Thursday 5 October 2023

Join UIC at the first Asia-Pacific Rail Summit: Advancing sustainable transportation

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Date: 23 October 2023
Location: Hotel KL Meridien, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Asia-Pacific region is at a critical juncture in its development, with rapid urbanisation, population growth and economic expansion driving an unprecedented demand for transport. As the region continues to flourish, it is essential to address the pressing challenges of growing transport-related carbon emissions. To tackle these issues head on, UIC is inviting members to the first Asia-Pacific Rail Summit, a free event where key stakeholders will converge to explore the potential of rail as a climate solution (upon registration).


On the occasion of the 15th Regional EST Forum in Asia of the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), taking place from 24 to 26 October 2023, UIC is organising the first ever Asia-Pacific Rail Summit on 23 October 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This event is co-organised with UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), Malaysia Ministry of Transport and Asia Development Bank, and will be a platform for forward-looking knowledge exchange on the sustainable development of the rail sector in Asia Pacific.

According to the Asian Transport Outlook, the Asia-Pacific region is on track for significant growth in transport activity, with projections showing an expected 2.7% and 5% annual increase in passenger and freight activity respectively, from 2020 to 2030. This growth also represents a potential 25% increase in CO2 emissions from transport by 2030. Recognising the urgent need for action, the Asia-Pacific Rail Summit aims to highlight the pivotal role of rail in slashing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable mobility.

Rail transport offers numerous environmental benefits, including lower carbon emissions, reduced air pollution and improved energy efficiency compared to road transport. By shifting focus towards rail, countries in the Asia-Pacific region can accelerate the achievement of their climate targets, while also addressing issues like air quality, energy efficiency and road congestion.

In the last edition of the EST Forum, participants were invited to sign the Aichi Declaration 2030, a non-binding commitment to realising a decade (2021-2030) of progress in sustainable actions and measures for achieving universally accessible, safe, affordable, efficient, clean, low-carbon, resilient, multi-modal passenger and freight transport in Asia. Among other topics, it underscores the importance of rail in regional connectivity and sustainable mobility in Asia, and this summit will explore how rail can serve as the backbone of a multimodal sustainable mobility system that leaves no-one behind.

Key topics and participants

The International Union of Railways, in collaboration with the UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), the Malaysia Ministry of Transport and the Asia Development Bank, invites policymakers from across the Asia-Pacific region to participate in this one-day policy lab experience. The event will focus on four key topics:

1. Long-term policy to boost rail: Explore how Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) can support the development of rail as a climate solution. Participants will identify key aspects of rail to address in the new cycle of NDCs and discuss strategies to bridge the gap between NDCs and local policies.

2. Gender equality: Discuss how rail companies can promote gender equality as employers and service providers. Exchange best practices for improving the experiences of women as both workers and passengers in the rail sector.

3. Railway project funding and financing: Examine barriers to investment in the rail sector and strategies to overcome them. Deepen the understanding of proposed investment targets and validate preliminary conclusions of relevant studies.

4. UIC Rail Declaration for the EST: Express support for policies that advance the rail sector in the Asia-Pacific region and recognise its role as a climate solution.


  • Policy makers from Asian countries
  • Rail business and industry representatives, such as operators, infrastructure managers, manufacturers, suppliers, etc.
  • Finance institutions, including multilateral development banks
  • UIC members in the region

Agenda highlights:

  • Opening session with welcoming remarks from host organisations
  • Keynote speeches by industry leaders
  • Panel discussions on sustainable development, gender equality and funding
  • Policy Implementation Lab sessions
  • Declaration of support for rail actions to Aichi 2030 declaration signature
  • Welcome reception for APRS and EST participants

Join fellow experts and policy makers at the Asia-Pacific Rail Summit and contribute to the sustainable future of rail transport in the region.

Register now at

For further information, please contact Ms. Béatrice Segeral at

Mr. Milko Papazoff at

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