MARITIME LOGISTICS AND THE WORLD TRADING SYSTEM
This paper examines the relationship between maritime logistics and the world trading system. Maritime transportation is a crucial underpinning of world economic prosperity. In this system states recognize the strategic role of ports and manage them through unilateral reform, coordination of port management and cooperation in bodies such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. The attention on trade security is rooted in the events of September 11, the rise of piracy in Asian waters and the emerging energy issues in the region. A sustainable approach to trade security needs to go beyond border security and confidence in the supply chain to a broader confidence in the world trading system and national pursuit of the global ‘common interest’. The current efforts at constructing an East Asian Economic Community need to establish concrete cooperative arrangements in maritime logistics but also need to appreciate the different ways of ‘doing logistics’ in the Asian region. Asian countries are at different levels of development and the politics of prosperity influence the priorities of port and maritime reform. Through sharing experiences, Asian countries can appreciate the economics of regional adjustment in maritime logistics over time.
The world has become more interconnected due to global communications and transportation and more interdependent due to the growth of international trade, investment and finance (UN, 2000). The transportation of cargo and containers by sea underpins the world trading system and global economic prosperity (OECD, 2003: 5; ASEAN, 2004a). Essential to maritime transportation has been efficiently run ports and confidence in sea-bound transportation. In the Asia Pacific region trade by sea is vital especially for island nations such as Japan, Taiwan, Australia and New...