Regional Closing Event – Bangkok, THAILAND
January 29, 2019

Bangkok, 22 January 2019– Through the introduction of energy efficiency and safety measures in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam (CLMV) and Thailand, the European Union (EU)-funded project “Sustainable Freight Transport and Logistics in the Mekong Region” has successfully improved fuel saving and safe driving, the safe transport of dangerous goods, the development of business plans for access to finance and awareness on Green Freight and exceeded its target by working with more than 500 SMEs.

Over the 3 years of project implementation (February 2016 – January 2019), the project trained 513 SMEs in the region covering more than 600 truck drivers. As a result, average fuel savings of heavy-duty empty trucks totalled15.90 percent and for heavy-duty loaded trucks, the savings in fuel were 16.86 percent. With respect to Dangerous Goods Transport, the project has worked closely with the countries’ Transport ministries to improve rules and regulations. The Myanmar Ministry of Transport and Communications issued 6 notifications, while the Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian ministries are revising their decrees related to Dangerous Goods Transport. Moreover, in terms of policy advocacy, the project supported the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport in developing the standard guidelines for Green Freight and these were issued in August 2018. Green Freight measures have been proposed in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for Thailand and presented at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24).

At the project closing ceremony hosted recently by the Thai Ministry of Transport and the EU, Mr. Chaiwat Thongkamkoon, the Permanent Secretary of the Thai Ministry of Transport said: “Transport has been recognised as the basis of regional economic development and integration as it plays a crucial role in the movement of goods, services, capital and people. It also provides great support in binding Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)’s economies closer together. Many efforts are put in place through regional agendas to move forward together, for example, the Cross Border Transport Agreement (CBTA) and ASEAN Transport Facilitation. This project has supported all 5 countries in contributing to these regional agendas. Thailand especially has been working on promoting sustainable transport and logistics such as eco and safe driving, safe dangerous goods transport and standards for trucking services for many years. Thailand has also committed to the global agenda of the Paris Agreement to reduce CO2emission targets by 20 percent. As transport is defined as a large contributor to CO2emissions, our efforts in reducing fuel and COsupported by the project will also contribute to this global commitment.

H.E. Mr. Pirkka Tapiola, the Ambassador of the European Union to Thailand said: “SWITCH Asia programme is one of the European Union’s financial instruments to support countries in Asia in promoting sustainable consumption and production and to date more than 100 projects have received this fund. With EU support of EUR 2.16 million, this three-year project has successfully implemented activities to increase fuel efficiency with the active participation of Transport SMEs resulting in an overall average 16 percent fuel saving andCO2emission reduction. In addition, the project supported the Ministries of Transport in all 5 countries to improve rules and regulations related to dangerous goods transport. The satisfactory result is due to the good cooperation from partners and key stakeholders, including the government agencies, the freight transport SMEs and transport associations. Good practices and lesson learned from the project implementation will be further disseminated for a wider scaling up of sustainable freight transport in the logistics sector.”

The project received financial support of EUR 2.4 million from the EU’s SWITCH-Asia Programme and is co-funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is in charge of leading the implementation of this project, in close partnership with the Mekong Institute, the GMS Freight Transport Association (FRETA) as well as GIZ’s regional Transport and Climate Change project.

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