The decision of ASEAN Leaders to create an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is intended to introduce the free flow of goods, services, investment and skilled labour, and freer flow of capital in the region. For the AEC to take root, the establishment of a fully harmonised transport environment is of the highest priority. The ASEAN Framework Agreement on Multi-Modal Transport (2005) is a core instrument for the realization of these objectives.
The overall objective of the AFAMT is to facilitate the movement of goods using different modes of transport, to encourage international trade among ASEAN countries and with third-party countries. The practical objective of the AFAMT is the creation of a regional environment to facilitate the movement of goods being transported within ASEAN and with third-party countries by different modes of transport, whether by air, sea, road, rail or internal waterways.
The AFAMT was signed by AMS in 2005. Seven (7) countries have ratified the agreement, and it has entered into force among these countries. The Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan (KLTSP) 2016-2025 calls for the development of an Implementation Framework, Action Plan and Implementation Mechanism for the operationalisation of the AFAMT. This will involve a review of the different procedures for each mode of transport (i.e. whether by sea, air, road, rail or river) with a view to streamlining the procedures in line with the development of a multi-modal transport regime, to include legal, regulatory and procedural aspects.
ASEAN is also developing a capacity building ‘Going Multimodal’ Programme with three components: technical assistance, international standards and knowledge exchange, with ARISE Plus support.