Publications
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Development of East Coast Economic Corridor and Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor

The East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC)—India’s first coastal corridor—is an integrated economic development initiative that is expected to help pursue industrialization and integrate domestic companies into the global value chains of Southeast Asia and East Asia. Its development will start with Vizag–Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC), which covers about 800 kilometers and includes several ports and major industrial centers. This paper discusses strategies to consider when trying to improve shipping and air connectivity in the ECEC and Vizag–Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC). It stresses the importance of infrastructure development and regulatory reforms that facilitate increased connectivity.

Author: Pritam Banerjee
Year: 2017
Download - 682 KB
Tags:  BangladeshConnectivityEconomic CorridorIndiaInfrastructureRegional IntegrationTrade FacilitationTransportDevelopment

 


The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement: Promoting South-South Regional Integration and Sustainable Development

As countries begin to depend on more each other, trade policy is helping achieve inclusive and sustainable development. Trade and investment are linked to the environment and social issues, and countries now realize that cooperation is necessary in approaching global and regional problems. The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), the oldest preferential trade agreement in the region, helps promote economic development and the adoption of mutually beneficial trade measures. This book gives an overview of the APTA and outlines potential benefits and challenges for members new to the APTA. The book details a possible road map for APTA and suggests that APTA move from the conventional preferential agreement to a comprehensive economic integration agreement by converting to FTAs in goods, services, investment, trade facilitation and non-tariff measures.

Author: Joong-Wan Cho and Rajan Sudesh Ratna (editors)
Year: 2017
Download - 11.5 MB
Tags:  Asia-Pacific Trade AgreementBangladeshIndiaSri LankaRegional IntegrationSustainabilityUNESCAP

 


Renewable Energy Sector in Emerging Asia: Development and Policies (TIID Working Paper No. 1/2017)

Rapid economic growth in emerging Asia has led to a critical increase of greenhouse gas emissions. Transitioning to renewable energy sources would help reduce emissions. However, massive investment is needed to make that transition. According to this paper, targeted policy interventions are needed to facilitate trade and investment in the renewable energy sector and create “green jobs” in the low-carbon and resource-efficient sectors.

Author: Masato Abe, Candice Lea Marie Branchoux, Jaewon Kim
Year: 2017
Download - 664 KB
Tags:  BangladeshEnergyGovernanceHydropowerEmploymentIndiaMyanmarSustainabilityUNESCAP

 


Meeting Asia's Infrastructure Needs

This report estimates infrastructure investment needs in Asia and the Pacific for 2016-2030, updating the Asian Development Bank's assessment for 2010-2020 published in 2009. The report places developing Asia's investment needs at $26 trillion to maintain its growth momentum, eradicate poverty, and respond to climate change. While developing Asia's infrastructure, including its transport network and electricity generation capacity, has improved significantly over the years, it remains far from adequate – lack of reliable power supply continues to constrain economic growth and traffic congestion results in lost productivity, wasted fuel, and human stress. The report recommends $14.7 trillion investment for power and $8.4 trillion for transport. South Asia requires investments valued at 8.8% of gross domestic product.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2017
Download - 3.11 MB
Tags:  AsiaSouth AsiaEnergyTransportBangladeshBhutanADBIndiaMaldivesMyanmarSri LankaNepal

 


Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2017-2021

The Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2017-2021 of the Nepal Department of Customs (DOC) aims to serve as a blueprint of Customs reform for the next four years, with a vision to support Nepal's initiatives toward economic and social prosperity. With Nepal seeing continuous increase of cross-border trade over the last decades, this Plan is being implemented to align Nepal toward international standards. It outlines the DOC's vision, mission, guiding principles, as well as strategies, such as expediting legitimate trade facilitation and enhancing Customs automation and data management, to create a conducive environment for seamless movement of cargo traffic to and from the borders, and help in lowering transaction costs through greater transport facilitation.

Author: Nepal Department of Customs
Year: 2017
Download - 4.31 MB
Tags:  CustomsCustoms ValuationNepalTrade FacilitationImportExportTradeRevised Kyoto Convention

 


Time Release Study: Mechi and Biratnagar Customs 2017

Time Release Study is a special tool developed by the World Customs Organization to measure effectiveness of operational procedures carried out by Customs, other regulatory agencies and private sector stakeholders in the standard processing of imports, exports, cross border and transit movements. A key activity identified in Nepal's Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2013-2017, it identifies the average time taken for clearance of consignments from entry to exit in the Customs area, enabling possible corrective measures to improve performance. This Study was undertaken to support trade facilitation measures being introduced by the Nepal Department of Customs to reduce bottlenecks to faster Customs clearance, and promote seamless movement of cargo traffic to and from the Country.

Author: Nepal Department of Customs TRS Working Group
Year: 2017
Download - 3.24 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTime Release StudyImportExportTradeNepalWCO

 


Changing Patterns of Trade and Global Value Chains in Postcrisis Asia

This Asian Development Bank brief examines how patterns of trade and global value chains (GVCs) in developing Asia have changed since the global financial crisis. The paper reports that export slowdown in the region was caused by a combination of weak import demand for Asian goods in advanced economy markets, structural transformation and reduced import demand in the People’s Republic of China, and possible impact of increasing non-tariff measures. According to this paper, it further states that much of the weak import demand is likely to be temporary — developing Asia gained a 1.5% increase in exports in 2016, after a 0.8% decline in 2015. Among South Asian economies, India and Sri Lanka are expected to have better export volume growth in 2016.

Author: Ganeshan Wignaraja, Juzhong Zhuang, Mahinthan J. Mariasingham, and Madeline Dumaua-Cabauatan
Year: 2017
Download - 1.39 MB
Tags:  Global Value ChainsImportExportIndiaSri LankaNon-Tariff MeasuresTrade Facilitation

 


Time, Uncertainty, and Trade Flows

This paper assesses the impact of international transit time and time-related uncertainty on bilateral trade, including their impact on trade costs. It concludes that international transit time matters primarily for South-South trade, while uncertainty is more important for North-North trade. Both factors are confirmed to be statistically and economically significant determinants of bilateral trade, including global value chains, and strengthens the ground on the emerging policy emphasis to address the overall costs faced by supply chain operators, including costs linked to uncertainty.

Author: Jose Anson, Jean-Francois Arvis, Mauro Boffa, Matthias Helble, and Benjamin Shepherd
Year: 2017
Download - 1.76 MB
Tags:  TradeTrade FacilitationTransportSouth-South Trade

 


Accumulating Trade Costs and Competitiveness in Global Value Chains

This paper examines the implications of trade costs, including applied tariffs, transportation and insurance costs, on competitiveness at industry, national and global levels, and identifies where trade facilitation investment would have the highest social returns from the perspective of global value chains (GVCs). With trade costs amplified along GVCs, profitability of individual business operations are affected by incurred transaction expenses. The authors conclude that direct benefits of trade facilitation will be higher for countries that are not yet well integrated into international trade, but key traders who are at the core of GVCs also stand to gain much.

Author: Antonia Diakantoni, Hubert Escaith, Michael Roberts and Thomas Verbeet
Year: 2017
Download - 2.40 MB
Tags:  TradeTariffTransportTrade FacilitationGlobal Value Chains

 


South Asia’s Turn: Policies to Boost Competitiveness and Create the Next Export Powerhouse

Will South Asia become the next global factory? By 2030 more than a quarter of the world’s working adults will live in South Asia. As the work force ages and labor costs rise in China and other East Asian countries, many eyes turn to South Asia. According to this report, to realize the region’s potential, countries in South Asia should increase regional and global integration, take advantage of agglomeration economies, strengthen firm capabilities, and improve the business environment.

Author: Gladys Lopez‐Acevedo, Denis Medvedev, and Vincent Palmade
Year: 2017
Download - 11.4 MB
Tags:  BangladeshIndiaRegional IntegrationSouth AsiaTradeWB

 


Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All

Governments including that of India have relied on Doing Business to provide insights into good practices worldwide. Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All presents quantitative indicators on business regulations that can be compared across 190 economies. It shows how South Asia can work to improve certain areas, including removing restrictions on women’s right to work. It also shows how South Asia has been the most successful region in terms of trading across borders. Bhutan, with a global ranking of 73, ranks highest among South Asian countries.

Author: World Bank Group
Year: 2017
Download - 9.5 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationEase of Doing BusinessTransport

 


Paperless Trade in Regional Trade Agreements

This working paper provides a comprehensive list of paperless trade measures in regional trade agreements, which have become more extensive, covering increasingly specific areas including certificate of origins and sanitary and phytosanitary certificates. It also confirms that the number of paperless trade measures have doubled between 2005-2008 and 2013-2016 at the global level, with regional trade containing more provisions than those featured in the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement. It introduces the new United Nations Treaty and Framework Agreement on Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific, which aims to become a tool for harmonized implementation of paperless trade provisions.

Author: Yann Duval and Kong Mengjing
Year: 2016
Download - 746 KB
Tags:  Paperless TradeSanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresTrade FacilitationIndia

 


Trade Facilitation and Global Value Chains: Opportunities for Sustainable Development

This paper analyzes the relationship between global value chains (GVCs) and trade facilitation, and its contribution to sustainable development outcomes on low-income and least developed countries (LICs and LDCs). A key insight of the paper concludes that it is not fundamentally GVCs that drive the sustainable development implications of improved trade facilitation, but the resulting extension and intensification of economic activity. It underlines the importance of putting in place domestic regulatory infrastructure that considers the appropriate economic, social, and environmental dimensions to ensure that GVCs remain consistent with the global commitment to sustainable development, while expanding economic opportunities of LICs and LDCs.

Author: Ben Shepherd
Year: 2016
Download - 1.59 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTradeGlobal Value ChainsSustainabilitySustainable DevelopmentLeast Developed CountriesLDC

 


Global Enabling Trade Report 2016

The Global Enabling Trade Report has been created to provide insight into trade policy and practice. It includes the Enabling Trade Index (ETI), which assesses the extent to which economies have in place institutions, policies, infrastructures and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to their destination. This edition highlights that while an increasingly globalized trading system has been lifting millions out of poverty, trade barriers and costs are still preventing millions of people around the world from engaging in international trade. It reports that all South Asian economies have improved their ETI score over the past two years, with Bhutan as the most improved country in the region, jumping 12 places to 92, followed by India at 102, Sri Lanka at 103, Nepal at 108, Pakistan at 122, and Bangladesh at 123, yet the region remains the most closed worldwide. While South Asia has improved its access to foreign markets and adoption of ICTs, it needs to improve access to its domestic market – on average, South Asian countries impose a tariff of 16.7% on imported products – and enhance its transport infrastructure, particularly in Bhutan and Nepal.

Author: Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the World Economic Forum
Year: 2016
Download - 35.5 MB
Tags:  TradeTrade FacilitationTransportTrade PolicyWorld Economic ForumBangladeshBhutanIndiaSri LankaPakistan

 


Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016: Recent Trends and Developments

The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016 reports that the Asia-Pacific region is still the largest exporter of goods globally, with a share of 40%. Its share in commercial services trade is also on the rise, while restrictiveness of services trade has not increased. Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows is also growing at a much faster pace compared to the global average, with special economic zones being used as one of the modalities to attract FDI. India, in particular, has been attracting an increasing portion of FDI inflows, both from outside and inside the region. While economies in Asia and the Pacific continue to make progress toward trade facilitation, there are still huge gaps among subregional economies, with much needing to be done to reduce trade costs. Furthermore, efforts undertaken to reduce trade costs through trade facilitation have been partially offset by imposition of a large number of new trade distortive measures globally and regionally, with most of these new measures falling under the non-tariff category.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2016
Download - 10.5 MB
Tags:  ExportTrade FacilitationNon-Tariff MeasuresFDISouth AsiaIndiaSpecial Economic Zones

 


Research Handbook on Trade in Services

This Research Handbook explores the latest developments in services trade by drawing on insights from experts with a range of perspectives, including empirical economics, law and global political economy. The book further chronicles the rising stakes and involvement of developing countries in global services trade, notably their growing insertion in global value chains, as well as the latest advances and remaining challenges in the statistical measurement of trade in services.

Author: Pierre Sauvé and Martin Roy, editors
Year: 2016
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Tags:  ServicesTradeEconomicsTrade FacilitationTrade Policy

 


Economic Benefits from Nepal-India Electricity Trade

This report confirms Nepal and India's viable electricity export potential, and highlights how facilitating cross-border trade of electricity will benefit both countries. In Nepal, substantial economic gains can boost the economy and improve the well-being of its people—in 2045 under the accelerated power trade scenario, electricity trade revenue can bring in up to $9.8 billion. In India, gains from cross-border trade centers on lower electricity system cost—hydropower imports from Nepal will allow India to forgo some investment needed to meet its capacity demand. Furthermore, hydropower will complement India's solar and wind power generation, offering an affordable and convenient renewable resource to meet its evening peak demand.

Author: South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy Integration
Year: 2016
Download - 891 KB
Tags:  EnergyTradeIndiaNepalHydropower

 


Capital Market Integration in South Asia

This book discusses the potential capital market products and activities within South Asia that stakeholders in the region could explore to help the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region further realize its potential. Conventional investment, such as funds, global depository receipts, as well as promising opportunities that factor the region's demographics and socioeonomics are considered in this book, with arguments aimed toward investors and institutions. The book demonstrates both retail and institutional investor interest in this combined high-growth region by offering scope for yield, diversification and risk mitigation, maximized upside from multiple growth markets, minimized downside through low-correlation constituents, and makes the case why now is an opportune time to look at SAARC.

Author: Sourajit Aiyer
Year: 2016
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Tags:  InvestmentSAARCTradeEconomic Corridor

 


Asian Economic Integration Report 2016: What Drives Foreign Direct Investment in Asia and the Pacific?

The 2016 Asian Economic Integration Report reviews regional economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific, amidst the rising global uncertainty following the United Kingdom’s referendum on leaving the European Union and the U.S. election, slower-than-expected global economic recovery, and ongoing economic restructuring in the People’s Republic of China and growth moderation. Asia faces heightened uncertainty–trade growth decelerated in 2015, falling to 2.3% in 2015; subregional trade linkages continue to strengthen, but inter-subregional trade linkages weakened; and non-tariff measures have become major obstacles to trade. In South Asia, SASEC cooperation has improved access to key markets in smaller economies, reduced real trade costs and behind-the-border barriers to stimulate investment; and enabled cross-border power exchanges to ensure power supply affordability, reliability, and overall grid stability. However, the SASEC agenda needs to be framed within wider integration processes taking place in Asia in the next decade to enhance economic linkages, and harness the full potential of Asian integration.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 6.7 MB
Tags:  ADBASEANAsia-PacificDevelopmentFDIFree Trade AgreementsRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationSASECTrade FacilitationUNCTADBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


Competitiveness of South Asia’s Container Ports: A Comprehensive Assessment of Performance, Drivers, and Costs

As a result of inefficiencies in South Asia’s container ports, the average cost of exporting or importing a container in the region is more than double that in East Asia. Better port logistics could help increase trade, diversify exports, attract more foreign direct investment, and spur economic growth. As container traffic continues to grow in South Asia, the best way to improve port performance is by increasing productivity. This report examines the performance of the 14 largest container ports in the region, identifying key drivers of port performance and examining differences in performance across ports.

Author: Matías Herrera Dappe and Ancor Suárez-Alemán
Year: 2016
Download - 3.6 MB
Tags:  CustomsEconomic GrowthFDIInfrastructureInvestmentSouth AsiaTradeWB

 


Connecting Bangladesh: Economic Corridor Network

Economic corridors anchored on transport connectivity could significantly boost Bangladesh's economic growth. This paper presents a new set of corridors for Bangladesh – a nine-corridor comprehensive integrated multimodal economic corridor network that will enhance Bangladesh’s role as land bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia, and between South Asia and northern Asia. These proposed corridors are designed to sustain robust economic growth over the long term by improving regional connectivity, transit, and integration, alongside trade facilitation measures.

