The Forum Secretariat regards efficient coordinated transport as an important component of infrastructure development and economic growth in the Pacific region. Good transport links stimulate the economy, reduce transport costs for industry and help to overcome some of the barriers related to the movement of goods and services further encouraging growth in the region.
Transport issues have been identified by Leaders as a serious challenge for the region. Hindered by a lack of coordinated regulatory framework and investment, progress in achieving a coordinated, efficient and sustainable transport framework in the region has been slow and, therefore has been targeted for significant improvement.
Forum Principles on Regional Transport Services
At the August 2004 Forum Leaders Meeting, held in Apia, Samoa, Leaders endorsed the Forum Principles on Regional Transport Services (FPRTS) in recognition that:
• The provision and maintenance of regular, reliable and competitive air and shipping services is crucial to Forum Island Countries;
• Changes in the transport sector, including an increasingly competitive market and new international safety and security requirements, have significant implications for aviation and shipping in the Pacific region; and
• Forum Island Countries have limited technical support.
The FPRTS uses as its basis, the serious challenges faced by FIC transport sectors, as highlighted in the Pacific Regional Transport Study (PRTS) Report which was funded by the Australian Government.
The FPRTS contains six principles promoting good governance, transparency, and accountability, aims to serve as a guideline to Forum island countries (FIC), in their pursuit for greater service delivery to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of both air and shipping services.