SASEC Trade Facilitation and Transport Working Group Meeting
The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Trade Facilitation and Transport Working Group (TFTWG) Meeting will be held on 7-8 February 2017 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The TFTWG meets annually to review progress of SASEC initiatives to enhance transport connectivity and promote more efficient, transparent, secure, and service-oriented processing of cross-border trade in South Asia. The TFTWG was established in March 2013 to serve as a platform for increased regional cooperation.
The TFTWG Meeting will
- Review progress in ongoing SASEC regional transport sector projects and initiatives;
- Review progress in SASEC trade facilitation projects, technical assistance and initiatives to speed up and reduce the costs of cross-border trade in the subregion; and
- Consider future cooperation in trade facilitation and transport, including the possible updating of strategic thrusts in the sectors and the pipeline of priority projects and activities laid out in the SASEC Operational Plan.
The Meeting will also chart the future direction of SASEC cooperation to achieve the member countries’ development goals. It will review the SASEC Vision Document, which will articulate the long-term potential of the subregion as an integrated entity, reflecting the collective aspirations of SASEC members and providing the overarching framework and long-term strategy for sustained and inclusive growth.
The Meeting will also update the SASEC Operational Plan 2016-2025, adopted in May 2016. This Plan outlines the strategic objectives and operational priorities in key sectors and areas of cooperation, namely transport, trade facilitation, energy, and economic corridor development, and has identified over 200 potential priority projects requiring over $120 billion worth of investments to promote sustained and inclusive growth through regional cooperation.
SASEC nodal officials will attend the Meeting, together with senior officials from ministries and agencies responsible for finance, planning, Customs, commerce and trade, transport, rail, shipping, industry, tourism, and energy. The Secretariat of the SASEC Program, which operates out of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), will also participate. Representatives of selected development partner agencies will be invited to attend sessions on the SASEC Operational Plan.
The TFTWG meeting is financed through ADB technical assistance funds.