Author: Mohuiddin Alamgir
Year: 2016
Download - 2.40 MB
Tags:  Economic CorridorBangladeshSouth AsiaSoutheast AsiaConnectivityTransportTrade Facilitation

 


Leveraging Urbanization in South Asia: Managing Spatial Transformation for Prosperity and Livability

As South Asian economies improve, they have the potential to greatly improve their prosperity and livability for the people of the region by improving their state of urbanization. Messy and hidden urbanization that leads to slums and sprawls is the result of failure to address congestion constraints arising from rapid growth of urban populations. This book examines the state of South Asia's urbanization – it reviews gaps in markets and policies that have hindered its proper growth, and discusses key policy areas that must be undertaken, including improvement in housing provisions, infrastructure, and basic services.

Author: Peter Ellis and Mark Roberts
Year: 2016
Download - 5.237 MB
Tags:  Economic CorridorUrban DevelopmentGovernanceSustainabilitySouth AsiaSocial Services

 


SME Competitiveness Outlook: Meeting the Standard for Trade

Standards and regulations for goods and services are important to international trade and value chains. They ensure consumer protection, determine compatibility, and promote environmental sustainability. This SME Competitiveness Outlook focuses on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) make the most of standards and regulations to increase their competitiveness. Findings include strategies for SME managers on selecting and implementing standards and regulations, and an action plan for policymakers and trade and investment support institutions involved in aiding SMEs compete in markets where standards and regulations matter.

Author: International Trade Centre
Year: 2016
Download - 23.8 MB
Tags:  TradeSmall and Medium EnterprisesBangladeshIndiaNepalSri LankaWTOGlobal Value Chains

 


World Trade Report: Levelling the Trading Field for SMEs

Participation in international trade, once exclusive, can progressively become more inclusive. But while new opportunities are opening up for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), old barriers to international trade remain. This report highlights national and international policy actions that would enhance the ability of SMEs to participate in world markets more effectively. It says that for open trade and global integration to fully benefit everyone, it is crucial to ensure that all firms—not just large corporations—can succeed in today’s global marketplace.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2016
Download - 3.8 MB
Tags:  TradeWTOSmall and Medium EnterpriseGlobal Value Chains

 


Implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement: From Vision to Reality

Low income to upper-middle income countries stand to gain a 14.6% to 16.5% reduction in trade costs upon implementation of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). This publication looks at progression of the TFA – from conclusion of the talks at the 2013 Bali Ministerial Conference to preparations for the Agreement to take effect, as the valedictory moment of the TFA's entry into force nears. It highlights milestones, discusses the state of the ratification process, reviews implementation schedules, and examines work still to be done.

Author: Nora Neufeld
Year: 2016
Download - 566 KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationWTOLeast Developed CountriesImportExport

 


Trade Costs and Inclusive Growth: Case Studies Presented by WTO Chair-holders

These contributions from participants of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Chairs Programme—which supports trade-related activities by academic institutions in developing countries—offer insightful research on opportunities that open up for developing countries when trade costs are reduced. Analyzing the potential impact of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement implementation in various developing regions of the world, this publication offers detailed country-level analysis on benefits of trade facilitation, including export diversification, greater global value chain participation, insertion of SMEs into international trade, the attraction of more foreign direct investments, and better governance.

Author: Robert Teh, Maarten Smeets, Mustapha Sadni Jallab and Fatima Chaudhri, editors
Year: 2016
Download - 3.7 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationGlobal Value ChainsSmall and medium enterprisesFDIGovernanceWTO

 


South Asia Economic Focus, Fall 2016: Investment Reality Check

South Asia continues on a path of gradual acceleration in 2016, led by a solid India. However, amid the resilience to external headwinds, including China’s slowdown and uncertainty surrounding monetary policy in advanced economies, South Asia is starting to feel the effect of slowing remittance flows or waning oil price dividends. Against this backdrop, this World Bank publication forecasts growth for the region at 7.1% in 2016, with its medium-term performance strongly dependent on investment and export turnout. India is set to grow at 7.6% in 2016, with the same speed as in 2015, but may increase its pace again in 2017 to 7.7%. The report highlights how private investment is a key future growth driver across South Asia that could help further boost the pace of economic activity.

Author: World Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 5.52 MB
Tags:  IndiaSouth AsiaInvestmentEconomic GrowthWBExport

 


Regional Integration in South Asia: Essays in Honour of Dr. M. Rahmatullah

Building efficient transport linkages within and across countries in South Asia is crucial to development of production networks and value chains, and promotion of trade and investment. This collection of essays honors Dr. M. Rahmatullah, who championed the cause of multimodal connectivity in South Asia for seamless movement of goods across Asia, and dreamt of building an integrated South Asia through corridors and gateways to be connected with pan-Asian transport networks. A valuable resource for policymakers, academics, and practitioners working on issues of South Asian regional integration, this book looks at progress made on facilitating trade and enhancing connectivity in the region, assesses policy priorities, implementation imperatives, and emerging challenges to South Asian trade and integration, and gives recommendations on further strengthening South Asian integration.

Author: Prabir De and Mustafizur Rahmant
Year: 2016
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Tags:  TransportTradeTrade FacilitationConnectivitySouth AsiaSouth Asian Economic Union

 


Improving Energy Efficiency in South Asia

This paper examines areas where the efficiency of South Asian power systems could be significantly increased, such as the operation of thermal power plants and transmission systems. It also looks at ways to increase conservation by users through time-of-use electricity tariffs, appliance standards, and demand control through smart metering. It concludes that South Asia has a significant potential for energy efficiency improvement in the power sector, which can be realized by implementing policies and programs that can readily complement the existing institutional framework.

Author: Priyantha Wijayatunga and Tilak Siyambalapitiya
Year: 2016
Download - 564 KB
Tags:  EnergyADBSouth Asia

 


Toward New Sources of Competitiveness in Bangladesh: Key Insights of the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study

This study analyzes internal and external constraints to further integrate Bangladesh with the world economy, in order to create jobs, reduce poverty, and enhance of citizens’ welfare. It identifies policies that could consolidate the country’s strengths in existing markets and help diversify export products and markets. The study also identifies a strategy to help accelerate development of the export sector, help create jobs and spur growth in Bangladesh.

Author: Sanjay Kathuria and Mariem Mezghenni Malouche
Year: 2016
Download - 3 MB
Tags:  TradeBangladesh

 


Trade, Testing and Toasters: Conformity Assessment Procedures and the TBT Committee

Duplication, delays or discrimination in Conformity Assessment Procedures (CAPs) can significantly increase trade costs: this risk is reflected in the growing importance of CAPs in World Trade Organization (WTO) discussions, and bilateral and regional free trade agreements. The paper uses new data on government-to-government discussions of CAPs in the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and studies trade issues that WTO members encounter with CAPs, based on specific trade concerns raised during 2010-2014.

Author: Devin McDaniels and Marianna Karttunen
Year: 2016
Download - 650 KB
Tags:  Technical Barriers to TradeWTOTrade

 


Disaster Risk Financing in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is disaster-prone, with frequent severe floods and cyclones. Applying appropriate disaster risk financing is key to minimizing economic impacts from disasters, and sustaining the country’s development. This paper analyzes economic losses in Bangladesh caused by natural disasters from 2000 to 2013 and the funding gap, due in part to insufficient financial preparedness in disaster risk management.

Author: Mayumi Ozaki
Year: 2016
Download - 879 KB
Tags:  ADBBangladeshSouth Asia

 


Asia-Europe Connectivity Vision 2025: Challenges and Opportunities

The 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit held in Mongolia in 2016 saw ASEM member countries renew their commitments for deepened engagement between Asia and Europe. This report on the Summit provides ideas for an ASEM roadmap for connectivity, recognizing the need for sustainability and scalability. The report draws lessons from efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to bring together peoples, goods, services, and capital. ASEM, an intergovernmental forum for dialogue and cooperation, comprises 53 member countries, including India and Bangladesh.

Author: Anita Prakash, editor
Year: 2016
Download - 6.9 MB
Tags:  ASEANIndiaBangladeshConnectivity

 


Improving Financial Inclusion in Asia and the Pacific: Constraints, Applicability, and Lessons from Digital Financial Services

The paper presents the challenge of understanding new consumer risks that arise from using digital financial services (DFS) and how financial consumer protection frameworks can be strengthened to address these risks. It includes a look at Bangladesh and India regarding their approach to financial consumer protection and DFS. Case studies highlight a common trend across countries—financial consumer protection frameworks are being viewed as one component of broader national financial inclusion strategies.

Author: ADB
Year: 2016
Download - 689 KB
Tags:  ADBTradeBangladeshIndia

 


Reducing Trade Costs in LDCs: The Role of Aid for Trade

This report analyzes the role of Aid for Trade in reducing trade costs in least developed countries (LDCs), where trade costs are high and constitute a major impediment to the countries' participation in international trade. The most important sources of trade costs in LDCs are inadequate transport infrastructure, cumbersome border procedures, and compliance with non-tariff measures for merchandise exports. The study covers countries from around the world, including trade facilitation and trade restrictions in Nepal, Bhutan, India, and other Asian countries.

Author: Rainer Lanz, Michael Roberts, Sainabou Taal
Year: 2016
Download - 791 KB
Tags:  TradeTrade Facilitation

 


South Asian Approach to Sustainable Development Goals: Trade Insight Vol. 12, No. 1, 2016

The paper, published by South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment, situates the challenges of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the South Asian context. Noting that the delivery of the Millennium Development Goals in the region had been quite uneven, the paper examines the potential for regional cooperation to better achieve the SDGs. The paper then tries to chart a South Asian pathway for SDGs implementation and put forward some concrete proposals for South Asian countries.

Author: Debapriya Bhattacharya and Umme Shefa Rezbana
Year: 2016
Download - 1.2 MB
Tags:  ASEANIndiaEconomic Integration

 


Celebrating the Third Decade and Beyond: New Challenges to ASEAN-India Economic Partnership

The relationship between ASEAN and India is set to deepen as ASEAN and India step up their collaboration across a range of economic and strategic issues, including trade and connectivity, culture, people-to-people links, trans-national terrorism, and maritime security. This book seeks to review the past and suggest ways to further strengthen economic partnership between ASEAN countries and India. It primarily deals with the economic integration issues between ASEAN and India, and assesses policy priorities, effectiveness, implementation imperatives and challenges. The book tries to capture essential features of cross-cutting issues and attempts to draw policy implications.

Author: KW Publishers
Year: 2016
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Tags:  ASEANIndiaConnectivity

 


SARSO News: Vol. 2 No. 3

The South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) newsletter features updates on SARSO events and activities. This issue highlights SARSO efforts to strengthen international relations, through its participation in the 39th International Organization for Standardization (ISO) meeting in Beijing, China, and related activities. The issue also features a meeting with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), where ADB briefed SARSO on the progress of diagnostic studies in South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) member countries.

Author: South Asian Regional Standards Organization
Year: 2016
Download - 2.4 MB
Tags:  SARSOADBSASEC

 


South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Operational Plan 2016-2025

The SASEC Operational Plan 2016–2025 embodies the strategic objectives and operational priorities of the SASEC Program for the next decade. It expands the SASEC Program's focus beyond intraregional cooperation to developing links with Southeast and East Asia, thus widening the scope of transport, trade facilitation, and energy cooperation. Economic and industrial corridor development, which will arise from improved connectivity, has been introduced as a priority initiative. SASEC 2025 is supported by a list of potential projects to be implemented in the subregion during 2016-2025, that will advance the SASEC goals of multi-modal connectivity, energy security and the growth of regional energy markets, and increased intra- and inter-regional trade.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 1.7 MB
Tags:  SASECADBTrade FacilitationEconomic CorridorTransportMyanmar

 


The Little Data Book 2016

The Little Data Book 2016 offers a quick reference of World Development Indicators 2016, presenting the latest available data for World Bank member countries and other economies in 214 tables. Regional and income group aggregates are also covered in the 12 summary tables, including South Asia. The book includes selected indicators used to monitor progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.

Author: World Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 2.1 MB
Tags:  SustainabilitySouth AsiaEconomic Growth

 


Improving Regulatory Environment for a Regional Power Market in South Asia

Countries in South Asia continue to experience poor access to energy, energy shortages, and concerns for energy security. Bilateral energy trading, with its limited scope, leaves untapped the vast economic, reliability, and environmental benefits of energy cooperation in the region. Improving access to modern energy sources through regional cooperation contributes toward economic growth, and better and more sustainable living conditions in South Asia. Regional energy cooperation supports the development of regional primary energy sources to generate electricity, cross-border transmission infrastructure, and a regional framework that will coordinate energy resource development and trade of electricity across the region. However, this will only be possible with appropriate policies and harmonized legal and regulatory frameworks in all necessary systems. Experience across the world indicates that such legal and regulatory changes can be accomplished successfully.

Author: Anoop Singh, Priyantha Wijayatunga, and P. N. Fernando
Year: 2016
Download - 574 KB
Tags:  EnergyRegional CooperationSouth Asia

 


ICC Recommendations on Authorized Economic Operators

The World Customs Organization (WCO) developed the WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE), of which the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program is an integral part, referring to manufacturers, importers, exporters, brokers, carriers, consolidators, intermediaries, ports, airports, terminal operators, integrated operators, warehouses, distributors, and others that have been approved by or on behalf of a national Customs administration as complying with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards. AEO accreditation provides several benefits, including immediate release procedures self-assessment, and relief from guarantee/bond requirements. With AEO programs globally on the rise, the International Chamber of Commerce has put together several recommendations for successful AEO programs that lead to tangible benefits and process improvements for companies of all sizes and sectors, without limiting opportunities for non-AEO traders.

Author: ICC Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation
Year: 2016
Download - 400 KB
Tags:  CustomsTrade FacilitationWCO

 


Removing Obstacles to Low Value Consignments (Trade Insights: Issue No. 18)

Diffusion of digital technology and digitalization of products and services are allowing developing country small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)—which generate the majority of employment, especially in landlocked developing countries such as Nepal—to become globally competitive and participate in international trade. However, several barriers continue to hinder developing country SMEs to maximize benefits of cross-border digital trade. This publication recommends critical actions, including raising de-minimis thresholds; reducing Customs document requirements; developing low-cost and efficient transportation, delivery services, telecommunications and broadband networks; and establishing a legal framework that enhances conduct of online transactions. Additionally, neighbors in the region must coordinate and work together to build the required infrastructure, and to allow for mutual recognition or harmonization of systems, procedures, enforcement mechanisms and laws affecting digital trade.

Author: Pascale Bourquin and Adam Heal
Year: 2016
Download - 3.91 MB
Tags:  Small and Medium EnterpriseNepalICTCustomsTrade Facilitation

 


SARSO News Volume 2, Issue 2

The South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) newsletter features updates on SARSO events and activities. This issue highlights initiatives by SARSO to harmonize standards and improve conformity assessment in the region through workshops, and also meetings of its sectoral technical committees. It also discusses the Cooperation Agreement signed by SARSO and the International Organization for Standardization, to help facilitate the flow of goods and services, and participation of SARSO in a meeting organized by the private sector on 'Promoting Trade in Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal' region.

