The Pacific region embraces many nations with great variance in land, topography, area, population, resources, and development constraints and prospects. But all face transport challenges to achieving adequate global, regional, and local connectivity to markets and essential services.
This update describes the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) assistance to Pacific developing member countries in improving many facets of their transport systems.
Investment in transport is important to address the vast distances, diseconomies of scale, and high cost of accessing markets faced by remote and isolated communities. Transport routes to overseas markets are among the world’s longest. Services to remote communities often do not meet international safety standards. Investment in transport is needed to expand trade and private investment, improve deteriorating infrastructure, and build capacity to ensure reliable, accessible, and safe services.
Transport development that is inclusive and sustainable is critical to meeting the development challenges of the Pacific. A progress report on the Millennium Development Goals reports that the majority of Pacific countries are off-track in their attempts to achieve goals on poverty, environmental sustainability, and gender.1 Better connectivity is an important element in addressing these challenges.