Asian highway network to spread across continent after landmark deal - UN

21 November 2003

The Asian Highway network will be extended across 32 countries over the whole of the continent after delegates to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) reached a landmark agreement this week.

During a two-day a meeting in Bangkok, ESCAP developed its first intergovernmental agreement - a deal it said in a statement would realize "the vision of an efficient, reliable regional transport network" for the continent.

The Asian highway route AH1 currently runs from Pusan in the Republic of Korea to Fukuoka and Tokyo in Japan. The new agreement means the network will eventually extend to 32 member countries of ESCAP with more than 140,000 kilometres of highways.

ESCAP Executive Secretary Kim Hak-Su told the meeting that strong transport links are crucial if countries want to advance in a globalized economy. The agreement will be formally signed in Shanghai in April.


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