Review of Developments in Transport in Asia and the Pacific 2011

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This review is biennially produced by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). It describes the environment within which the transport sector is developing and the principal challenges that this environment poses to governments, the transport industry and society at large. The publication also focuses on tracing the significant development of roads, railways, shipping, ports, inland waterways and air transport industries and infrastructure in the region. In addition, it considers the changing delivery mechanisms across all transport sectors and discusses urban transport issues. Finally, the review examines the process of globalization, trade agreements related to transport, regionalism, collocation of production transport facilities, as well as intermodal transport systems.



Introduction: Transport development prospects against a backdrop of economic uncertainty

The downturn in the global economy due to the global financial crisis of 2009 has had a significant impact on the transport sector across the Asia and Pacific region. Whereas prior to the global financial crisis, the world enjoyed a period of exceptionally strong economic growth (Figure I-1), by 2008 the slowdown that had begun in the USA had extended to all of the major economies. Developed countries were particularly hard hit, with growth turning negative in Japan and the USA, and falling to below 1 per cent in the European Union. In line with the downturn in the global economy, growth rates in the ESCAP region also began to decline in 2008 and slumped sharply in 2009, although most groups of countries rebounded in 2010.


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