Transport ministers from ASEAN member nations on December 19 gathered for their 19th meeting in Champasak province, Laos .

The Vietnamese delegation to the event was led by Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Lao Prime Minister Thongsinh Thammavong said he believes that the meeting will help create links between the regional countries, thus promoting cooperation in the transport field, towards establishing an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.

The meeting reviewed the implementation of recent cooperation programmes, technical projects and agreements among the countries, and mapped out plans for cooperation in the field in 2014 and subsequent years.

Participants committed to building an effective, safe and connected transport system to promote future economic connectivity in the region.

The meeting approved the Air Transport Economic Cooperation (ATEC) plan for the 2014-2015 period to promote the development of regional aviation links and further speed up goods and people transportation across borders.

The reinforcement of cooperation in marine transport to promote marine services in the bloc was also deliberated at the meeting.

Participants also strongly advocated the initiative to organise a meeting on health and safety at seaports in shifts in the member nations.

The meeting reviewed transport cooperation between ASEAN and its dialogue countries including China , the Republic of Korea and Japan, as well as between the bloc, Germany and the European Union in using energy effectively and climate change response in road projects.

The 20 th ASEAN Transport Ministers’ Meeting will be held in Myanmar in 2014.-VNA