The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has hailed the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM) project as a key regional example of trans-border terrestrial connectivity, Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies told the Baku-based Trend news agency on October 12.
The statement was reflected in the ESCAP conclusion and recommendations on the development of the Asian Information Superhighway (AIS), published on the basis of results of the third session of the Expert Consultation on the Asian Information Superhighway and Regional Connectivity, held on September 24-25 in the Philippines and attended by experts of the ICT ministries and government agencies, telecommunication regulators of the ESCAP countries, members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), representatives of the private sector, regional and international ICT experts of international organizations, including the Asian Development Bank, the International Telecommunication Union and the World Bank.
According to ESCAP, TASIM would not only connect Europe and Asia, but also become a key part of the AIS initiative.
"ESCAP and the TASIM Secretariat expressed mutual support for both projects, and will continue to work together to build a seamless information and communication space across Asia and the Pacific," the statement said.
A decision was passed that the working group will develop a draft agreement on intergovernmental cooperation in line with the ESCAP Resolution 69/10.
The experts expressed their interest in the TASIM project and supported the proposal of the Azerbaijani delegation whereby UNESCAP would consider the possibility of joining the Eurasian Connectivity Alliance (EurACA) as a stakeholder representing Asia and the Pacific.
TASIM is a project of regional importance which aims to lay a transnational fiber-optic line covering the countries of Eurasia from Western Europe to Eastern Asia. The project envisions the creation of a major transit link from Frankfurt, Germany to Hong Kong. The line will combine major centers of information exchange in Europe and Asia. The line will stretch through China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to Germany. A reserve North transit line will traverse the territory of Russia, Ukraine and Poland.
TASIM will be implemented in two stages.
During the first phase leading regional countries and operators will create major Internet transit infrastructure, linking the West and East. The process is planned to be finalized in late 2013.
In the second phase of the project, TASIM is expected to provide the Eurasian countries that do not have direct access to open sea, including Central Asian states, with Internet connection at affordable rates. According to the plan, new fiber-optic lines will be constructed, while the existing lines will be upgraded and linked to the TASIM network.
Experts believe that TASIM is able to guarantee an uninterrupted connection between Europe and Asia. According to them, most of the fiber-optic routes connecting Asia with Europe and the U.S. are laid on the seabed. These routes are the most prone to accidents, which may be caused by natural disasters, as well as by fishing boats. Therefore, the Asian countries highly appreciated the importance of TASIM.
The TASIM project will contribute to creating an open information society in the region, increasing the speed of Internet connection and promoting the development of Internet services, which, in turn, will lead to economic development, economic diversification and increased competition.