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Asian Highway Agreement

Once in force, the agreement will be open to the accession of other Asian Highway member countries, in order to further improve regional connectivity, international trade and, ultimately, the economic growth of these communities along the road and beyond. It provides a framework for the coordinated development of international motorways in Asia and between Asia and Europe and provides Member States with a platform to discuss technical and institutional issues, in order to improve the quality of the network and improve the efficiency of its operation. The AH1 route will extend from Tokyo to the border with Bulgaria west of Istanbul and Edirne and will cross Korea, China and other countries in Southeast, Central and South Asia. The corridor aims to improve trade relations between East Asian countries, India and Russia. To complete the line, existing roads will be developed and new roads will be built to connect the network. $25 billion has been spent or committed since 2007 and an additional $18 billion has been needed to develop and upgrade 26,000 km of highway. [3] The Asian Highway Network (AH), also known as the Great Asian Highway, is a cooperation project between Asian and European countries and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to improve motorway systems in Asia. It is one of the three pillars of the Asian Land Transport Infrastructure Development (ALTID) project, approved by the ESCAP Committee at its 48th session in 1992, which includes the Asian Highway, the Trans-Asian Railway (TAR) and the Facilitation of Land Transport Projects. The project aims to make maximum use of the continent`s existing highways to avoid the construction of newer highways, except in cases where the absence of routes requires their construction. Project Monitor, an Asian infrastructure news site, commented that “the first beneficiaries of the Asian Highway project are planners within the national land transport department of participating countries [because it] helps them plan the most cost-effective and effective routes to promote domestic and international trade. Non-coastal areas, which are often negligible, are the other beneficiaries. [1] The advanced motorway network would increase trade and social interactions between Asian countries, including personal contacts, project capitalizations, connections of large container terminals with transport points, and the promotion of tourism through new routes.

[1] 32 countries have signed agreements that allow the motorway to cross the continent and reach Europe.