Author: South Asian Regional Standards Organization
Year: 2016
Download - 2.56 MB
Tags:  StandardsTrade FacilitationSAARCBBINSouth Asia

 


Regional Organizations Cooperation Mechanism for Trade Facilitation (ROC-TF) Newsletter: Issue X, August 2016

This issue highlights the framework agreement on cross-border paperless trade facilitation adopted by the United Nations Regional Commission for Asia-Pacific, which will facilitate the exchange of electronic trade data and documents between participating United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) member states, and the 2016 Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade forum. The latterencourages the private sector to mobilize expertise in support of trade facilitation reforms to develop effective trade facilitation solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. The Newsletter also features SASEC-supported initiatives, including the launch of the new Maldives Customs Service training module on Customs valuation, as well as data collection for establishing the Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring baseline in Bhutan. The ROC-TF newsletter is a biannual publication featuring updates, publications and forthcoming activities of regional and international organizations working on trade facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Asian Development Bank, the World Customs Organization, and UNESCAP.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2016
Download - 1.42 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationICTMaldivesCustomsSASECCustoms ValuationBhutan

 


World Trade Statistical Review 2016

The World Trade Statistical Review is the World Trade Organization's latest flagship publication offering a detailed analysis of the latest developments on global trade in goods and services—including developments in trade policy and participation of developing economies and least developed countries—examined through analytical chapters, complemented by over 50 tables. The publication reports that in 2015, developing Asia represented 67% of developing economies’ exports. In merchandise trade, India ranked 9th among the world's top exporter of agricultural products, and continues to be one of the top 3 textile exporters, which accounts for nearly 2/3s of world exports. A 25% decline in LDC exports was reported, due to the negative impact of the drop in fuel prices and mining products. LDC participation in global exports of commercial services also remained negligible at 0.8%. In trade policy making, the publication reported that WTO members introduced 132 measures to facilitate trade, yet applied 154 new trade-restrictive measures during the period between mid-October 2015 and mid-May 2016.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2016
Download - 7.34 MB
Tags:  TradeExportIndiaLeast Developed Countries

 


Connecting to Compete

Connecting to Compete scores and benchmarks countries’ performance on logistics, which is determined by various factors including infrastructure, regulations, policies, geography, and political economy. In the 2016 Logistics Performance Index (LPI), which measures the efficiency of international supply chains, the “logistics gap” between more and less developed countries remain evident. Among SASEC member countries, India is a top performing lower-middle-income economy, improving its rank from 54 in 2014 to 35 in 2016. Bangladesh is ranked 87, Maldives is ranked 104, Nepal is ranked 124, and Bhutan is ranked 135. The publication remarks that coastal countries score better than landlocked countries—a pattern clearly evident in South Asia—and notes that lack of integration in the region keeps the good logistics performance of India from improving the rankings of its neighbors. For countries at the bottom of the rankings, border management reforms continue to be a serious concern, as paperwork and long delays constrain trade efficiency.

Author: Jean-François Arvis, Daniel Saslavsky, Lauri Ojala, Ben Shepherd, Christina Busch, Anasuya Raj, and Tapio Naula
Year: 2016
Download - 2.32 MB
Tags:  LogisticsBusiness EfficiencyTrade Facilitation

 


Summary of Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors

This publication provides a summary of the proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors, held in Frankfurt, Germany from 2-5 May 2016. It also includes statements from the Governors of ADB member countries, including SASEC countries. In his address, Mr. Abul Maal Muhith, Governor, Bangladesh, called for further acceleration of ADB's regional cooperation and integration strategy, which could play a critical role in accelerating economic growth, reducing poverty and economic disparity, and raising productivity and employment and environmental sustainability in Bangladesh, and lauded ADB's support in the signing of the landmark Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement (BBIN MVA). Mr. Arun Jaitley, Governor, India, highlighted India's strong and renewed commitment to regional cooperation in South Asia, which was demonstrated with the signing of the BBIN MVA and ongoing negotiations for the India-Myanmar-Thailand Highway. He also emphasized partnership between ADB and India in the development of the East Coast Economic Corridor, with initial focus on the ‘Vizag Chennai Industrial Corridor’, which will play a major role in connecting India to global production networks and value chains in the ASEAN region.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 2.09 MB
Tags:  ADBBangladeshIndiaRegional CooperationPoverty Reduction

 


Asian Development Outlook 2016 Supplement: Asia's Growth Prospects Undimmed by Brexit Vote

Recent global developments have prompted revisions to developing Asia's 2016 and 2017 growth outlook, as published in March in Asian Development Outlook 2016 (ADO 2016). Uncertainty following the British vote to leave the European Union chilled already tepid recovery in the euro area. While developments have affected developing Asia’s currency and stock markets, its impact on the real economy in the short term is expected to be small. This Supplement expects the region to expand by 5.6% in 2016 and 5.7% in 2017. India has shrugged off global headwinds and is expected to grow by 7.4% in 2016 and 7.8% next year. South Asia as a whole will be the region’s fastest growing subregion.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 485 KB
Tags:  ADBSouth AsiaDevelopment

 


The Little Green Data Book 2016

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) put environmental concerns on par with economic and social ones. The environment cuts across all the SDGs and is directly reflected in at least seven goals. The 2016 Little Green Data Book provides 50 indicators for 200 countries. Several indicators have the potential to measure progress on the SDGs as well as highlight important trends in the environment more broadly. The indicators are part of the larger World Development Indicators compiled annually by the World Bank from many different data sources.

Author: World Bank Group
Year: 2016
Download - 1.5 MB
Tags:  EnergyEnvironmentSouth AsiaWB

 


Cleantech Start-ups Can Solve Climate Change

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), through its Climate Technology Finance Center, seeks to accelerate clean technology entrepreneurship and investment in Asia by supporting programs that aim to produce investable clean technology, risk capital for clean technology, technological knowledge, and a stronger clean technology ecosystem. This brochure gives a brief background on how ADB works with start-ups across Asia to promote more efficient management of energy and natural resources.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 244 KB
Tags:  ICTEnergyEnvironmentIndia

 


ASEAN-India Air Connectivity Report

Air connectivity plays an important component in India’s connectivity agenda with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This ASEAN-India Air Connectivity Report addresses issues and challenges concerning air connectivity between India and ASEAN, including constraints and bottlenecks hindering growth of air cargo that would help unlock trade potential. With India embarking on “Make in India” and “Skill India” policies, stronger air connectivity has become all the more important in the context of India’s drive for economic integration with its neighbors in the east.

Author: ASEAN-India Centre and Research and Information Centre for Developing Countries
Year: 2016
Download - 5.43 MB
Tags:  TransportASEANIndiaManufacturing

 


STDF: Enhancing SPS Capacity, Delivering Results - Annual Report 2015

In 2015, Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) worked to help developing countries gain market access through effective implementation of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. This report not only gives an update on STDF’s SPS capacity-building efforts, it also compiles valuable knowledge on good practices on those efforts. In addition, the report talks about lessons STDF has learned from its partnerships, leveraging external funding, and the conduct of its projects.

Author: Standards and Trade Development Facility
Year: 2016
Download - 868 KB
Tags:  Sanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresTradeStandardsTrade Facilitation

 


Envisioning Nepal 2030

Nepal's National Planning Commission has undertaken the initiative to develop Nepal’s long term Development Strategy 2030 by engaging with international development experts, development partners, policy makers, and representatives of civil society organizations in the international seminar 'Envisioning Nepal 2030'. With the aim of serving as a guideline for Nepal’s graduation from Least Developed Country status by 2022, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the post-Millennium Development Goals era, and become a middle-income country by 2030, the seminar identified challenges and opportunities, and discussed how a fast-paced and sustainable inclusive growth could be achieved. In his opening remarks, Asian Development Bank Vice President Wencai Zhang, underscored the importance for Nepal to strategically position itself within a broader regional cooperation to transform itself from a landlocked into a landlinked country.

Author: Nepal National Planning Commission
Year: 2016
Download - 6.74 MB
Tags:  NepalHydropowerEnergyRegional Cooperation

 


Nepal Investment Guide 2016

Nepal Investment Guide 2016 was published to provide information about investment opportunities in Nepal and the process of doing business. It identifies potential sectors for investment; relevant government agencies for foreign businesses; existing laws on labor, taxation, and imports and exports; special economic zones; and comparative benefits to investors.

Author: Nepal Office of the Investment Board
Year: 2016
Download - 7.97 MB
Tags:  NepalImportExportInvestment

 


Thirty Years of SAARC: Society, Culture and Development

This book traces economic and political issues through SAARC’s 30-year journey. The collection provides a well-researched assessment of SAARC, looks at policy directives for the future, and examines constraints to cooperation in South Asia. The publication argues that countries need to consider the benefits of economic cooperation if they wish to play an increased role in globalization.

Author: Rajiv Kumar and Omita Goyal, editors
Year: 2016
Download - 887 KB
Tags:  SAARCRegional CooperationDevelopment

 


Towards a Sustainable Future: Energy Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific

Despite the benefits of energy connectivity, energy trade in Asia and the Pacific has remained far below its potential. This publication takes a detailed and engaging look at how smart region-wide energy connectivity could greatly improve energy supply and address the environmental impacts of energy. It maps existing energy connectivity in the region, examines ongoing initiatives, and suggests regional action plans that could lead Asia and the rest of the world to a sustainable future.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2016
Download - 7.15 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificEnergyEnvironmentSustainabilityConnectivityUNESCAP

 


Facilitating Trade between India and Sri Lanka

India and Sri Lanka have duty-free access to each other’s markets through the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement. Yet in recent years, traders from both countries have rarely utilized the agreement. This study aims to identify ways to improve importing and exporting under the agreement. It examines key issues and how to address them through the education of traders and Customs officials on goods eligible for concessions, facilitating testing and certification, streamlining Customs procedures, and establishing help desks. The study also offers recommendations in the areas of trade facilitation that may be incorporated in future negotiated agreements.

Author: Suwendrani Jayaratne and Janaka Wijayasiri
Year: 2016
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Tags:  Sri LankaIndiaExportsTradeCustoms

 


ADB 2015 Development Effectiveness Review

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is committed to implementing reforms to reach its goals to be a bigger, faster, and stronger development institution. The 2015 Development Effectiveness Review is the annual performance report of the ADB. It tracks development progress in Asia and the Pacific and monitors ADB's effectiveness. The report also takes a look at rapid gains made by ADB developing member countries and examines the challenges that lie ahead. Planned reforms laid out in the book include those that tackle sustainability issues internally and in developing member countries.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 3,5 MB
Tags:  DevelopmentAsia-PacificPoverty ReductionADB

 


Hydropower @ Crossroads

India has significant hydropower potential and can meet a demand of around 85 gigawatts, at 60% load factor. Increasing the country’s hydropower capacity could reduce generation costs and benefit both communities and industry. Hydropower also has the advantage of contributing very little to carbon emissions. However, only 41 gigawatts of hydropower capacity has been installed, accounting for only 28% of the total potential. Hydropower can play a crucial role in India’s sustainable development and energy needs given that it meets the criteria of sustainability, availability, reliability, and affordability. This publication provides recommendations that could be of use to policymakers and other interested parties. The book lays out the status of hydroelectric power in India and analyzes opportunities to increasing capacity. It provides recommendations with regard to market development, safeguard issues, financing, land acquisition, technical challenges, hydropower planning, and enabling infrastructure.

Author: The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India and PricewaterhouseCoopers
Year: 2016
Download - 5.2 MB
Tags:  HydropowerEnergyIndia

 


Scaling New Heights: Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor, India’s First Coastal Corridor

This book provides policymakers with a guide to understanding India’s economic corridor development strategy by examining its first coastal economic corridor, the East Coast Economic Corridor. It lays out the plan for its first phase, the Vizag–Chennai Industrial Corridor, which can help unify the country's domestic market, integrate its economy with Asia's global value chains, and support the 'Make in India' initiative to spur manufacturing through construction of world-class infrastructure supported by a major transport network, connecting urban clusters complemented by vibrant industrial zones, and encouraging a favorable and competitive environment for businesses to thrive, and facilitating efficient movement of goods and people. As a policy instrument and development strategy, economic corridors can help fast-track inclusive and sustainable economic growth, stimulate rapid industrialization and increase productivity, promote investments, and expand regional connectivity.

Author: Sabyasachi Mitra, Rana Hasan, Manoj Sharma, Hoe Yun Jeong, Manish Sharma, and Arindam Guha
Year: 2016
Download - 4.97 MB
Tags:  Economic CorridorIndiaTrade FacilitationTransportEmployment

 


Together We Deliver 2015: Partnerships against Poverty

This book gathers 14 stories from across Asia and the Pacific that highlight successful projects demonstrating development impact, best practices, and innovation. It includes stories from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka that illustrate how the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its partners, with their combined expertise, problem-solving abilities, and finances lift people’s living standards and solve a variety of pressing development problems. In India, Mumbai’s new Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is a shining example of how public–private partnerships can help solve the country's infrastructure deficit, increasing efficiency in cargo and passenger handling and saving on energy costs. In Bangladesh, partnership between ADB and nongovernment organizations is bringing health care to the urban poor. In Nepal, a Skills for Employment project is helping those caught in poverty improve their job prospects. In Sri Lanka, ADB and its development partners helped provide a fresh start through electricity, education, health services, and water sanitation.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 4.92 MB
Tags:  Public Private PartnershipsTransportWater SanitationEmploymentPoverty Reduction

 


ADB Annual Report 2015

The Asian Development Bank's (ADB) 2015 Annual Report provides a complete picture of ADB’s performance in the reporting year. In 2015, South Asia became the fastest-growing regional economy in Asia and the Pacific, and ADB's assistance to the region approached $3.80 billion in combined loans and grants for 22 projects and $37.26 million in grants for technical assistance. Through the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program, ADB also continued to drive tighter integration in the region, enhancing cooperation and boosting connectivity with initiatives including helping finalize the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal and India-Myanmar-Thailand Motor Vehicle Agreements, Bangladesh-India power grid upgradation, preparation of high-priority transport projects in Bangladesh, and analytical studies for India's East Coast Economic Corridor.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 4.66 MB
Tags:  ADBSASECBBINEnergyTransport

 


Trade Performance of Asian Landlocked Developing Economies: State of Play and the Way Forward

Many landlocked countries remain among the world's poorest nations, despite huge political, economic and technological gains over the last two centuries. Their lack of access to coast and sea ports burden them with higher trade costs, constraining their socio-economic development prospects. This paper examines the trade performance of Asian land-locked developing countries (LLDCs), including their export performance and export diversification, and attempts to identify factors affecting their performance, such as cost of trade and trade facilitation measures, which inhibit their integration into global and regional economies. Among LLDCs in South Asia, Bhutan incurs some of the highest trade costs and Nepal faces high cost in transport services. The paper finds persistent challenges to the growth of Asian LLDCs--trade barriers and trade restrictions, lack of infrastructure and poor trade facilitation performance-- and recommends reforms that could mitigate these continuing economic challenges.

Author: Witada Anukoonwattaka and Aman Saggu
Year: 2016
Download - 835 KB
Tags:  Landlocked Developing CountriesExportsTradeUNESCAP

 


Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2016

The 2016 edition of UNESCAP’s Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific encourages the region to rethink its development strategy. As 2016 marks the beginning of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development, the period is also characterized by an outlook clouded by uncertainty, with growth expected to plateau at about 5% in 2016 and 2017. Exports bound for developed economies continue to move sluggishly and domestic demand remain moderate. Thus, to bolster economic growth, the Survey recommends adopting a development model that raises domestic and regional demand. Along with active labor market policies and greater social protection, regional economic cooperation and integration--in areas covering capital markets, intraregional trade, infrastructure development, and energy and information and communications technology (ICT) connectivity--can be an important avenue for boosting domestic and regional demand.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2016
Download - 4.07 MB
Tags:  Economic GrowthRegional CooperationICTEnergy

 


Asian Development Outlook 2016: Asia’s Potential Growth

The Asian Development Outlook 2016 forecasts 5.7% growth for developing Asia in 2016 and 2017. It projects that South Asia will post the most rapid growth in developing Asia, with growth in the subregion accelerating to 7% in 2015, and will accelerate further to 7.3% in 2017 after a slight dip to 6.9% in 2016. India's growth is expected to undergo a slight slowdown to 7.4% in 2016 as exports decline and both public and private investment slows, but rebound to 7.8% in 2017 as the business environment improves, and exports and investment recover. Bangladesh will also see continued moderate growth, resulting from sustained progress toward macroeconomic and structural reform.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 2016
Tags:  AsiaIndiaBangladeshEconomic GrowthDevelopmentADB

 


Making the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Work for SMEs

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) comprise 95% of enterprises worldwide and provides at least two thirds of private sector employment. However, when it comes to international trade, SMEs experience limited capacity in dealing with the complex administrative and regulatory procedures associated with moving and selling goods across borders. This book fills a gap by providing a reference for articles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that are particularly beneficial to SMEs, and identifies examples of SME-specific programs, measures and interventions that can support the implementation of such provisions. It proposes mainstreaming relevant elements of the WTO TFA in existing SME policies and initiatives, to ensure that it contributes toward internationalization of SMEs.

