'Unprecedented challenges' ahead, Albanese warns

Transport industry will be significantly affected by the worldwide recession, transport minister says

The transport industry will be significantly affected by the global recession, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese says.

Speaking after the International Transport Forum Taskforce meeting in Sydney, Albanese warned of "unprecedented challenges" facing the industry following the worldwide economic downturn.

He has flagged concerns businesses will invest less in operations as demand slows for goods from cash-strapped consumers.

"The fortunes of transport operators are closely linked to the health of the global economy. Recession internationally means fewer goods to transport, with consumers spending less and businesses delaying their expansion plans," Albanese says.

However, he says the annual International Transport Forum meeting in May will give industry decision makers the opportunity to develop ways of reducing the economic impact of a recession on the industry.

The transport forum, consisting of representatives from 17 countries and the European Union, will discuss a number of issues affecting cross-border trade, supply chain efficiency and how to attract greater private investment in transport infrastructure.

Albanese says the forum will also look at the implications of further liberalisation and the industry’s environmental and social obligations.

The task force met in Sydney as part of preparations for the meeting in Germany.

Albanese says the forum gives the world’s policy makers and stakeholders a platform to work together on globally significant issues.

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