|The Asian-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) community views the sustainable use of ocean and marine resources and environmentally friendly means of transport as key components to the region's economic growth.
HCM CITY (VNS)— The Asian-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) community views the sustainable use of ocean and marine resources and environmentally friendly means of transport as key components to the region's economic growth.
Connectivity among countries in the Asia-Pacific region is considered the top policy priority this year, according to working group members taking part in an APEC meeting on transportation held yesterday in HCM City.
Transportation development, which helps the flow of goods, services, capital and people, would contribute to the robust development of the region, they said.
The second priority this year will be sustainable growth with equity, minimising the development gap between and within member economies.
Speaking at the meeting, Tony Padilla of the US Maritime Administration noted that global shipping was the sixth-largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions.
The US, China and Russia were among the largest contributors of greenhouse gas in the shipping industry.
"Pollution from ships and ports contributes to global warming," he said. "Port authorities and governments should invest in cleaner port technologies to not only help reduce pollution but also achieve a higher GDP."
Citing a story published in the Economist magazine, he said that pollution prevention was one of the aims of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) when it was established in 1948.
Ships caused about 2.7 per cent of total man-made emissions, slightly more than airplanes but much less than cars and trucks, according to the IMO.
Under a convention the IMO brought into force this year, ships will have to introduce fuel-economy measures with the aim of reducing emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2050.
Speaking during the meeting's opening ceremony yesterday in HCM City, Viet Nam's Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said the country had increased investment in inland waterways, sea transportation and railroads, and that it had taken sustainable transport measures.
Despite the impact from the global economic crisis over the last four years, cooperation between APEC economies has developed well, he said.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's meeting on transportation is held twice a year. APEC's theme for 2013, "Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth", reflects the member countries' common determination to strengthen cooperation. — VNS