Author: UNESCAP, UNNExT, and ITC
Year: 2016
Download - 1.24 MB
Tags:  Small and Medium EnterpriseTrade FacilitationTradeUNESCAPSmall and Medium EnterprisesIndiaNepal

 


Modernizing Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures to Expand Trade and Ensure Food Safety

Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures are important to ensure food safety standards and prevent diseases and pests in plants and animals. With agricultural products making up a substantial portion of the CAREC countries’ imports and exports, SPS measures can be a barrier to trade growth. This report focuses on the learning opportunity workshop held in Mongolia, and highlights insights shared by experts Latvia and Lithuania on the modernization of SPS measures and the impact of SPS modernization on trade.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 5.01 MB
Tags:  Sanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresNon-Tariff MeasuresTradeTrade FacilitationADB

 


Information and Communication Technologies for Trade and Transport Facilitation

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provides efficiencies that can deliver many advantages for trade and transport facilitation (TTF) including Single Windows, automated business processes, digitalization of procedures, simpler interaction and transmission of data, and faster decision-making abilities. This paper looks at the business needs of TTF and explains the requirements of an architectural model to support TTF, with policy makers in mind. It highlights the need to integrate and modernize ICT systems and architecture so that ICT can respond to the needs of trade and transport facilitation.

Author: UNESCAP and UNNExT
Year: 2016
Download - 1.83 MB
Tags:  ICTTrade FacilitationTransport FacilitationSingle WindowUNESCAP

 


Innovation Networks and the New Asian Regionalism

Asian development and the strengthening of regional cooperation and integration (RCI) worldwide will experience the effects of growing structural reform issues, such as slowing productivity growth, increasing economic inequalities and systemic vulnerabilities. Hence, future RCI policies will need to complement domestic policy reform. This book examines factors that drive the regional economic integration of nations, and explains how beneficial integration can generate broad-based, equitable wealth in Asia.

Author: Hans-Peter Brunner
Year: 2016
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Tags:  Regional IntegrationRegional CooperationEconomic Integration

 


Double Trouble? Meeting the Export Target for Asia-Pacific Least Developed Countries in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Trade Insights: Issue No. 15)

This paper evaluates the prospects of least developed countries (LDCs) in Asia-Pacific in meeting the target set for LDCs to double their share of global exports by 2020, in Goal 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The paper notes that most Asia-Pacific LDCs have reported strong GDP growth turnout in recent years and are expected to grow by an average of 5.8% in 2016; difficulties faced by individual LDCs vary – Nepal, as an example, would need expansion at the average rate of 19% per year; LDCs can use national SDG strategies and go for longer-term goals—beyond the goals of export expansion—such as aiming to reach targets on trade cost reductions and trade facilitation.

Author: Adam Heal, Miso Kim, Juliette Perche, Rajan Sudesh Ratna, and Pakkaporn Visetsilpanon
Year: 2016
Download - 619 KB
Tags:  Least Developed CountriesExportsTrade FacilitationTradeUNESCAP

 


Connecting Asia: Infrastructure for Integrating South and Southeast Asia

This book contains background papers prepared for the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank Institute joint study, 'Connecting South Asia and Southeast Asia.' It emphasizes the potential contribution to growth that greater connectivity—through better transport and energy infrastructure and improved soft infrastructure, including trade facilitation—between South Asia and Southeast Asia can foster. With benefits including greater participation in global supply chains for South Asia; lower trade costs; and increase in inter- and intraregional trade, the book underscores that, at a juncture where closer regional integration can secure sustainable and inclusive growth for economies in the two regions, specific policies should be examined and considered to enable both regions to maximize gains from greater integration.

Author: Michael G. Plummer, Peter J. Morgan, Ganeshan Wignaraja, eds.
Year: 2016
Download - 4.52 MB
Tags:  South AsiaSoutheast AsiaTrade FacilitationTransportEnergyADBEconomic CorridorBangladeshIndiaSri Lanka

 


Regional Organizations Cooperation Mechanism for Trade Facilitation, Issue IX, January 2016

This biannual publication features updates, publications and forthcoming activities of regional and international organizations working on trade facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Customs Organization (WCO), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. It includes highlights of the Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2015 and the Train-the-Trainer Workshops on Customs Valuation through Post Clearance Audit being jointly implemented by the WCO and ADB in the 6 SASEC member countries. This issue also features an analysis on achieving seamless supply chains through implementing comprehensive and pragmatic national trade facilitation reform programs.

Author: UNESCAP
Year: 2016
Download - 1.57 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationAsia-PacificWCOADBUNESCAPCustoms ValuationNepalBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesSri Lanka

 


Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015: Year-end Update

This year-end update revises economic growth in developing economies in Asia and the Pacific to 4.5% in 2015, from earlier projections of 4.9%, and updates the economic growth forecast for 2016 to 5%, from 5.2%. In most developing economies, including South and South West Asia, private consumption will lead to a slight pick-up in economic growth in 2016, amid gradual fiscal tightening and weak exports. With less robust growth compared to the years before and immediately after the global financial and economic crisis that started in 2008, the report highlights a need to tap into domestic and regional sources of demand—alternatives to dependence on external demand—including boosting investment in infrastructure, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the agricultural sector. Promotion of labor participation among the youth and the female population in South and South West Asia is also encouraged, since evidence has shown that improving their job opportunities matters for economic growth.

Author: UNESCAP
Year: 2016
Download - 2.06 MB
Tags:  Economic GrowthGenderInfrastructureUNESCAP

 


Trade in Services: The Most Dynamic Segment of International Trade

The World Trade Organization (WTO) marks its 20th anniversary with a series of brochures to assist understanding of specific WTO agreements. This publication focuses on the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which provides the legal ground rules for international trade in services, allowing WTO members the flexibility to open their markets to foreign competition to the extent of their choosing. GATS entered into force in 1995 and remains the only set of multilateral rules covering international trade in services. This brochures provides an overview of the different modes by which services are traded, commitments taken by WTO members, and developments enhancing GATS commitments and information on trade in services.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2015
Download - 1.41 MB
Tags:  ServicesTrade FacilitationEconomic GrowthWTO

 


Technical Barriers to Trade: Reducing Trade Friction from Standards and Regulations

The World Trade Organization (WTO) marks its 20th anniversary with a series of brochures to assist understanding of specific WTO agreements. This publication provides an overview of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), which aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade. It reviews how the TBT Committee, a unique multilateral forum for the discussion of standards and regulations affecting trade comprising WTO members, have created a predictable trading environment by enacting transparency provisions, and facilitated trade by encouraging WTO members to base their measures on international standards.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2015
Download - 1.02 MB
Tags:  Technical Barriers to TradeTradeTrade FacilitationWTO

 


Sri Lanka Energy Sector Development Plan For A Knowledge-Based Economy, 2015-2025

Sri Lanka has set an set an ambitious goal of 100% energy self-sufficiency by 2030. With annual total electricity demand estimated at 10,500 gigawatt hours—increasing annually by around 4-6%—and challenges including high cost of electricity, 100% dependence on imported oil for the transport sector, and need for large investments in infrastructure, this book unveils how the energy sector plans to achieve energy security in the next 10 years—envisioning a future where clean, reliable, affordable energy is made available 24/7 to the whole country. This sector development plan for a knowledge-based economy aims to provide a balance between the country's energy demand and supply, and its long-term perspective anchored on continuous economic growth, through renewable and indigenous sources of energy.

Author: Sri Lanka Ministry of Power and Energy
Year: 2015
Download - 2.27 MB
Tags:  EnergySri LankaRenewables

 


Regional Infrastructure for Trade Facilitation: Impact on Growth and Poverty Reduction - Policy Summary

This research aims to provide evidence on the effects of regional infrastructure and associated trade cost reduction on growth and poverty reduction of economic actors, including households and firms, around the border. Data shows that investment in regional integration for trade facilitation (RITF) promotes economic activity, supports activity of informal traders, and facilitates integration into global value chains and international production networks. The report highlights that new hard infrastructure benefits economic actors more when complementary regulations that allow for efficient trade logistic services are also put in place. It recommends that policymakers account for the impact of RITF on reducing constraints to connectivity in their evaluations and policy decisions.

Author: Marie-Agnes Jouanjean and Dirk Willem te Velde
Year: 2015
Download - 116 KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationGlobal Value ChainsPoverty Reduction

 


World Energy Outlook 2015

Global energy is undergoing major changes. Renewables are increasingly contributing to the the world’s power generation capacity, and coverage of mandatory energy efficiency regulation worldwide has expanded to more than a quarter of global consumption. This World Energy Outlook 2015 provides insights to policy-makers, industry and other stakeholders on the state of the energy sector today, discussing which changes are transient or cyclical, the risks and opportunities that may lie ahead, and actions that can put the energy system on a more secure and sustainable footing. It also includes a special chapter discussing India’s energy outlook, and how development in India's energy sector over the coming decades will impact the country and the global energy system as a whole.

Author: International Energy Agency
Year: 2015
Download - 2.24 MB
Tags:  EnergyIndiaRenewables

 


Sri Lanka: Building on Success

Over the years, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its many partners in Sri Lanka have worked together to realize the goal of changing the country’s status from low to middle income. With Sri Lanka moving toward becoming an upper middle-income country in a few years, challenges lie on the road ahead. This publication provides an overview of recent ADB support toward Sri Lanka's development in diverse areas including transport, energy and education, and discusses how the Government of Sri Lanka and ADB will transition their partnership to push the country to the next level of prosperity.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 4.52 MB
Tags:  Sri LankaTransportPortsDevelopmentEconomic Growth

 


Disentangling Transit Costs and Time in South Asia

Landlocked least developed countries are often hugely disadvantaged from a lack of effective transit options, which raise transportation costs and decrease their effective participation in international trade. This study examines trade barriers that impede the trade flow of Bhutan and Nepal through India's gateway ports of Haldia and Kolkata, under the overarching research theme of the impact of regional infrastructure for trade facilitation on growth and poverty reduction. It analyzes the impact of transit regulations and agreements on the cost of services required to transit goods between the ports and Bhutan or Nepal, to identify how the two landlocked countries are affected by the cost of transit services, which trade costs vary most significantly, and how firms are affected by the cost of transit services.

Author: Prabir De, editor
Year: 2015
Download - 1.33 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTransport FacilitationBhutanNepal

 


Policy Brief: A Safe Public Transportation Environment for Women and Girls

Ensuring safe public transport for women enhances inclusive growth by encouraging their participation in the public sphere, including the workforce. A range of interventions dealing with the issue of sexual harassment—which negatively impacts women's movement in public spaces, affecting their productivity—in public transportation have been adopted by governments and civil society around the world, including media campaigns, targeted mobile applications, and women-only public vehicles. This report draws on rapid assessments of sexual harassment in public transportation conducted in three countries in Asia, with recommended actions to prevent and address sexual harassment in public transportation and its related spaces, such as train platforms and bus stops.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 2.69 MB
Tags:  GenderInclusive GrowthTransport

 


Improving Trade with India: Mutual Recognition in Conformity Assessment

This study examines the current status of Sri Lankan exports to India, focusing on non-tariff barriers (NTBs) existing between India and Sri Lanka, including conformity assessment procedures applied in the two countries. Providing a comprehensive analysis of issues related to standards and regulations faced by processed food exporters from Sri Lanka to India, the study highlights how India's non-recognition of testing and certification conducted outside its borders forms a significant barrier, one that is critical to the performance of Sri Lanka's exports to India. It proposes that the most workable solution is to implement a Mutual Recognition Agreement, which will allow recognized, competent and accredited conforming assessment bodies from India and Sri Lanka to accept certificates of conformity, letting Sri Lankan exporters take advantage of duty concessions offered by the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement.

Author: Verité Research
Year: 2015
Download - 10.5 MB
Tags:  IndiaSri LankaTradeHarmonisation

 


Asian Economic Integration Report 2015: How Can Special Economic Zones Catalyze Economic Development?

The 2015 Asian Economic Integration Report reviews regional economic cooperation and integration in Asia, providing updates on recent developments affecting trade policy, including the conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership, relatively large number of proposed FTAs--with India among the major proponents, and progress of trade facilitation in Asia through the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement. Trade facilitation in developing Asia has significantly advanced over the last several decades, with a total of 48,000 kilometers of regional transport corridors along major supply chains improved. From 1992 to 2014, developing Asia together with ADB and its partners have mobilized $38.4 billion for 186 regional transport and trade facilitation investment projects under three subregional programs—including the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program. This also issue includes a special chapter highlighting how special economic zones can catalyze economic development, with the right business environment and policies in place.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 6.38 MB
Tags:  Special Economic ZonesTrade FacilitationTransport

 


South Asia Economic Journal: Supplement Issue: Papers of the Seventh South Asia Economic Summit

This special issue of the South Asia Economic Journal contains papers presented at the 7th South Asia Economic Summit. With South Asia moving toward a South Asia Economic Union (SAEU), several major challenges remain, including reduction in the sensitive list, removal of Non-Tariff Barriers, effective and faster implementation of the South Asian Agreement on Trade in Services, effective regional investment cooperation, promotion of trade facilitation measures, promotion of regional value chains, cross-border energy cooperation. The articles in this volume tackle these critical issues to develop a way forward and generate ideas on policy priorities. A paper by Mr. Nagesh Kumar, UNESCAP-SSWA, on 'Potential and Prospects of Strengthening Transport Connectivity for Regional Economic Integration in Southern Asia' also discusses how two planned extended transport corridors can only facilitate trade and draw South Asia closer to its potential to become a hub of Asia–Europe trade.

Author: Prabir De, editor
Year: 2015
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Tags:  SAARCSouth Asian Economic UnionTrade FacilitationTransport

 


ASEAN-India Development and Cooperation Report 2015

Re-engagement between India and ASEAN through increased cooperation across a range of issues, including trade and connectivity, is set to boost prosperity, competitiveness, growth and integration. With negotiations underway to establish a comprehensive free trade area through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, economic integration between India and Southeast and East Asia is set to scale new heights – further highlighting need for economic corridors with adequate cross-border infrastructure facilities that could facilitate increased production and services networks between ASEAN and Indian economies. This Report brings together experts and researchers who weigh in on ASEAN-India relations, analyzing the impact and implications of integration; assessing policy priorities, effectiveness, implementation imperatives and challenges; and discussing themes central to the economic sustainability of the region.

Author: ASEAN–India Centre, Research and Information System for Developing Countries
Year: 2015
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Tags:  ASEANIndiaTradeTrade Facilitation

 


Asian Development Outlook 2015 Supplement: Growth Holds Its Own in Developing Asia

This Supplement maintains growth forecast for developing Asia at 5.8% in 2015 and 6.0% in 2016. In South Asia, economic outlook remains optimistic, with the region on track to meet Update projections of 6.9% in 2015 and 7.3% in 2016. India's economic expansion balances a slowdown in Bhutan—owing to weaker sales of hydropower—and the Maldives in 2015, and in Nepal in 2016—due to unfavorable weather and unforeseen delays in earthquake-related reconstruction. Growth projections for Bangladesh and Sri Lanka remain in line with those in the Asian Development Outlook Update.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 1.01 MB
Tags:  ADBSouth AsiaBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


Emerging North-East India: Economically and Socially Inclusive Development Strategies

This report highlights opportunities that can be explored in India's North East region, including tourism, energy, and infrastructure, to enable the North East to develop economically, while contributing to India's development as a whole. It takes stock of recent initiatives, including the 'Look East' Policy and the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) subregional grouping, and identifies areas for improvement to propel inclusive growth. Harnessing the region's full potential would require upgrading the region's infrastructure. Significant investments are needed, since lack of connectivity and inadequate infrastructure present developmental bottlenecks, contributing to the slow pace of growth in the North East. The report presents policy recommendations and suggested actions, and a forecast for India for 2021-2022.

Author: KPMG India and FICCI
Year: 2015
Download - 1.38 MB
Tags:  IndiaBBINConnectivityTransportTrade Facilitation

 


Least Developed Countries and Trade: Challenges of Implementing the Bali Package (Studies in Trade and Investment No. 83)

This publication highlights post-Bali developments, focusing on the interests of least developed countries (LDCs). It provides evidence and insight of persistent trade issues, which affect LDCs both in national economies and in the multilateral trading system. By underscoring gaps in LDC capacities, it articulates what LDCs need in terms of national and regional policies and capacity-building programs. The study also draws attention to what ought to be done towards finalization of the Doha Development Agenda Work Program and the ongoing negotiations at the World Trade Organization.

