The role of transport in economic development is usually discussed in relation to its contribution to the development of domestic trade. Globalization has changed this perception. The ability of a country, and particularly the more isolated communities within a country, to participate in trade depends on the quality of transport and communication infrastructure that allows them access to the world trading system. If liberalization of trade can open new markets for developing countries, then efficient transport systems and transport routes will be needed to connect domestic producers with these markets. Appropriate transport costs, timely delivery and the quality of services65 provided are essential elements in calculating and assessing the competitiveness of products for global markets. A range of infrastructure and institutional barriers still inhibit competitiveness of the Asian and Pacific products in the global market. Provision of truly cost effective transportation linkages therefore remains a policy priority in an era of rapid globalization. The role of transport is examined here in the context of globalization and the multilateral trading system from two perspectives: (1) transport as a service to trade, and (2) transport as a service that is tradable. However, the discussion is not subdivided into separate perspectives, because some developments taking place in the transport sector have an impact on diversification, expansion and competitiveness of trade, as well as development of transport services as a value-added service industry. The discussion focuses on evolving transport issues in the Asian and Pacific region and how resolving these issues can assist developing countries to integrate further into the multilateral trading system on a more equitable and fair basis.
Quality of services includes reliability, punctuality, security/pilferage and... [continues]
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