SASEC Transport Sector Working Group Meeting
7 Oct 2020
The Virtual Meeting of the SASEC Transport Working Group (TWG) was held on 7 October 2020, mainly to discuss the draft Action Plan for SASEC Initiatives (APSI) 2021- 2023, which was developed to accelerate implementation of priority SASEC Operational Plan initiatives and to propose new initiatives in response to emerging needs or disruptions, such as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
SASEC country delegations noted the alignment of various SASEC corridors and their priority multi-modal components, their current conditions, and the status and financing arrangements for key pipeline projects under each corridor. The participants expressed appreciation on the role of the APSI in building SASEC multi-modal connectivity and its consistency with the transport development thrusts of their respective countries. They agreed to submit to ADB, additional comments on corridor alignments and the status of projects, as well as to confirm the thrusts and priorities for the pipeline, and to update the project and other information in the APSI.
The Meeting also discussed and reviewed:
- The proposed initiative Leveraging Digital Technology under the “New Normal” and
- The studies on Road Safety and Asset Management.
In light of the economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, leveraging digital technology under the new normal is one initiative that would help track peoples’ movements in relation to travel to hazard areas. Beyond disease surveillance, such database can be used for transport demand analysis and travel origin/ destination data for logistics analysis. The meeting discussed the proposed scope of work of the data analytics exercise, which will lead to development of an analytical model to understand logistics movements across borders, objectively and quantitatively. The delegations informed of similar applications in use in their countries and commented on the initiative’s potential uses for corridor studies. ADB informed that the scope of the assignment will be further refined to better respond to the countries’ requirements.
The proposed studies on road safety and asset management are follow ups to the Conference on Safe Mobility and Regional Connectivity, held in New Delhi last January 2020, which discussed the status of SASEC road safety, one of the sector’s key challenges. The meeting discussed the Road Safety Capability Assessment, which uses a “safe system” framework approach that references global standards and good practices. Also discussed were the objectives and scope of the Road Asset Management (RAM) study, including its components and investment requirements. The meeting noted that both knowledge products will help deliver stronger and more sustainable road safety results in the subregion. The delegations agreed on the next steps proposed for the studies, subject to the adjustment of the terms of reference and timelines, to provide allowance for difficulties in linking with resource persons during the pandemic.
Senior officials and representatives of transport agencies of SASEC member countries participated in the Meeting, together with staff and consultants of the Asian Development Bank. Mr. Ravi Peri, Director, Transport and Communications Division (SATC), South Asia Department, ADB, gave the opening remarks and moderated the Meeting.