Author: UNESCAP
Year: 2015
Download - 1.82 MB
Tags:  LDCTrade FacilitationTradeUNESCAPLeast Developed Countries

 


CPD Working Paper 110 – Trade and Transport Facilitation in Bangladesh: An Audit of the State of Play

This publication provides a detailed picture of the status of specific measures for trade and transport facilitation in Bangladesh. It identifies measures already adopted, including strengthening of trade-related institutions, improvements in Customs processes and procedures, and reduction of non-trade barriers, highlighting areas for improvement and identifying existing gaps, to allow for proposals to meet these gaps. The audit undertaken aims to support policy-makers in Bangladesh in mobilizing the financial resources required to build a modern and efficient trade and transport facilitation system.

Author: Mustafizur Rahman, Khaleda Akhter and Naimul Gani Saif
Year: 2015
Download - 4.96 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationBangladeshCustoms

 


Reducing Non-Tariff Barriers to Food Trade Between India and South Asia: Eliminating Phyto-Sanitary and Sanitary Issues

This brief focuses on the impact of phyto-sanitary and sanitary measures as a significant non-tariff barrier to trade at India's overland trading posts and ports, from which it imports perishable goods from its neighbors in the SAARC region. Due to inadequate facilities to handle large, time-sensitive, and perishable consignments, India and its neighboring trade partners have experienced severe constraints on bilateral trade, which results to variability in time and cost of freight movement, and eventually affects price stability and availability of India's food stocks.

Author: Hemant Shivakumar and Shiva C. Sharma
Year: 2015
Download - 684 KB
Tags:  Sanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresIndiaSAARCTradeNon-Tariff MeasuresBangladesh

 


Reforming Sri Lanka’s Trade and Investment Policies for Export Growth

This Policy Insight examines four key areas of reform to increase Sri Lanka's competitiveness and promote external trade – trade tariff structure, trade and transport facilitation, promotion of foreign direct investment, and existing trade agreements with neighbors in South and Southeast Asia. It calls for a more transparent, simplified and rationalized tariff regime and adoption of measures to further strengthen trade and transport facilitation, including improvement of publication and administration of trade-related policies; increased usage of ICT for trade; and upgrading of trade-related infrastructure. Furthermore, it recommends pursuing beneficial trade agreements with neighbors, but with a more strategic approach in Sri Lanka's negotiations of trade agreements.

Author: Institute of Policy Studies Sri Lanka
Year: 2015
Download - 6.78 MB
Tags:  Sri LankaTradeFDI

 


Knowledge and Power: Lessons from ADB Energy Projects

This publication highlights good practices and lessons learned from Asian Development Bank projects in energy, which comprised 26.5% of ADB's total lending commitments from 2008 to 2014. It discusses how the region's energy sources are utilized, providing updates on recent developments and challenges, highlighting the need for sustainable energy initiatives. Featured projects include the Green Power Development Project in Bhutan, which developed clean energy for regional use and promoted cross-border power trade. As the first infrastructure-focused public-private partnership in Bhutan, it also illustrated how projects can benefit with the active participation of the private sector, foreign parties, and commercial and public financial institutions. Also featured is the Bangladesh-India Electrical Grid Interconnection Project, which reduced Bangladesh's energy deficiency by enabling the country to affordably import 500 megawatts of electricity from India. This electrical link laid the groundwork for a regional energy market, an important step toward achieving a functioning regional electricity network in South Asia.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 110 MB
Tags:  EnergyBangladeshBhutanIndiaRegional Cooperation

 


Doing Business 2016

The World Bank's Doing Business 2016: Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency reports that South Asia ranked second among regions, after Europe and Central Asia, in the largest share of economies implementing at least one reform to make doing business easier in the past year. 6 out of 8 economies in South Asia implemented a total of 9 reforms, including Bhutan, India - following the Government of India's ambitious program to increase ease of doing business launched in 2014 - and Sri Lanka. However, South Asia still lags behind in use of online systems in regulatory processes. The highest ranked economy in the region is Bhutan, with a global ranking of 71.

Author: The World Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 15.1 MB
Tags:  Business EfficiencyICTBhutan

 


World Trade Report 2015

The World Trade Report 2015 is the first major study to comprehensively examine the benefits and challenges of implementing the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) since its adoption in 2014. It discusses the importance of implementation of the TFA, its economic impact, and the steps being taken by the WTO to enable countries to maximize its benefits. This report presents further evidence that speedy and extensive implementation of the TFA will lead to bigger gains, particularly for developing countries and least developed countries.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2015
Download - 9.93 MB
Tags:  TradeLDCTrade Facilitation

 


Joint UNRCs Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation Survey 2015: Global Report

This Report features results of the first UNRCs Joint Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation, providing an overview of the current state of trade facilitation implementation in 119 economies across 8 regions worldwide. Though this Joint Survey finds that global average implementation rate of trade facilitation measures considered in the report stands at 52.9%, South Asia ranks below 40%. In the authorized operators and establishment and publication of average release times - categorized under the formalities measures - South Asia ranks below 10%. However, the region fares better in the institutional and cooperation measures, in particular with the recommendation to establish National Trade Facilitation Committees, with this measure most implemented in South Asia. The Report ranks India as the region's top performer in implementation of trade facilitation measures.

Author: United Nations Regional Commission
Year: 2015
Download - 1.83 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationSouth AsiaCustoms

 


Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2015

The Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2015 includes up-to-date available indicators for the 48 regional members of the Asian Development Bank, including numbers on energy, trade, transport, and tourism. Key trends noted in 2014 include the rising volume of intraregional exports globally, due to robust economic growth and expanding regional networks. For Asia and Pacific economies, primary source for merchandise imports was the region itself with a 49.7% share. In energy consumption, Asia and the Pacific now consumes more than 40% of the world's electricity, with the People's Republic of China and India accounting for nearly 70% of the region's output. This 46th edition of Key Indicators also includes a special chapter on skills, education, and growth in Asia, and emphasizes the need to focus on quality and ensure that the workforce has the skills to take the region through economic transition to prosperity.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 32.9 MB
Tags:  Economic GrowthEnergyTradeTransportIndia

 


A Framework of Trade Policy for Bhutan: Compatible with the Gross National Happiness

This paper examines the compatibility between Bhutan's gross national happiness (GNH) index and trade policy, and attempts to contextualize Bhutan's trade policy issues - inclusive growth, trade facilitation, incidence of tariffs, and World Trade Organization accession. It explores trade and industry policy that is compatible with GNH guidelines, which aim to measure and improve people's holistic well-being: although it also includes factors that are seemingly unfavorable to an active trade policy. The report recommends benchmarking successful development strategies in other countries and creating an organization to pursue a more active trade policy to accomplish the urgent task of raising general living standards.

Author: Inkyo Cheong, Taeho Bark, and Hoe Yun Jeong
Year: 2015
Download - 1.07 MB
Tags:  BhutanWTOTrade PolicyADB

 


Regional Transport Infrastructure: Mapping Projects to Bridge South Asia and Southeast Asia

This Asian Development Bank (ADB) brief highlights the critical role of transport infrastructure in bridging South Asia and Southeast Asia. It maps details of economic corridors and highways, railroads, and seaports, and identifies priority transport investment projects needed to link the two subregions. While an investment of $986 million in road transport and $2.3 billion in sea ports may be needed to create proper connectivity between the two regions, the study's conservative estimate of potential benefit ranges from $89 billion to $358 billion over the next decade - demonstrating how investment in infrastructure can pay huge dividends in the medium- and longterm.

Author: Peter Morgan, Mike Plummer, and Ganeshan Wignaraja
Year: 2015
Download - 3.60 MB
Tags:  TransportSouth AsiaSoutheast Asia

 


Asian Development Outlook 2015 Update: Enabling Women, Energizing Asia

This Update revises growth forecast for the Asia and the Pacific region down to 5.8% in 2015 and 6.0% in 2016, with delayed recovery in major industrial economies and slowing investment prospects in India and the People's Republic of China. Growth acceleration in South Asia has also been more modest than forecast - now projected at 6.9% in 2015, below the 7.2% March forecast, but up from 6.7% in 2014, and forecast to rise further to 7.3% in 2016. The need to energize growth in the region calls for avenues to unlock untapped resources, including narrowing gender gaps in the labor market. In Bangladesh, the increase in women's participation in the workforce has not only enhanced their bargaining power at home, but improved health and education options for the family.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 2.76 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificEconomic GrowthADB

 


Cross-Border Power Trading in South Asia: A Techno Economic Rationale

South Asian countries have a wealth of diverse energy sources. These renewable resources, along with the varying electricity demand patterns among countries in South Asia, open up opportunities to share resources through electricity trading, which can be enabled by strengthening the electricity transmission system. This study examines the cost and benefit of six cross-border electricity transmission interconnections, and measures the economic and reliability benefits for participating countries in South Asia.

Author: Priyantha Wijayatunga, D. Chattopadhyay and P. N. Fernando
Year: 2015
Download - 555 KB
Tags:  EnergySAARCRegional TradeADB

 


Lessons for South Asia from the Industrial Cluster Development Experience of the Republic of Korea

Growth of manufacturing is crucial for economic growth and poverty reduction. This report highlights the industrial cluster development policy of the Republic of Korea, including its success factors in terms of policy implementation, and the promotion of industrial cluster development, drawing lessons that could enhance industrial growth in South Asia. It discusses how the government encouraged increase in exports through relevant policies and adapted to more technology- and knowledge-intensive industries which required innovation-driven policies. The experience outlined in the report could benefit large-scale industrial promotion in South Asia, such as the Economic Corridor Program in India.

Author: Jong-il Kim
Year: 2015
Download - 803 KB
Tags:  South AsiaIndustrializationEconomic CorridorTradeADBIndiaBangladeshSri Lanka

 


Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: Ensuring Safe Trading Without Unnecessary Restrictions

The World Trade Organization (WTO) marks its 20th anniversary with a series of brochures. This publication focuses on the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures Agreement, which aims to balance the right of WTO members to protect health through adoption of legitimate measures to protect food safety, and animal and plant health, while enabling the smooth flow of goods across international borders. It includes briefs on SPS training activities and the SPS Committee, as well as a case study.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2015
Download - 3.64 MB
Tags:  Sanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresTrade FacilitationWTO

 


Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement: Unlocking the Potential for Vibrant Regional Road Freight Connectivity

The Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) is expected to reduce trade transaction costs and be an effective tool to realize trade and investment potential in the subregion by generating new economic opportunities, particularly in the border areas. While it has put in place a good framework for facilitating transit and transport within BBIN, gaps remain in terms of interpretation and application of various procedures, and need for further policy harmonization among the contracting parties. This discussion paper analyzes operation issues and proposes solutions for cross-border movement of vehicles and Customs procedures.

Author: Pritam Banerjee
Year: 2015
Download - 240 KB
Tags:  BBINTrade FacilitationTransport

 


Driving Across the South Asian Borders: the Motor Vehicle Agreement between Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, and Nepal

This paper discusses the benefits of strengthening physical connectivity in the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) subregion through a Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA). Through a framework that envisions transforming transport corridors into economic corridors and with its pipeline of 30 priority transport connectivity projects estimated at $8 billion, the MVA aims to increase intraregional trade in South Asia by almost 60%. This publication provides a concise background on the BBIN MVA, examining the circumstances leading to its signing, the role of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the ADB-supported SASEC Program initiative to enhance interconnectivity, challenges that require careful consideration, and its wider implications for the South Asian region.

Author: Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury, Pratnashree Basu, and Mihir Bhonsale
Year: 2015
Download - 1.6 MB
Tags:  TransportTrade FacilitationBBIN

 


World Trade Organization Annual Report 2015

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Annual Report 2015 provides an overview of WTO activities in 2014 and early 2015. It presents a timeline of two decades of the WTO -- from its origins succeeding the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to its current role in the multilateral trading system. It presents a chapter on how WTO helps developing countries build trade capacity and allows them to implement trade agreements. WTO training courses are organized for officials from developing countries each year.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2015
Download - 10.1 MB
Tags:  TradeTrade PolicyWTOTariffsEnergyBangladeshIndiaNepalSri LankaTrade FacilitationTransportAsiaAgriculture

 


UNCTAD Transport and Trade Facilitation Newsletter No. 66 – Second Quarter 2015

The Transport and Trade Facilitation Newsletter highlights trade facilitation support across countries and shares innovations from Cote d’Ivoire and Greece, including the new UNCTAD Technical Note on World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) ratification. It also features the meeting of the Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade -- an event that brings together the private sector, WTO Member States and international organizations -- in a discussion to support TFA implementation. The Newsletter further shows United Nations Regional Commissions Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade -- a response to the lack of comprehensive cross-country data and a guide to better understand and monitor trade facilitation implementation and paperless trade measures.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2015
Download - 8.1 MB
Tags:  TransportTrade FacilitationWTOUNCTAD

 


Building Firm-level Trade Competitiveness in Emerging Economies

This paper -- produced under the E15 Initiative and implemented jointly by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and World Economic Forum -- seeks to understand the framework of competitiveness and its implications for international trade. It discusses issues related to firm-level competitiveness, including the determinants; quality tools and models to address it, especially in developing economies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs); importance of diffusion and learning with a focus on SME growth; and specific policy interventions to improve firm-level competitiveness.

Author: Sharmila Kantha
Year: 2015
Download - 623 KB
Tags:  FirmsSMETradeDevelopmentSustainabilityIndiaSouth AsiaEnergy

 


Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific: Thinking Forward About Trade Costs and the Digital Economy

Aid for Trade (AfT) flows have increased each year since 2006 in Asia and the Pacific. While regional aggregate trade costs continue to fall, many subregions still struggle with trade costs that are substantially higher than the global average. This report highlights and explores how AfT contributed to these emerging trends in Asia and the Pacific and how to continue to address trade costs moving forward. Among the subregions, the Pacific (along with South Asia) has made the greatest improvements in the Logistics Performance Index from 2007-2014. Recent exporter surveys reveal a movement toward niche products and leveraging of e-commerce as a means to overcome cost and distance. Emerging digital technologies such as e-commerce further offers a new set of opportunities for economies in the region to grow through trade.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 4.1 MB
Tags:  Aid for TradeAsia-PacificICTSouth AsiaTradeBangladeshBhutanIndiaSri LankaAgricultureEnergyTransport

 


Maldives: Overcoming the Challenges of a Small Island State – Country Diagnostic Study

The Maldives has propelled itself to middle-income status despite the geographic constraints and challenges of a small-island state. It has one of the lowest poverty rates in South Asia, although wide regional disparities in poverty rates and high-income inequality continue to be a concern. Growth – primarily driven by the tourism sector – has also been vulnerable to external shocks. As the Maldives moves toward a more sustainable and inclusive growth strategy, transport infrastructure is critical to help address the country’s connectivity issue and reduce the cost of doing business. This report identifies the critical constraints to inclusive growth in the Maldives and provides policy recommendations to sustain economic growth and hasten poverty reduction.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 7.8 MB
Tags:  MaldivesSmall Island Developing StatesTransportConnectivityPolicyPoverty ReductionSouth AsiaTourism

 


SAARC: The Way Ahead

This Observer Research Foundation Issue Brief examines the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation as a regional grouping that is almost three decades old. It discusses trade arrangements such as the South Asian Preferential Trading Arrangement aimed towards a higher level of intraregional trade liberalization and economic cooperation, including the South Asia Free Trade Area for reduction of Customs duties on traded goods. The paper further studies areas of energy, connectivity, foreign direct investment, trade in services and subregional cooperation. The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program is offered as one of the steps in the direction of having a viable option for subregional cooperation.

