Leipzig. Indonesia expects to join the International Transport Forum by early next year, aiming to tap into a wealth of experiences the organization has to offer.
“I’m delighted to join this forum. It will be of great help to us in designing and implementing policies,” said Bambang Susantono, deputy transport minister.
The International Transport Forum (ITF) is an intergovernmental group within the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), dealing with the transport sector, with 54 member countries. It serves as a strategic think tank for transport policies and organizes a summit for ministers of transport each year.
Mexico has been able to gain valuable insight from ITF members to further develop the country’s railway system, according to Bambang. He hopes Indonesia may benefit from a similar experience. Jose Viegas, ITF’s secretary general, said the organization’s members have collectively agreed on a new funding reform that would allow the forum to take on new participants. ITF is seeking two new members from Asia, Africa and Latin America, with consideration of the candidate country’s size, unique transportation issues and strategic location.
“Indonesia is one of the countries we approached because it meets our criteria,” Viegas said. “It has very specific transport issues due to the fact that the country is a multi-island nation and it has a critical location in terms of navigation.”
Indonesia would have to submit a formal request to the forum’s existing member, who must unanimously accept the submission. Viegas expects the process to finish by Jan. 1, 2015 at the earliest.
Other countries that have been invited to join are Morocco, South Africa, Brazil, Colombia and Singapore. Should they be included into the organization, these countries would be able to benefit from the bank of information its current members have on successful transport policies. New participants would have to pay an annual membership fee and provide their own researchers to be included in ITF studies.
The forum’s ministers on Thursday adopted a renewed mandate, underlining its “unique” role as a global organization that covers all modes of transportation.
ITF ministers noted that megatrends such as demographic change, digitalization, shifting trade flows and climate change would greatly impact future methods of transport.
“In this era of transformation, policymakers are facing greater levels of uncertainty in decision making, with the speed, nature, intensity and timing of change in recent years occurring beyond what has been expected,” the ministerial declaration stated.