The sixth in a series of UIC ASEAN online meetings was held on 22 April and was dedicated to the 2022 opt-in process and UIC projects in and with ASEAN.
Co-organised by UIC Asia-Pacific and UIC ASEAN with the support of the UIC Passenger Department, the meeting served as an opportunity to introduce and recall the basic rules and relevant information on submitting and participating in projects involving UIC ASEAN members at Asia-Pacific and global level.
42 participants from ten member companies attended this sixth session: KAI, DJKA and MASKA from Indonesia, KTMB, MyHSR CORP and RAC from Malaysia, DOTR and PNR from the Philippines, DRT from Thailand and VNR from Vietnam, as well as invited representatives from JR EAST, Korail and IR. The meeting was moderated by Milko Papazoff, UIC ASEAN Representative.
Vincent Vu, UIC Asia-Pacific Coordinator and Institutional Relations Director, provided a comprehensive reminder of the rules for project selection (training sessions and long-term studies), also recalling the roles and rights of each member in terms of submission, participation and financing rules.
It was noted with appreciation that KAI and KTMB had decided to vote for selected projects for 2021-2022, and that DOTR Philippines had submitted three potential projects. Together with the various technical departments within UIC, Béatrice Segeral will review training session proposals, and Irina Petrunina will review long-term study proposals prepared by the Asia-Pacific members.
Milko Papazoff briefly reiterated that there are plans to cooperate further with UIC institutional partners in Asia-Pacific such as ADB, UNESCAP, ASEAN Secretariat, UNCRD and AIIB, who will be involved in any future ASEAN proposal submissions as required. This topic will also be discussed further with the various parties concerned.
The next part of the meeting focused on ideas for potential projects in Asia-Pacific for 2022 and beyond. These ideas, presented by Irina Petrunina, UIC CIS Representative and APRA Project Coordinator, are the fruit of various discussions and consultation among APRA members, European members and UIC’s technical departments. Some projects submitted but not approved in the past may again be relevant, and there will be further communication with the ASEAN members on this.
Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director, also took the floor to present a comprehensive summary of the Passenger Department’s projects and to inform the participants of the upcoming UIC Passenger webinar due to take place on 4 May. The department’s future priorities include multimodality, mobility as a service, sustainability, multiregional projects, digitalisation, cooperation with universities and the impact of the post-covid-19 era on passenger activities.
To complete the picture, Milko Papazoff provided a summary of the main concerns among UIC ASEAN members in recent years. The first is for each country to develop a stronger base of national railway standards. The relevant authorities, supported by operators and industrial supply chains, are also very open to examining the UIC IRS model. Other important concerns include security/safety, systems and digitalisation/5G, training activities, freight development (including heavy haul), sustainability and natural disaster management, as well as high-speed rail development in certain countries. UIC ASEAN members have been encouraged to register for and participate in the UIC working groups and platforms at their disposal.
Further speakers during the meeting included Justine June of KTMB (Malaysia), Brion Dominic Alano of DOTR (Philippines), Nguyen Thi Thu Thanh of VNR (Vietnam), Athaphon Kawprasert of SRT (Thailand) (via message) and Taufikurrahman of KAI (Indonesia).
Finally, the possibility of launching a common ASEAN project on automatic gauge changeover systems as a technical solution for railway corridor development was also briefly discussed. Such studies have already been undertaken at European level within the framework of cooperation between UIC, OSJD and their members. This could result in the creation of the much-awaited working group on meter-gauge networks in cooperation with the UIC Passenger Department.
The session concluded with a presentation by Béatrice Segeral of the timeline for projects in 2022. Participants were also reminded of the various deadlines and upcoming APRA virtual events to take place in 2021.
The next UIC ASEAN online meeting will be held on 14 September, focusing on UIC training activities and various tools and platforms.