Author: Jayshree Sengupta
Year: 2015
Download - 754 KB
Tags:  Regional CooperationSAARCTradeConnectivityEnergyFDIInvestmentFree Trade AgreementsServicesSouth Asia

 


UNRCs Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation Survey 2015: Asia and the Pacific Report

This report presents data on trade facilitation and paperless trade implementation from 44 economies across the Asia-Pacific region, covering 5 different subregions. It lays out key findings on implementation levels of general trade facilitation measures and ICT-based trade facilitation measures across the region, and provides empirical evidence for advancing trade facilitation. Findings suggest that there is still significant room for progress. In South Asia, regional average trade implementation comes a little above 40%. The report also noted that cross-border paperless trade facilitation is the least implemented of all groups of measures.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2015
Download - 1.19 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationAsia-PacificICT

 


How Much Could South Asia Benefit from Regional Electricity Cooperation and Trade?

This paper assesses the potential economic benefits of cross-border electricity cooperation and trade in South Asia from 2015 to 2040. It focuses on the possibilities of unlimited power flow across borders in response to regional demands and investment in generation and transmission to cost-effectively meet those demands. The study quantifies the potential economic benefits that South Asia could reap if the countries engage with full regional electricity trade and cooperation. Among South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation countries, Bhutan and Nepal have the potential to cost-effectively supply electricity from hydroelectric resources in excess of their own demands; Bangladesh and India are likely to become more dependent on higher-cost coal as well as natural gas to generate electricity. The countries of the South Asia region also have non-coincident demand peaks across the year, implying gains from trade.

Author: The World Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 0.98 MB
Tags:  EnergySouth AsiaTradeBangladeshIndiaSASEC

 


Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015

The 2015 edition of ESCAP’s Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific highlights inclusive growth as a prerequisite for meeting the Millennium Development Goals and critical for effective implementation of the sustainable development agenda post-2015. It also contains proposals to improve the pattern of public expenditures and increase access to financial services. Economic growth in South and South-West Asia increased in 2014, led by stronger macroeconomic performance in India, but remained far below its pre-crisis pace. While the near-term outlook is optimistic and conditional on continued domestic reform in large economies, limited intraregional trade within the sub-region could limit positive spillovers into relatively smaller economies. A key reform area is broadening the tax base and stemming of tax evasion to lower public borrowing and help address severe power shortages.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2015
Download - 6.85 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificEconomic GrowthSouth Asia

 


Asian Development Outlook 2015 Supplement: Growth Prospects Soften for Developing Asia

This Supplement revises growth projections for developing Asia published in the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2015 in March, as slower-than-expected recovery in the United States and moderating growth in the People’s Republic of China weigh on the region’s prospects. Economic outlook for South Asia is stronger growth in the subregion as a whole in 2015 than forecast in ADO 2015, now bumped up slightly to 7.3% from 7.2%. The projection for 2016 remains the same at 7.6%. By individual countries, stronger growth is estimated for Bangladesh in FY2015, but slower growth is projected for the Maldives and earthquake-struck Nepal.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 660 KB
Tags:  DevelopmentEconomic GrowthSouth Asia

 


Aid for Trade at a Glance 2015: Reducing Trade Costs for Inclusive, Sustainable Growth

High trade costs inhibit trade integration in various developing countries, slowing growth and development prospects. This joint OECD/WTO publication emphasizes the Aid-for-Trade Initiative as an example of how to reduce trade costs and contribute to the emerging post-2015 development agenda. It calls for redoubling of efforts to tackle the issue of trade costs that continue to marginalize many of the world’s poorest and most fragile economies. The chapters highlight main achievements and challenges of the Aid-for-Trade Initiative. It further suggests a focus on reducing trade costs for an integrated approach in achieving inclusive and sustainable development outcomes.

Author: World Trade Organization and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Year: 2015
Download - 4.5 MB
Tags:  Aid for TradeTrade PolicyWTO

 


A Critical Disconnect: The Role of SAARC in Building the DRM Capacities of South Asian Countries

This report evaluates the disaster risk management (DRM) efforts of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in the last ten years as a regional organization, and assesses its impact in supporting the DRM national capacities of member states. Published after the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal, the publication underscores the critical role SAARC plays in building a common regional vision for DRM. It recommends focusing on priority activities that can assist member states in implementation of policies at a sub-national level; opening itself to support by external donors; and enhancing its training program through regional training of trainers by the SAARC Environment and Disaster Management Centre.

Author: Stacey White
Year: 2015
Download - 919 KB
Tags:  SAARCDisaster RiskSouth Asia

 


WTO Dispute Settlement and Industrial Policy

This paper explores the World Trade Organization's (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism in relation to the space it provides for Member countries’ industrial policies. It provides general conceptual reflections covering the role of WTO panels and the Appellate Body and the nature and categorization of WTO legal provisions applicable to trade in goods; and discusses how dispute settlement in WTO can affect or expand the policy space available to WTO Members in adopting industrial policy measures. This paper presents several examples that demonstrate the potential impact of WTO adjudicatory bodies on the policy space of WTO Members to implement and pursue industrial policy measures.

Author: Jan Bohanes
Year: 2015
Download - 612 KB
Tags:  WTOTrade FacilitationPolicy

 


Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific 2015

This Asian Development Bank report explores the potential of the digital economy to improve the inclusiveness of Aid for Trade (AfT). It uses the review of AfT as a springboard to explore new ways of thinking and how to address issues such as high trade costs in some regions. In particular, it considers how to build on information and communications technology and infrastructure connectivity from established AfT spending. The report also highlights the experience of exporters to illustrate the unique challenges and opportunities for trade-driven growth in a region where high trade costs are structural.

Author: Alisa Di Caprio and Kati Suominen
Year: 2015
Download - 958 KB
Tags:  ICTInfrastructureTradeADBAsia-PacificExportsEconomic GrowthTrade Facilitation

 


Clean Energy and Access to Infrastructure: Implications for the Global Trade System

This paper focuses on how international trade rules could better accommodate renewable energy trade through fixed infrastructure. It explains the World Trade Organization disciplines relevant to trade in clean energy via fixed infrastructure, in particular General Agreement on Trade in Services disciplines on energy services and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade transit rules. Finally, it suggests policy options to adopt existing rules to the challenges of integrating clean energy transported via fixed infrastructure.

Author: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
Year: 2015
Download - 512 KB
Tags:  EnergyTradeWTOIndiaSouth AsiaSustainabilityTariff

 


Cross-Border Electricity Cooperation in South Asia

Strengthening cross-border electricity cooperation in South Asia can be part of the solution for providing adequate and reliable electricity. This World Bank Policy Research Working Paper reviews the status of cross-border electricity cooperation in South Asia, identifies key regional-level barriers to expand cross-border cooperation and trade in South Asia, and discusses the extent to which current domestic sector policies impede greater cross-border electricity cooperation. Finally, the findings offer policy recommendations on increased cross-border trade and cooperation.

Author: Anoop Singh, Tooraj Jamasb, Rabindra Nepal, and Michael Toman
Year: 2015
Download - 721 KB
Tags:  EnergyRegional CooperationRegional TradeBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSouth AsiaSri LankaTradeTrade PolicyWB

 


Trade in Value Added: Concepts, Estimation and Analysis

This Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade working paper aims to explain the concept of Trade in Value Added (TiVA), which could properly measure exports of an economy. It discusses how TiVA is measured and how it can help in a more comprehensive understanding of trade flows. It also explains global value chains and reviews current initiatives in constructing regional and international input-output tables, and estimates of TiVA involving Asia-Pacific economies.

Author: Marko Javorsek and Ignacio Camacho
Year: 2015
Download - 1.1 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificGlobal Value ChainsTrade

 


Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2015

In the Asia-Pacific region, 36 out of the 58 economies are considered countries with special needs (CSN), which include least developed countries (LDC), landlocked developing countries, and small island developing States. This report highlights important areas that should be addressed as key priorities by CSNs such as economic diversification, external trade, South-South cooperation, and official development assistance including foreign direct investment. Bhutan and Nepal met the criteria for graduation from LDC status as of 2013. Other countries such as Bangladesh have a good chance of meeting the graduation criteria by 2018. Among the Small island developing States, Maldives is considered a success story in broadband internet connectivity. The results of this research show that Asia-Pacific CSNs must choose their paths to diversification carefully, depending on country circumstances.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2015
Download - 8.4 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificLeast Developed CountriesSmall Island Developing StatesBangladeshBhutanEnergyFDIInvestmentMaldivesNepalTradeTransportUNESCAP

 


Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific: Part 2 – Balancing the Three Dimensions of Sustainable Development: From Integration to Implementation

This theme study outlines a conceptual framework, a set of strategies and policy options, and offers perspectives on institutional frameworks for integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic growth, social progress and environmental protection. Regional cooperation is critical in maximizing opportunities for building synergies between the three dimensions. Initiatives at the regional level should consider establishing a regional road map, supporting regional economic integration initiatives, and strengthening regional platforms, including the United Nations and the multilateral system.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2015
Download - 1.1 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificEconomic IntegrationRegional CooperationEconomic GrowthEnvironmentSustainabilityUNESCAP

 


Outward FDI by Indian Manufacturing MNEs: Impacts and Implications

This Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade Working Paper investigates the home country effects of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) on domestic activity of Indian multinational enterprises (MNEs). The empirical evidence suggests that OFDI by Indian MNEs has a positive impact on export intensity and research and development. In order to derive desired complementary benefits of OFDI by manufacturing firms, policies may be directed to enhance the country’s international supply chain connectivity for greater participation in global value chain and production network.

Author: Khanindra Ch. Das
Year: 2015
Download - 709 KB
Tags:  IndiaFDIGlobal Value ChainsTradeExportDevelopmentManufacturingUNESCAP

 


Trade and Non-Tariff Measures: Impacts in the Asia-Pacific Region

This study brings together existing evidence on the occurrence and trade impacts of non-tariff measures (NTMs) in the Asia-Pacific region. It aims to contribute to an improved understanding on their trade impacts on developing countries. The report focuses on the consequences of NTMs for developing economies and South-South trade. The chapters include an overview of tariff and non-tariff measures, an evaluation of NTMs and trade, and an examination of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Technical Barriers to Trade. Finally, the study concludes by reviewing mechanisms for streamlining NTMs and promoting developing countries’ trade, particularly at the regional level.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2015
Download - 1.6 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificTariffTradeSanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresTechnical Barriers to TradeUNESCAP

 


Together We Deliver 2014: From Knowledge and Partnerships to Results

This book includes stories from Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, introducing how ADB has changed people’s lives for the better. It illustrates the innovation and partnerships needed to meet the evolving challenges in Asia and the Pacific. In Bangladesh and India, two ADB projects introduced new approaches in urban governance and development that improved the living conditions of the poor in congested areas. In Nepal, women and other disadvantaged groups were included in the planning of a water and sanitation project that benefited 90,000 households. The 12 uplifting stories in this publication show how partnerships are essential for developing pragmatic solutions to problems, testing and refining approaches, and creating reliable models to scale up benefits for a wider base.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 4.14 MB
Tags:  BangladeshIndiaNepal

 


2015 Annual Evaluation Review

Country assessments conducted by an independent evaluation team between CY2010-CY2014, and published in the the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) 2015 Annual Evaluation Review, show relatively good performance of ADB operations in South Asia. Programs implemented in Bhutan and India, notably, reflected more developed institutional and organizational capacities in ADB sectors of engagement, alongside robust private sector involvement. Nepal and Sri Lanka programs, though affected by civil strife, were also rated successful. This report examines ADB operational performance in 2014, and includes evaluation recommendations. It aims to enhance ADB effectiveness by providing feedback on policies, strategies, operations, and special concerns in Asia and the Pacific.

Author: Independent Evaluation Department
Year: 2015
Download - 127 KB
Tags:  ADBEvaluationsIndiaBhutan

 


Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in the Asia-Pacific Region: Analysis of Category A Submissions

World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) provisions notified under Category A are those that WTO Member States have already implemented or have committed to implement by the time the Agreement enters into force or, in the case of the least-developed countries (LDCs), within a year of its entry into force. Provisions not included under this category are those which will require capacity building and technical assistance, or presumably take longer to implement. This trade insight paper analyzes Category A notifications of 15 economies in the Asia-Pacific region, contrasting the results with findings from an earlier ESCAP Survey on Implementation of Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade (SITFAP) 2013/14 in order to examine some of the most challenging WTO TFA provisions, and gain insights on regional priorities for cooperation and capacity building.

Author: Yann Duval and Pamela Bayona
Year: 2015
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Tags:  Trade FacilitationWTOLeast Developed CountriesUNESCAP

 


Mega-regionals and the Regulation of Trade: Implications for Industrial Policy

This report reviews key industrial policy issue areas being negotiated in mega-regional free-trade agreements—in particular, the Trans-Pacific Partnership—and evaluates how possible outcomes will impact the international trading system. Reviewing areas where the mega-regionals may impose systemic constraints, including border measures, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and e-commerce measures, the report discusses a possible future framework for industrial policy that integrates the additional policy constraints and changes introduced by these agreements.

Author: Dan Ciuriak and Harsha V. Singh
Year: 2015
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Tags:  TradeTrade FacilitationFree Trade Agreements

 


Key Recommendations: South-Asia Consultation on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, and the Asian Development Bank organized the South Asia Consultation on the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Nagarkot, Nepal on 26-28 August 2014. This Nagarkot Statement contains the eight guiding principles for future goals, key messages and recommendations on South Asia’s development priorities, financing for a post-2015 development agenda to support sustainable development, and technology access, including data, monitoring and accountability.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2015
Download - 266 KB
Tags:  South AsiaSustainabilityICT

 


Making Market Access Meaningful: Implementation of Duty-Free Quota-Free Trade for Asia-Pacific Least Developed Countries (Trade Insights: Issue No. 9)

Asia Pacific least developed countries (LDCs) including Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal account for a small but growing share of global exports. In order to integrate further into regional and global economies, a number of countries have introduced Duty-Free Quota-Free (DFQF) schemes for LDCs. This note reviews those schemes and finds that while improved market access through DFQF schemes is useful, developmental benefits will be limited unless the schemes are relevant and useful.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2015
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Tags:  BangladeshBhutanNepalLeast Developed CountriesUNESCAP

 


Industrial Policy as a Tool of Development Strategy: Using FDI to Upgrade and Diversify the Production and Export Base of Host Economies in the Developing World

This paper is different from the older trade-protection approach and starts with foreign direct investment (FDI) promotion as a tool to attract multinational corporations into sectors that bring the host country to the frontier of technology, management, and quality control. It focuses on harnessing FDI to promote broad-based development, with economic and social spillovers and externalities. It also introduces new data that show FDI in manufacturing offering opportunities for host governments to use in the structural transformation of the host economy.

Author: Theodore H. Moran
Year: 2015
Download - 553 KB
Tags:  FDIEconomicsTrade Policy

 


Connecting South Asia and South East Asia

This book analyzes how closer regional connectivity and economic integration between South Asia and Southeast Asia can benefit both subregions. It aims to build a broad case for increased connectivity between the two regions and identify specific projects that have high potential to fulfill this objective. This joint study focuses on both “hard” infrastructure and associated “soft” infrastructure, including tariffs and non-tariff barriers, trade and transport facilitation, energy trading, and infrastructure investment and financing. It further provides a canvas for considering strategic cross-border infrastructure investments and policy reforms.

Author: Asian Development Bank Institute and Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 3.3 MB
Tags:  South AsiaSoutheast AsiaConnectivityEconomic CorridorTransportTrade FacilitationBangladeshIndiaSri Lanka

 


Enabling Trade: Increasing the Potential of Trade Reforms

This publication reviews specific elements of trade reform and proposes potential improvements that governments can make in collaboration with the private sector, using case examples to illustrate supply chain bottlenecks. It further examines how national governments and the private sector can optimize ongoing trade reforms to reduce or eliminate these obstacles.

Author: Bain and Company and the International Trade Centre
Year: 2015
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Tags:  TradePrivate SectorTrade Policy

 


Asian Development Outlook 2015: Financing Asia’s Future Growth

The Asian Development Outlook 2015 forecasts that the 6.3% rate of gross domestic product expansion achieved in 2014 will continue into 2015 and 2016. This is supported by a strengthening recovery in major industrial economies and soft global commodity prices. It also projects growth in South Asia to accelerate to 7.2% in 2015, and 7.6% in 2016. Developing Asia needs a deep, robust financial sector to sustain growth, and policymakers are challenged to ensure inclusive financial sector development and financial stability to enhance growth and equity.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 3.63 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificSouth AsiaFinancial Sector

 


Towards Trade Policy Analysis 2.0: From National Comparative Advantage to Firm-Level Trade Data

This paper argues for the need to upgrade current analytical tools for trade policy analysis and complement them with more detailed, firm-level data. Firm-level data allows a more refined assessment of future impact of trade policy initiatives, improves ex-post assessments, and enhances communication leading to a meaningful engagement with stakeholders, thus reducing public misperceptions about trade policy. A Trade Policy Analysis 2.0 could contribute to a better understanding of international trade for firm competitiveness, job creation, and consumer welfare.

