The 40th ASEAN Railway CEOs’ Conference was held in Naypyitaw, Myanmar from 26 – 29 November 2018. This annual event, currently rotating every year among six countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar), is the occasion to receive a regular update on the latest developments and progress that occur in each of the seven participating countries (Laos is the seventh one), and it is expected that the Philippines will re-join the Grouping by 2019, after 15 years of absence, while Singapore is also in the waiting (Brunei, the 10th ASEAN country member, currently has no railway network).

Over the two days, the ARCEO presented the activities of the participating railway networks (Myanmar Railways / MR, State Railways of Thailand / SRT, Vietnam Railways / VNR, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Cambodia / MPWT, PT. Kereta Api Indonesia / KAI, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad / KTM, Lao Railways Authority / LR), split into three groups with parallel sessions: CEO Group, Technical Working Group and Marketing & Operation Group.

UIC is now a regular Special Guest, and Milko Papazoff, UIC ASEAN Representative, delivered a presentation (“Sustainable Urban Development – Railways and its Interfaces with the Urban Areas”) during the Plenary Session on the first day (27 November 2018) after the screening of two videos: message from UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and “UIC at a Glance”.

On the second day, UIC was invited to join the Technical Visit organised for the CEO Group (MR Carriage and Wagon Workshop in Myitnge, and tour of Mandalay City and its surroundings), returning to Naypyitaw on the RBE Special Train of MR.
This has also been an auspicious occasion to meet, in a very friendly and convivial manner, with all the Delegations and their Heads present at the event, and further explore a close cooperation between the ASEAN Railways Grouping and UIC, recalling the recent membership of PNR of the Philippines and SRT of Thailand. MR expressed its keen willingness to become a UIC member and is ready to attend the 27th UIC Asia Pacific Regional Assembly, due to be held in Manila, the Philippines, from 21 – 24 May 2019.