Freight forwarders should take full advantage of three recently signed regional transport agreements, which will further develop their businesses in the Asean region and improve their chances of establishing partnerships with China and Japan, The Brunei Times quoted a senior official of the Brunei Freight Forwarders Association (BRUFA) as saying.
BRUFA president, Hj Abd Saman Hj Ahmad, said the Asean agreements could lead to more efforts geared towards making Brunei an air cargo transhipment hub, which will also expand air linkages in the Asean region and worldwide.
"This can be achieved with strong support and co-operation by all relevant agencies including regulators, airlines, integrators and freight operators," he said.
In an interview with The Brunei Times, Hj Abd Saman said that with co-operation, Asean member countries will be able to provide more reliable freight services in the region and provide the opportunity to work closely with China and Japan in the air freight forwarding industry.
"These countries (China and Japan) make a significant contribution due to its huge market potential (and) based on Airports Council International, Asia Pacific is forecast to grow the fastest, averaging growth of 6.5 percent per annum."
The Airports Council International (ACI) has projected that "total world freight traffic this year is expected to be around 84.748 billion tonnes, compared with 75.290 billion tonnes and 79.680 billion tonnes in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
Hj Abd Saman said that steady progress in Asean’s co-operation in transport, such as the Asean Multilateral Agreement of the Full Liberalisation of Air Freight Services would pave the way for a more liberal environment for expanding air freight services as well as implement more transport partnership projects in Asean.
The transport agreements were signed during the recent 12th Asean Transport Ministers Meeting in Thailand, which also included the facilitation in the transport of goods by providing unhindered access and movement of goods over designated highway routes in the region.
FAPAA member BRUFA has 30 registered companies as members.