Fostering closer links with Asia
As part of ITF's drive to enhance engagement with Asian countries, ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim met with China's Vice-Minister of Transport, Dongchang Dai, for bilateral talks in Beijing on 2 November (photo). The discussions focused on China's transport policy priorities and provided an opportunity for Secretary-General Kim to present ITF's recent relevant work. Mr Kim also expressed appreciation for China's hosting of the ITF Roundtable on Regulating App-based Mobility Services.
Mr Kim and Mr Dai reviewed interest in ITF's work from the China Academy of Transportation Sciences (CATS) and explored opportunities for collaboration between both organisations. China's One Belt One Road initiative was discussed in the context of China's participation at the ITF 2019 Summit on "Transport Connectivity for Regional Integration", to be held in Leipzig, Germany, on 22-24 May 2019.
China became an ITF member country in 2011 and actively participates in the ITF's Transport Management Board and the Transport Research Committee. China has also been strongly engaged in previous ITF Summits.
While on mission in Asia, Young Tae Kim had met with Yasuhiro Shinohara, Japan's Vice Minister for International Affairs at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), for bilateral talks in Tokyo on 30 October 2018. Secretary-General Kim took the opportunity to highlight ITF's recent engagement in Central Asia research projects. Mr Kim outlined ITF's wish to increase membership in Asia to become a truly global platform, including approaching ASEAN countries to know more about their interests in participating in ITF activities.
The talks took place on the margins of the ITF Smart Use of Roads Workshop in Tokyo, which examined policies to achieve better use of existing infrastructure capacity. Mr Kim expressed his gratitude to Mr Shinohara for Japan's hosting of the event. MLIT had previously hosted the ITF Roundtable on Integrating Urban Public Transport Systems and Cycling in April 2017. In November 2018, the Sustainable Urban Mobility in ASEAN Cities Workshop will be jointly organised by ITF, MLIT and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
Japan has been an ITF member since 1969 and actively participates in the ITF's Transport Management Board and Summit Task Force Groups, as well as in the Transport Research Centre activities. Japan held the ITF Presidency in 2011-12, which featured high-level representation at the 2012 Summit.