The ASEAN Federation of Forwarders Associations (AFFA) held the annual 33rd meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on December 2 to discuss the facilitation of goods transportation via inter-governmental cooperation in the region.
Containers of goods are loaded at a port in Vietnam
AFFA Chairman Alvin Chua said the governments of ASEAN countries have given high priority to developing logistics services in terms of both infrastructure and trade facilitation strategies, and to enhancing intra-bloc connectivity.
Recently, the AFFA has witnessed progress in railway and multimodal transportation as seen in the implementation of the New International Land - Sea Trade Corridor, which connects many ASEAN countries with China and promotes trans-national rail transport, thus enhancing the possibility of linking ASEAN members with Europe, he noted.
He held that with the existing transport and logistics infrastructure, it is an urgent need for ASEAN governments to consider promoting seamless intra-bloc logistics connectivity.
The inclusion of the ASEAN Tariff Finder in the AFFA’s digital platform, the creation of the ASEAN Authorised Economic Operator programme, and the promotion of the ASEAN Customs Transit System will provide optimum conditions for cross-border trade among member countries. Meanwhile, the recently launched cross-border payment system can step up financial integration and help the bloc move closer to the target of economic connectivity, according to the AFFA leader.
Talking to the Vietnam News Agency, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA) Dao Trong Khoa noted sustainable development and digital transformation are among current trends and receive attention from the AFFA, whose working group is focusing on training to ensure its members are fully aware of digital transformation and green transition. The AFFA is also taking concrete measures such as developing carbon meters to design an emission reduction roadmap.
The meeting also saw the presence of logistics associations of non-ASEAN countries like China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, providing an opportunity for logistics service suppliers to seek long-term partnerships in the logistics industry and supply chain management./.