Author: Lucian Cernat
Year: 2015
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Tags:  Trade PolicyFirmsTradeADB

 


Policy Enablers for New Wind Energy Markets

This publication focuses on the wind energy policies that can support sustained development of wind power in emerging wind energy markets. The policies are based on the work done by Quantum Leap in Wind Power Development in Asia and the Pacific (QLW). QLW is a $2 million, 3-year project funded by the Asian Development Bank, to facilitate wind power sector development in developing countries. The success and failures of wind energy policies in Mongolia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka – including its impact and evolution – are analyzed in this report.

Author: Pramod Jain and Bo An
Year: 2015
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Tags:  EnergyAsia-PacificSri LankaSustainabilityADB

 


25 Years on the Ground: ADB-Nepal Partnership for Inclusive Development

This publication commemorates 25 years of Nepal Resident Mission’s opening and provides an overview of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) operation in Nepal over the years. It highlights ADB-assisted projects and Nepal’s association with the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) initiative, to further enhance the nation’s role in regional and world trade. These projects aim for regional energy cooperation (SASEC Power System Expansion Project), as well as subregional cooperation and connectivity in the transport sector (SASEC Road Connectivity Project and Subregional Transport Facilitation Project).

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
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Tags:  NepalTransportEnergy

 


Nepali-language Version of Revised Kyoto Convention

The Revised Kyoto Convention is a blueprint for Customs reform, and the Nepali-language version will assist Nepal’s Department of Customs to align its Customs Act and associated regulations with RKC standards, enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the Customs administration, and facilitate trade through more transparent Customs procedures. The standards of the RKC in the General Annex and Specific Annexes include duty collection, Customs control, information technology usage, and Customs clearance, among others.

Author: World Customs Organization
Year: 2015
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Tags:  NepalWCOCustoms

 


Electricity Consumption, Output, and Trade in Bhutan

This ADB South Asia Working Paper examines the relationship between electricity consumption, international trade, and economic growth using an augmented production function framework. The findings show that Bhutan is energy-dependent and can promote economic growth through future investment in hydropower. More specifically, the results show that a 1% increase in (i) electricity consumption generates 0.03%-0.05% increase in output, (ii) total trade results in 0.5% increase in output, (iii) trade openness results in 1% increase in output.

Author: Hooi Hooi Lean and Russell Smyth
Year: 2015
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Tags:  EnergyTradeBhutanADBSouth AsiaHydropower

 


Gender Dimensions of Regional Cooperation in South Asia: Gender and Safe Mobility – Promising Global and Regional Practices

This technical report analyzes global practices related to gender equality and safe migration, and their applicability to the context of South Asia. "Hard" aspects, such as physical infrastructure and equipment including border infrastructure, passenger holding facilities and surveillance cameras, and "soft" aspects, such as regional, bilateral and/or country-specific policies, programs, mechanisms and institutional linkages of safe mobility, are presented. The report also presents national policies and procedures that promote safe mobility. Given the lessons drawn from the reviewed policies and practices, it highlights the need for stronger evidence-based approaches in understanding the complex experience of women migrant workers, and identifies the need for more regular peer exchange through periodic regional dialogues of key stakeholder groups.

Author: International Organization for Migration
Year: 2014
Download - 2 MB
Tags:  GenderMigrationSouth AsiaBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalTransportTrade

 


Gender Dimensions of Regional Cooperation in South Asia: Gender, Trade and Green Growth (Volumes I and II)

This technical report presents an analysis of the interconnection between gender equality, regional trade and sustainable development in selected areas of four South Asian countries. In general, the report found women's contributions to total exports of all countries to be low, and in green exports to be lower. It identifies constraints and challenges, such as limited training in entrepreneurship, gender stereotypes related to green trade, existing gaps in policy framework, and weak access to technology, hindering women's participation in three green trade industries - agriculture and agro-processing, renewable energy, and ecotourism. The report looks at possible entry points for women, and recommended a list of actions to tap these identified entry points, including the need for greater exchange and cross-fertilization of experience among associations of women entrepreneurs and women’s chambers of commerce in South Asia.

Author: Shreyasi Jha, Ritu Dewan, Amee Misra, Saloni Singh, Navanita Sinha, Maheen Sultan and Sonam Tobgay
Year: 2014
Download - 4.5 MB
Tags:  GenderTradeSustainabilitySouth AsiaBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal

 


Asia-Pacific Development Journal Vol. 21, No. 2, December 2014

The paper "Indo-Nepal Economic Cooperation: A Subregional Perspective" published in this issue of the Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ) explores how subregional engagement among bordering regions can stimulate economic cooperation among countries in South Asia. It assesses the current status and potential of greater integration between India and Nepal, and develops a SWOT (strength-weakness-opportunity-threat) analysis reflecting on the need for a subregional approach to promotion of regional cooperation. APDJ, published twice a year by the Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division of UNESCAP, provides a platform for exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas, information and data on all aspects of economic and social development issues and concerns facing the region.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Download - 5.34 MB
Tags:  Economic IntegrationIndiaNepalTradeBangladeshSri LankaTransportTradeTourism

 


Developing Economic Corridors in South Asia

This book describes key conditions for transforming transport corridors into economic corridors and establishes the rationale for developing economic corridors, and the related benefits from production value chains along those corridors. It further emphasizes the significant potential of economic corridors in South Asia, particularly those being developed under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program. The chapters highlight the impact of trade barriers on bilateral trade and present case studies on trade facilitation in South Asia. Countries in the subregion would benefit by working closely to exploit the full economic potential of economic corridors.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 2.8 MB
Tags:  Economic CorridorSouth AsiaTrade FacilitationBangladeshIndiaSri LankaADBSASECBilateral TradeTransport

 


World Tariff Profiles 2014

This statistical yearbook devoted to market access for goods contains a comprehensive compilation of tariff parameters for each of the 160 World Trade Organization members, plus a number of other countries and customs territories where data is available. Each country profile presents information on tariffs imposed by each economy on its imports, including an analysis of market access conditions in its major export markets. Statistics for all countries allow easy comparisons between countries and sectors, as well as between bound and applied tariffs.

Author: World Trade Organization, International Trade Centre, and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2014
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Tags:  WTOCustomsTariffBangladeshIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTransportTariffsTrade

 


SME Competitiveness and Aid for Trade: Connecting Developing Country SMEs to Global Value Chains

This joint ITC-WTO study discusses constraints faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in international trade, particularly by least developed countries. It reviews how Aid for Trade addresses these challenges through a sample of 23 Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies. Three bottlenecks emerge – quality of business environment, access to finance, and lack of institutional support to overcome trade-related challenges. This study also highlights actions taken by companies to integrate SMEs into their supply chains and concludes with an analysis of recent private sector program evaluations.

Author: International Trade Centre and World Trade Organization
Year: 2014
Download - 2.11 MB
Tags:  SMETradePrivate SectorSmall and Medium EnterprisesBhutanIndiaNepalSri LankaSustainability

 


Climate Proofing ADB Investment in the Transport Sector: Initial Experience

This publication reviews and documents experiences in transport investments and identifies opportunities to further mainstream climate risk management in transport investment projects. It also presents case studies where climate risk and vulnerability assessment were carried out and climate proofing measures have become an integral component of project design.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 1.89 MB
Tags:  ClimateTransportVulnerabilityADBBhutanEnergyEconomic Corridor

 


Trans-Pacific Partnership versus Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: Control of Membership and Agenda Setting

This ADB Working Paper argues that the formation of regional integration frameworks can be best understood as a dominant state’s attempt to create its own regional framework where it can exercise some exclusive influence. It explores the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). It also analyzes the strategies of key players such as ASEAN, Korea, India, Japan, USA and China. India is part of the RCEP negotiating process and sees increased presence in Southeast and East Asian markets, closer relations with ASEAN, and increased connectivity with North Asia and Oceana as benefits from involvement in RCEP.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
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Tags:  Regional IntegrationIndiaConnectivityADBRegional CooperationASEAN

 


National Trade Facilitation Bodies in the World

This UNCTAD publication provides the first, in-depth quantitative analysis of 50 existing national trade facilitation bodies and a first-hand set of recommendations from experiences of participating stakeholders. It offers policy-oriented conclusions to assist countries about to set up or strengthen their national trade facilitation working groups. The study reveals that the biggest challenge for trade facilitation working groups is sustainability. Its determining elements include the administrative culture of each country, level of development, or type of body and geographical region.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2014
Download - 7.15 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTrade PolicySustainabilityUNCTADBangladeshBhutanNepalSri Lanka

 


Unlocking Bhutan’s Potential: Measuring Potential Output for the Small, Landlocked Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan

The hydropower sector has driven Bhutan's economic growth in the past two decades with growth rates averaging 7.9%. Yet, the economy has not been invulnerable to market fluctuations and external shocks. This ADB South Asia Working Paper analyzes how Bhutan can create sustainable and inclusive growth, alongside the continuous expansion of its hydropower industry. It examines how certain policies can impact Bhutan's potential growth over 2013–2030. Results show that higher investment in education, health, and efforts to diversify its economic base—including enhancement of new industries with linkages to regional and global value chains—can further drive economic growth and improve the country's living standards.

Author: Sabyasachi Mitra, Sarah Carrington, and Anthony Baluga
Year: 2014
Download - 1920 KB
Tags:  BhutanEnergyEconomicsHydropowerADBSouth AsiaSustainabilityGlobal Value ChainsEconomic Growth

 


A World Trade Organization for the 21st Century: The Asian Perspective

This Asian Development Bank Institute book examines key changes in the world trading system and explores policy implications for Asia. Through a compilation of essays from prominent international and Asian trade experts, this book presents interaction of market forces and trade regulation. Lessons from the Asian experience offer new approaches and economic policies to sustain growth, presenting the World Trade Organization as a forum to improve regional and global trade governance in the 21st century.

Author: Richard E. Baldwin, Masahiro Kawai, Ganeshan Wignaraja (Eds.)
Year: 2014
Download - 3.97 MB
Tags:  TradeTrade PolicyWTOBangladeshBhutanEnergyIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTransport

 


Seaborne Trade between South Asia and Southeast Asia

This Asian Development Bank Institute paper examines trade and the main ports around the Bay of Bengal to identify projects that will enable trade and contribute to improved maritime infrastructure. It also reviews the nature of trade and trade patterns, particularly through the Indian East Coast Corridor study. The paper develops further strategic options for seaport adjustment around the Bay of Bengal to support trade evolution, policy assessment, and other constraints.

Author: David Wignall, Mark Wignall
Year: 2014
Download - 926.5 KB
Tags:  TransportTradePortsADBIndiaEconomic CorridorBangladeshEnergyMyanmarSri Lanka

 


Regional Transit Agreement in South Asia: An Empirical Investigation

This discussion paper published by the South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment assesses the potential gains of a sub-regional transit arrangement and the removal of other border-trade barriers, particularly the eastern South Asia sub-region (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal). It also discusses the link between transit and trade flows, provides profiles of intra-regional transit trade and current transit arrangements in South Asia, and identifies efficient regional transit corridors using linear programming or the Data Envelopment Analysis model.

Author: Prabir De and Arvind Kumar
Year: 2014
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Tags:  South AsiaTradeTransportEconomicsEconomic CorridorSASECSAARCUNESCAPCustomsHarmonisationBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalMaldivesSri Lanka

 


Global Production Networks and Economic Corridors: Can They Be Drivers for South Asia’s Growth and Regional Integration?

This Asian Development Bank South Asia Working Paper examines the role of regional and national economic corridors in facilitating access of South Asian countries to global production networks (GPNs), particularly East Asia and Southeast Asia. It also reviews the state of regional trade integration and examines the nature of engagement in South Asia, specifically India, with its dynamic and high growth GPNs. The paper further identifies key factors that constrain engagement of South Asian countries with East and Southeast Asia in GPN trade.

Author: Kunal Sen
Year: 2014
Download - 2.63 MB
Tags:  South AsiaGlobal Production NetworkEconomic CorridorADBRegional IntegrationIndiaBangladeshSri Lanka

 


Regional Integration in South Asia: Trends, Challenges and Prospects

This study presents an assessment of trade and economic cooperation among South Asian nations, explores emerging challenges, and highlights policy issues to foster regional integration. It provides perspectives on potential new areas of cooperation such as investment, regional supply chains, energy, and cross border transport networks. The four areas of focus are: potential gains from South Asian regional integration, key areas for cooperation resulting in effective regional integration, country perspectives of regional cooperation, and case studies on bilateral cooperation. This volume aims to further contribute to policy discourse on effective regional cooperation with perspectives from Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Author: Mohammad A. Razzaque, Yurendra Basnett (Eds.)
Year: 2014
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Tags:  South AsiaRegional IntegrationRegional CooperationBangladeshIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaEnergy

 


UNCTAD Transport Newsletter: Fourth Quarter 2014

This United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) newsletter focuses on the development dimension and benefits of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement. It includes sections on the national trade facilitation committees, project proposal for the implementation of trade facilitation measures contained in the agreement, and improvement in implementation of sanitary and phytosanitary measures to facilitate trade. It also includes UNCTAD’s contribution to trade facilitation in Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2014
Download - 3.85 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationWTOUNCTADTransportDevelopmentSanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresEnergyIndia

 


Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2014

The Statistical Yearbook contains comparative statistics and facts about the 58 regional members and associate members of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. It includes brief analyses of 32 key development features such as energy supply and use, international trade, and transport, among others. In energy, the region’s production structure is highly resource-intensive, although per capita energy use is low. The section on international trade recommends focusing on raising domestic value-added rather than increasing gross exports in Asia and the Pacific. Finally, investment in environmentally sustainable transport is encouraged.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Download - 17.4 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificEnergyTradeTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


The Competitiveness of Global Port-Cities

This book explores the inter-linkages between ports and urban development. It provides an internationally comparative benchmark study of port cities. Case-studies of selected port-cities provide detailed analysis of port performance, port impacts, policies, and governance. The least time-efficient ports are located in Africa and South Asia. Mumbai, India, for example – one of the selected port-city profiles – lacks port infrastructure and suffers from heavy regulation.

Author: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
Year: 2014
Download - 7.95 MB
Tags:  TransportPortsIndia

 


NTMs in South Asia: Assessment and Analysis

The study “NTMs in South Asia: Assessment and Analysis” analyzes how Non-tariff Measures (NTMs) give rise to non-tariff barriers, which are becoming increasingly crucial for advancing trade cooperation among member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, yet remain less-addressed. The study examines export potential and actual export of South Asian countries, and attempts to highlight gains from reduction in transaction costs in bilateral trade. It also notes that initiatives for trade facilitation reforms in South Asia at the regional level remain low in incentives and have yet to produce significant results. The study closes with several recommendations for reducing and eliminating NTMs.

