largest in the world and will continue to grow at the fastest annual growth rate of 17.8 per cent.  

Despite this rapid growth with a number of ESCAP member States among the world leaders in testing and deploying such technologies, many member States are still in their very early stage of utilizing smart transport systems or have yet to initiate the transition towards digitalization of transport and utilization of smart transport technologies.

Several roadblocks which impede such development have been identified, including the lack of or limited awareness, technical expertise and institutional capacity, and, more importantly, the lack of harmonized policies at the regional level.

In response to this challenge and through a series of expert group meetings and capacity building workshops, we have facilitated the development of a regional road map for smart transport development.

At a meeting  in the Republic of Korea in July, the Seoul Declaration on the Regional Road Map to Support Regional Cooperation for the Wider Deployment of Sustainable Smart Transport Systems was adopted.

“Connectivity,” “Integration,” “Inclusiveness,” “Affordability” and “Resiliency” are among the five strategies identified in promoting the wider uptake of smart transport systems and associated transformation towards more sustainable transport systems.

Distinguished participants,

Now, we are experiencing the 4th industrial revolution, where digital technologies play a key role in mitigating sustainability concerns and enhancing the quality of life for people.

In the transport sector, we are in a historic moment, shifting from traditional transport services to digitalized and automated ones. This calls for a collective commitment to promote digital innovations to enable the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In this connection, I am pleased to share the theme for the 80th session of the Commissionin 2024 is “Leveraging digital innovation for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific” for the accelerated implementation of the 2030 Agenda through digitally-driven innovations.

I look forward to working collaboratively with all member States and development partners on this endeavor.

I am confident that this 29th ITS World Congress will contribute significantly to expanding the much needed networks, sharing cutting-edge technologies and strengthening partnerships among key stakeholders that will further foster the accelerated transport digitalization in Asia and the Pacific and the world.

Thank you.

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