States sign on to Asian Highway Network
July 8, 2005
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
A vast 140,000-kilometre long highway network connecting 32 states in Asia inched closer to reality on July 1, with...
A vast 140,000-kilometre long highway network connecting 32 states in Asia inched closer to reality on July 1, with the coming into force of an intergovernmental agreement.
The highway network that stretches from St. Petersburg to Singapore to Seoul to Istanbul is backed by the United Nations’ Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The intergovernmental agreement sets technical standards for the road and route signage, and includes mechanisms for changes and additional routes.
The Asian Highway Network has been under negotiation since 1992 and involves 32 states. Of these 27 states have signed the agreement.
The highway will ease border crossings and give much needed benefits to landlocked countries.
An estimated $18 billion is needed to upgrade the highway to standard, said Kim Hak-Su of ESCAP. ESCAP is working with the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the Islamic Development Bank and other partners in the search to find investors.