Roro network eyed to boost Asean economy

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014


THE establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Roll-on, Roll-off (Roro) Network is seen to spur the socio-economic development of the Asean region.

Dr. Enrico L. Basilio, USAid Compete project chief of party, who was the speaker on "Asean Connectivity: Path to Economic Integration and Cooperative Peace" during the 23rd Mindanao Business Conference at the KCC Convention and Events Center, said there is a strong correlation between economic prosperity and peace, in order to achieve this, regional economic integration is the way to go.

"And connectivity is key to economic integration," he said.

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Basilio said since most of the Asean is archipelagic, connectivity by sea through the Roro network, aside from connectivity by air, is seen as one of the most viable ways to connect Asean member countries and in turn spurring trade among the countries.

He said this is one of the key strategies on physical connectivity of the Asean. The AseanRoro Network initiative is also included among the 15 flagship programs for 2011 to 2015 of the Asean.

"Roro shipping is a transport mode that can hasten Asean connectivity," Basilio said.

In his presentation, in terms of loading and unloading, Roro is 2.5x faster than conventional shipping. Also sailing time is faster, it can cut sailing time by half compared to conventional ships.

It is cheaper, in that door-to-door costs of Roro is 20 percent lower than conventional shipping and 70 percent to 80 percent cheaper than air.

Roro is also seen to be better compared to conventional shipping since there is no need for expensive gantry cranes, lower port development cost and lower draft requirement. It is also much greener since carbon dioxide emission is 90 percent lower than air transport.

"Whether it is Roro or not, what matters most is that connectivity is established so that there can be trade happening in the area," Basilio said.

"The way to peace is economic prosperity and for Asean, the way to do this is by integrating our economies, here connectivity plays a big role," he added.

Basilio said by linking ourselves to other Asean member countries will allow the growth of businesses, investments, and even tourism.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 03, 2014.

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