In the developing Asian countries, the need was felt for an institution that could focus on the transport sector in its entirety, organise systematic research, undertake project studies, and endeavor to promote regional cooperation in respect of expertise, technologies, facilities and logistics. High-level committees have emphasised the need for the formulation of a comprehensive national transport policy, which could lay down a conceptual edifice for the development of national transportation systems for meeting the requirements of the community at minimum social and economic costs.

Shri K.R. Narayanan, President of India “The Asian Institute of Transport Development, I feel, is a commendable initiative and it would be in our larger interest to provide it our support and encouragement. I am sure, it will be able to sustain itself as a catalyst for region cooperation, as a mechanism for exchange of ideas and experience, and also as a lever for bringing peoples of various countries together transcending political and other barriers.”
K. R. Narayanan
President of India
  H.E. Akbar Torkan “Regional cooperation among the Asian countries is the most essential strategy and the development of trade in the Asian region necessitates a rapid, inexpensive and smooth transportation among these countries. I warmly welcome the creation of the AITD which operates as a non-governmental entity and considers it a body that paves the way towards strategic implementation of the development of regional cooperation.”
Akbar Torkan
Minister of Roads & Transportation
Islamic Republic of Iran
Shri I.K. Gujral “I am sure, the proposed Asia Centre would be of great utility. The Ministries of Railways, Power, Surface Transport, Civil Aviation and Petroleum and Natural Gas and the PSUs under their control, would benefit from the functioning of the Institute and the proposed Asia Centre.”
I. K. Gujral
Prime Minister, India
  Shri K.R. Narayanan, President of India “I am impressed by the high level of objectivity of the Institute, its regional outreach and its capability to draw on a wide range of academic and professional resources.”
Kim Hak-Su
Executive Secretary, UNESCAP