Priority 2: Infrastructure development and maintenance

Infrastructure development plays a key role in reducing the cost of development for landlocked developing countries. Development and maintenance of transit transport infrastructure, information and communications technology and energy infrastructure are crucial for landlocked developing countries to reduce the high trading costs, improve their competitiveness and become fully integrated in the global market.

 Transport infrastructure

Despite improvement in transport infrastructure in landlocked developing countries, poor quality and gaps in physical infrastructure are still major obstacles to developing viable and predictable transit transport systems. There is inadequate physical infrastructure in rail transport, road transport, dry ports, inland waterways, pipelines and air transport in many landlocked developing countries, as well as few harmonized rules and procedures and limited cross-border investment and private-sector participation. Physical links of landlocked developing countries to the regional transport infrastructure network fall well short of expectations. Landlocked developing countries have a lower logistics performance than other groups in the area of transport-related infrastructure. Missing links need to be addressed urgently, and roads, railways and inland waterways need to be upgraded to a level that can establish seamless and efficient transport infrastructure networks within the country and across the borders. The improvement and maintenance of existing facilities is crucial. With regard to multi-modal transport, railways are important for the landlocked developing countries whose exports are usually bulky primary commodities. Railway transport should be promoted where its use is viable and rail networks already exist.

The magnitude of the required resources to invest in infrastructure development and maintenance remains a major challenge. It requires forging international, regional, subregional and bilateral cooperation on infrastructure projects, allocating more from national budgets, effectively deploying international development assistance and multilateral financing in development and maintenance of infrastructure, and strengthening the role of the private sector. At the same time, it also requires a substantial investment in capacity-building and legal, regulatory and policy reform to create an environment supportive of greater public and private investments in infrastructure. It is important to help landlocked developing countries develop the capacity to prepare bankable, large-scale infrastructure projects and to explore innovative financing mechanisms for those projects, including public-private partnerships, where appropriate.

Specific objectives are:

(a) To significantly increase the quality of roads, including increasing the share of paved roads, by nationally appropriate standards;

(b) To expand and upgrade the railway infrastructure in landlocked developing countries, where applicable;

(c) To complete missing links in the regional road and railway transit transport networks.

Actions by landlocked developing countries and transit developing countries are:

(a) To develop and implement comprehensive national policies for infrastructure development and maintenance encompassing all modes of transportation and ensure that they are well coordinated with the transit countries in the areas where transit infrastructures intersect;

(b) To collaborate to promote sustainable and resilient transit systems through, inter alia, regular upgrading and maintenance, development of corridors along transit highways, developing border-crossing mechanisms, including one-stop border crossings, as appropriate, and promoting economies of scale for transport systems through intermodal transport development, dry ports or inland container depots, trans-shipment facilities and similar logistic hubs;

(c) To work towards the harmonization of gauges to facilitate regional connectivity, where feasible, the development of reloading capacities, the expansion of training programmes and inter-railway staff exchange programmes;

(d) To promote multilateral and regional permit systems for road transport and endeavour to implement permit-free bilateral and transit road transport and the

expansion of a multilateral quota system among landlocked developing countries and transit countries;

(e) To endeavour, at the bilateral, subregional and regional levels, to gradually liberalize road transport services, taking into account specific circumstances in landlocked and transit developing countries;

.    (f)  To encourage the development of international logistic hubs;

.    (g)  To develop the necessary policies and regulatory frameworks to promote

private sector involvement in infrastructure development and promote enabling environment to attract foreign direct investment;

(h) To promote public-private partnerships for the development and maintenance of transport infrastructure and their sustainability;

(i) To develop inland transport networks including ancillary infrastructure such as all-weather road, rail and riverside support infrastructure that ensures road and rail safety and involves local businesses in those services along highways and railway networks, thereby creating development corridors along transit highways and railroads.

Actions by development partners are:

(a) To support efforts by landlocked developing countries in the field of infrastructure development and maintenance and support landlocked developing countries and transit developing countries in sharing experiences on transit transport development;

(b) To encourage multilateral and regional development banks to provide more support to landlocked developing countries and transit developing countries for investment in transport development, in accordance with their respective mandate;

(c) To continue assisting landlocked developing countries in the completion of missing links in railroads and road systems, as appropriate.

Energy and information and communications technology infrastructure

Energy infrastructure and access to affordable, reliable and renewable energy and related technologies, on mutually agreed terms, are critically important in modernizing information and communications technology and transit systems, reducing delays and enhancing productive capacity to achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development. The importance of the Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative is stressed. In this context, regional efforts, including the creation of networks of regional renewable energy and energy efficiency centres, will be important and need support.

Information and communications technology can contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth by increasing productivity across all sectors; facilitating market expansion beyond borders to take advantage of economies of scale; and lowering costs and facilitating access to services, including access to broadband infrastructure, and information via global media such as the Internet, contributing to increased participation in governance, accountability and transparency. However, many landlocked developing countries face severe challenges in keeping up with the necessary infrastructure deployment and concomitant evolution of policy frameworks. Broadband costs, as a share of gross national income, are much higher in landlocked developing countries than in coastal countries that are located close to submarine communications cables. Because of their small market sizes, the lack of a regionally harmonized regulatory environment is also a serious hindrance to cheaper information and communications technology services and greater geographical coverage.

Specific objectives are:

(a) To expand and upgrade, as appropriate, infrastructure for supply, transmission and distribution of modern and renewable energy services in rural and urban areas;

(b) All landlocked developing countries should make broadband policy universal;

(c) To promote open and affordable access to Internet for all;

(d) Landlocked developing countries should actively engage to address the digital divide.

Actions by landlocked developing countries and transit developing countries are:

(a) To enhance their collaboration in promoting cross-border energy trade and energy transit through transmission lines to third countries;

(b) Landlocked developing countries should develop a national energy policy to promote modern, reliable and renewable energy with a view to significantly enhancing capacities in production, trade and distribution, with the aim of ensuring access of energy to all and transformation of their economies;

(c) To work together to modernize transit and transport facilities and customs and other border facilities by fully utilizing the capability of information and communications technologies;

(d) To further improve and harmonize legal and regulatory frameworks;

(e) Landlocked developing countries should develop a national broadband policy with a view to improving access to international high-capacity fibre optic cables and high-bandwidth backbone networks;

(f) Landlocked developing countries should strive to develop the service sector through the development of information and communications technology infrastructure and their integration in all the relevant areas to promote competitiveness, innovation and inclusion, in order to reduce transit time and cost and modernize their transit and customs facilities;

(g) To promote digital bridges to interconnect national backbones so that countries far from the sea cables also have access to affordable broadband and are able to expand telecommunications and related services sector in order to facilitate affordable, accessible and high-quality telecommunications services.

Actions by development partners are:

(a) To support efforts by landlocked developing countries to develop their energy and information and communications technology sectors;

(b) To promote energy efficient investment in landlocked developing countries and facilitate the green economic transformation;

(c) To support landlocked developing countries in promoting their national broadband policy and developing necessary broadband infrastructure;

(d) To provide capacity-building to landlocked developing countries for use of modern and affordable communications technology;

(e) To continue to support efforts of landlocked developing countries with the respective transit developing countries to facilitate access to information and communications technologies and the transfer of relevant skills, knowledge and technology, on mutually agreed terms, for the development, maintenance and sustainability of infrastructure.

Contact itlldc


Tel: +976-11-351971

Fax: +976 11 322127

visit ittlldc headquarters

UN House

United Nations Street-14

Sukhbaatar district

Ulaanbaatar 14201


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