Author: Selim Raihan, Mostafa Abid Khan, and Shaquib Quoreshi
Year: 2014
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Tags:  Trade FacilitationTradeSAARCBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSouth AsiaSri Lanka

 


UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics 2014

The UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics is a collection of statistics and indicators relevant to the analysis of international trade, investment and development. The 2014 edition shows the increasing convergence of trade balance between developing and developed economies continues. The report also includes regional trade data from South Asia that shows average annual growth rate of international trade improved from a previous deficit of -7.1% in 2012 to -0.1% in 2013. However, trade balance ran a deficit of -26.51% compared to the previous year's -25.94%. Trade indicators also report intra-trade in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation region rose modestly from US$ 20,219 million to US$ 23,181 million between 2012 to 2013 and maintains intra-regional trade percentage at 5.8%.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2014
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Tags:  UNCTADRegional TradeDevelopmentBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTransport

 


The Connectivity Agenda

This article appeared in the special issue of My Republica published on the occasion of the 18th SAARC Summit. Mr. Ronald Antonio Q. Butiong, Unit head of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), traces the blueprints of SASEC projects to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Regional Multimodal Transport Study (2006) and SAARC Regional Energy Trade Study (2010); two studies supported by ADB and endorsed by SAARC member states. Highlighting the SASEC focus to promote economic cooperation in the subregion by developing cross-border connectivity and facilitating intra-regional trade in South Asia through its priority sectors—energy, transport, and trade facilitation—Mr. Butiong explains how ADB is providing assistance to sections of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal along SAARC corridors through SASEC. Featuring a brief discussion of key SASEC projects and technical assistance (since 2001, 33 projects implemented, worth over US$6 billion) alongside institution and capacity-building support, the article shows how the SASEC connectivity agenda is part of achieving SAARC development objectives.

Author: Ronald Antonio Q. Butiong
Year: 2014
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Tags:  SAARCEnergyTransportTrade Facilitation

 


Next Steps to South Asian Economic Union

This executive summary focuses on Phase II of the study on Regional Economic Integration, commissioned by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Secretariat with the technical and financial assistance of the Asian Development Bank, and outlines a roadmap toward a South Asian Economic Union (SAEU). It presents an overview of intra-regional trade in South Asia—with India accounting for 65% of the region's combined total exports, and Sri Lanka 24% of total intra-regional imports—and discusses specific priority steps, using a phased and planned approach that quantifies potential gains from priority sectors identified in Phase I, needed to achieve regional economic integration. Thus, while non-tariff barriers, infrastructure constraints and other factors continue to challenge regional cooperation and integration in South Asia, reference by SAARC leaders toward an SAEU indicates a willingness to consider bold action.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
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Tags:  SAARCSouth Asian Economic UnionEconomic IntegrationBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaRegional Integration

 


Bridging Transport, ICT, and Energy Infrastructure Gaps for Seamless Regional Connectivity

This publication is a contribution by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific to deliberations at the Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) in Vienna, Austria, 3-5 November 2014. It shows regional connectivity as an unfinished agenda and bridging infrastructure gaps as a complex challenge for LLDCs. While physical infrastructure is a priority, this report argues that deeper regional integration – through regionally cohesive and terrestrial networks – is key to effectively linking Asian LLDCs to the region’s infrastructure networks.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Download - 1.7 MB
Tags:  TransportICTEnergyUNESCAPSASECConnectivityInfrastructureBangladeshIndiaNepalSri LankaTradeTrade FacilitationPolicyTrade Policy

 


Review of Maritime Transport 2014

The Review of Maritime Transport is an annual UNCTAD flagship publication since 1968. It provides analysis of structural and cyclical changes affecting seaborne trade, ports and shipping, freight markets, and transport and regulatory frameworks. It further presents statistics, data, and insights on ownership of the world fleet, with South Asia dominating the market for ship recycling. This year’s special chapter focuses on the challenges faced by the world’s Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and reviews shipping-related challenges resulting from SIDS size, remoteness, and exposure to natural hazards, including impacts of climate change.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2014
Download - 3.7 MB
Tags:  TransportPortsSmall Island Developing StatesUNCTADTradeSouth AsiaBangladeshIndiaMaldivesSri Lanka

 


Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency

The World Bank Group’s Doing Business Report 2015 is the 12th in its annual series of investigations into regulations that enhance business activity. Its indicators analyze economic outcomes and identify reforms to promote better regulatory frameworks for development, job creation, and growth. For the first time this year, the Doing Business report extends its coverage beyond the second largest city to include economies with a population of more than 100 million such as Chittagong in Bangladesh, and Delhi in India. The data provides insights into the variability of business regulations within economies.

Author: The World Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 868 KB
Tags:  Asia-PacificBangladeshIndiaEase of Doing BusinessBangladesh

 


Asian Economic Integration Monitor: November 2014

This AEIM review of recent economic performance highlights the need for Asia to rebalance its sources of growth toward domestic and regional demand. It also shows a resilient Asia with rising GDP growth in South Asia. This issue includes a Special Chapter: Regional Financial Integration and Crisis in Asia and Europe – A Comparative Analysis. It presents Asia’s future path of integration as different from that in Europe. Asia will continue to strengthen efforts to harmonize rules and regulations in the financial sector and further unilateral trade and investment, while Europe is more likely to strengthen regional institutions to ensure recovery and better the monetary union.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 2MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificEconomic IntegrationEuropeASEANBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalRegional IntegrationSri LankaTrade FacilitationTransport

 


Industrialization and Global Value Chain Participation: An Examination of Constraints Faced by the Private Sector in Nepal

This paper examines the constraints behind and beyond Nepal's borders that hinder its full participation in global value chains (GVC). Basing the analysis on recent and relevant publications, key economic data, and interviews with policymakers and stakeholders, the authors explain how weak and uncertain industrial policy has led to de-industrialization. They also looked at the effects of inadequate infrastructure, energy shortage, and inefficient transit. Failures in coordination, shallow regional integration and non-tariff barriers also bar further growth of Nepal's industrial development and GVC participation. The authors recommend necessary domestic reforms for behind-the-border constraints, and subregional partnerships—facilitated through the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation program—for beyond-the-border challenges.

Author: Yurendra Basnett and Posh Raj Pandey
Year: 2014
Download - 902 KB
Tags:  InfrastructurePrivate SectorNepalGlobal Value ChainsIndustrializationInfrastructureEnergyTransportRegional IntegrationSASEC

 


SASEC Website Brochure

This promotional brochure for the SASEC website features the web portal as a one-stop shop for information on SASEC activities, events, projects, and knowledge materials. The SASEC website seeks to build a dynamic discussion platform and repository of data on regional cooperation.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 2.91 MB
Tags:  SASECKnowledge ProductICTADBBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSouth AsiaTransportTrade FacilitationEnergy

 


SASEC Brochure

This promotional brochure is a concise introduction to the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program, highlighting the main areas of regional cooperation and activity. It includes facts and figures about SASEC projects in transport, trade facilitation, energy, and ICT.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 1.79 MB
Tags:  SASECTrade FacilitationRegional CooperationICTADBBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalMaldivesSri LankaEnergyTransportConnectivity

 


SASEC Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework 2014-2018

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework 2014-2018 builds on the momentum of member countries over recent years in forging ahead with many significant improvements to facilitate, and ultimately increase, trade in the subregion and with the rest of the world. It supports the mission of the SASEC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy “to promote the prosperity of the subregion by facilitating the efficient movement of trade across the borders”, and focuses on five priority areas: customs modernization and harmonization; standards and conformity assessment strengthening; cross-border facilities improvement; through-transport facilitation; and institution and capacity building.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 756 KB
Tags:  SASECTrade FacilitationRegional CooperationTransportTradeCustomsStandardsHarmonisationRegional IntegrationADBBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaSouth Asia

 


The Global Gender Gap Report 2014

The Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education and health criteria. According to this 2014 edition, the Asia and Pacific region has closed 66% of its overall gender gap. However, it continues to rank second from last on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. According to the report, Bangladesh has achieved its highest overall score since 2006, with significant improvements on the Economic Participation and Opportunity, and the Educational Attainment and Health and Survival subindexes. However, it still ranks 127th on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, a score still below the subindex average. Nepal ranks second highest in percentage change for improvements in the Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment subindexes, but ranks 122nd on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. India is also below average on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex.

Author: World Economic Forum
Year: 2014
Download - 6.10 MB
Tags:  GenderEconomic ParticipationTrade

 


Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2014: Recent Trends and Developments

This Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2014 provides an analysis of recent regional trends and developments in: (a) intraregional trade in goods and services; (b) foreign direct investment (FDI); (c) trade facilitation measures; (d) trade policy measures; and (e) preferential trade agreements. According to this report, South and South West Asia’s FDI inflow improved, registering a 6% increase, with India holding the largest FDI share. However, performance in key trade and investment indicators was weak in 2013, with merchandise exports decreasing by 0.2%, around 71% of exports going to destinations outside the Asia-Pacific region, and around 64% of merchandise being imported from extra-regional sources. This publication also provides a preliminary regional assessment of the implementation of trade facilitation measures included in the TFA. This section concludes by identifying areas that countries need to focus on in order to further advance trade facilitation in the region.

Author: UNESCAP
Year: 2014
Download - 3.50 MB
Tags:  FDITradeTrade Facilitation

 


World Trade Report 2014 – Trade and Development: Recent Trends and the Role of the WTO

This annual publication highlights the relationship between trade and development, including changes since the start of the millennium. It identifies four key trends that altered the way trade affects development outcomes – accelerated economic growth in developing countries, expansion of global value chains, increase in agricultural and natural resource prices, and global nature of macroeconomic shocks. This report also explores how these trends have reshaped the role of trade in facilitating development and how recent development gains allow developing countries to adapt and mitigate risks.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2014
Download - 7.49 MB
Tags:  WTOGlobal Value ChainsTradeEconomic GrowthAgricultureTrade FacilitationDevelopmentBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSouth AsiaSri Lanka

 


World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation: Assessing the Level of Ambition and Likely Impacts

This ADB Working Paper Series on Regional Economic Integration presents a preliminary assessment of the new World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation (ATF), level of commitment of each Member, and impacts of the ATF. One of the first substantial deliverables of the Doha Development Agenda – the ATF – need not be ambitious but could include softening language where developing Members made full commitments. Furthermore, the ATF can be a useful guide for trade facilitation reform.

Author: Shintaro Hamanaka
Year: 2014
Download - 228 KB
Tags:  WTOTransport FacilitationTrade PolicyTrade FacilitationRegional IntegrationEconomic Integration

 


South Asia Economic Focus: The Export Opportunity

This bi-annual report presents the recent economic developments, outlook, and policy of the following South Asian countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It highlights developing country growth as fairly robust. Meanwhile, India’s growth rate is slowly increasing and its inflation rate declining. South Asian economies solidified their external positions by easing pressures to finance current account deficits, yet face domestic challenges such as reducing fiscal risks, supporting higher levels of investment, and sustaining export growth.

Author: The World Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 2.31 MB
Tags:  South AsiaTradeEconomicsWBBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


Developing Cross-Border Production Networks Between North Eastern Region of India, Bangladesh and Myanmar: A Preliminary Assessment

This publication is an extension of an earlier study conducted by the Research and Information System for Developing Countries and presents opportunities in cross-border production networks between North Eastern Region (NER) of India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. It also explores NER’s growth potential, including the role of trade facilitation in enhancing trade and production networks. Supply-side constraints in the region, as well as bottlenecks to cross-border production links, are further identified through extensive field surveys and structured questionnaires. Finally, this publication argues that logistical efficiency is crucial to production networks between India and Bangladesh, and NER states should be engaged in closer economic integration.

Author: Prabir De and Manab Majumdar
Year: 2014
Download - 4.13 MB
Tags:  IndiaBangladeshEconomic IntegrationRegional Integration

 


Asian Development Outlook 2014 Update: Asia in Global Value Chains

As developing Asia continues along a stable growth path, India maintains a 5.5% growth forecast for 2014 and shows promise of a turnaround. Reforms are envisioned for 2015, including a forecast 0.3% upgrade to 6.3%. Bhutan recorded the largest current account deficit as a percentage of GDP, due to imports used in construction of several large hydropower projects that will expand its energy export capacity to India. Meanwhile, South Asia is expected to perform with greater momentum in 2015, with a growth forecast upgrade to 6.1% from 5.8%. Most of the improvements in the subregion are from India’s deficit and Bangladesh’s current account. Nepal also shows improved outlook for 2015.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 11.4 MB
Tags:  South AsiaGlobal Value ChainsIndiaEconomicsTrade

 


The New Frontier of Competitiveness in Developing Countries: Implementing Trade Facilitation

This report presents an overview of implementation challenges for realizing trade facilitation reforms. It consolidates results of 26 national trade facilitation implementation plans in 26 countries, comprising least developed countries, middle-income developing countries, landlocked countries, and small island economies in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. In the 26 countries surveyed, the level of implementation of trade facilitation measures in the World Trade Organization (WTO) is considerably lower in least developed countries (LDCs) than in developing countries. Since trade facilitation still remains a major challenge for developing countries and LDCs, an international legal regime with special and differential treatment will help developing WTO members achieve further progress.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2014
Download - 3921.1 K
Tags:  Trade FacilitationAsia-PacificWTOBangladeshBhutanNepal

 


Port Management Series Volume 1: Port Management Case Studies

This publication presents summaries of the best three dissertations from the past cycle of the English-speaking network of the Train-for-Trade Port Training Program (2011-2013). This United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Train-For-Trade Port Training Programme supports port communities in developing countries achieve efficient and competitive port management. The findings of the Maldives study reveal the possibility of reducing port maintenance by 15% of total operating costs through adherence to a maintenance schedule, standardizing equipment in procurement policy, updating maintenance requirements and available equipment, and recording maintenance expenditure.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2014
Download - 4.63 MB
Tags:  MaldivesTransportPorts

 


Impact of Trade Facilitation on Foreign Direct Investment

This United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Trade and Investment Working Paper attempts to quantify the potential impact of trade facilitation on foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. The study uses bilateral FDI data from 2006 onward from both developing and developed countries, including South-South FDI flows, wherein contiguity (common border between source and host country) and geographic distance are found to be much more important factors. In applying an augmented FDI model framework to determine the effect of comprehensive international trade costs, the results show that both non-tariff and tariff costs are important determinants of FDI inflows.

Author: Yann Duval and Chorthip Utoktham
Year: 2014
Download - 842 KB
Tags:  FDITrade FacilitationBilateral TradeUNESCAPInvestmentTariffBangladeshMaldives

 


ASEAN, PRC, and India: The Great Transformation

This joint study by the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank Institute highlights the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the People’s Republic of China, and India (collectively referred to as ACI economies) as drivers of the global economy. It explores links among ACI economies and how these may shape regional and global competition and cooperation. The study also notes that Asia’s leading economies can foster a positive outcome through a paradigm shift toward inclusive, green, and knowledge-led growth. Adoption of low-carbon, green growth strategies can help place ACI economies on a sustainable growth path. Furthermore, infrastructure and human capital investments can link ACI economies through region-wide free trade and investment agreements.

Author: Asian Development Bank and Asian Development Bank Institute
Year: 2014
Download - 4.2 MB
Tags:  IndiaAsia-PacificRegional CooperationADBASEANInvestment

 


A Connectivity-Driven Development Strategy for Nepal: From a Landlocked to a Land-Linked State

Transforming Nepal from a landlocked into a land-linked state, the authors argue, could be key to unlocking the country's much-awaited growth. With its strategic location between India and the People's Republic of China, a connectivity-driven development strategy could energize Nepal's lackluster post-conflict economic performance. Further, Nepal implements a multi-track approach to promoting regional cooperation and integration in connectivity with its neighbors, reinforced through participation in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, and South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation. By identifying ten priority projects that could further boost Nepal's connectivity, the paper also discusses how strengthening Nepal's transport, energy, and trade links could benefit the region. However, the authors also warn against “internal threats” to Nepal's development—corruption and the country's difficult political situation.

Author: Pradumna B. Rana and Binod Karmacharya
Year: 2014
Download - 644 KB
Tags:  NepalEconomic CorridorRegional TradeConnectivityDevelopmentEconomic GrowthSASECIndiaRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationSAARCBIMSTECTransportEnergyTrade

 


Trade Performance and Competitiveness: Selected Issues Relevant for Asian Developing Economies – A Study by the Asia Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade

This study comprises four selected research essays on trade and industry in the Asian region. It explores the structural transformation and trade policy in Nepal, analyzes India’s trade in intermediates with Bangladesh and Thailand, and examines the export performance of manufacturing and service sector enterprises in Sri Lanka. These essays also argue that there is scope for better targeting of Nepalese trade and industry promotion policies. There is further discussion on firm level issues related to competition in globalized markets.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Download - 8.76 MB
Tags:  NepalSri LankaBangladeshTrade PolicyIndiaTrade

 


Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2014

This 2014 edition of UNESCAP's flagship publication emphasizes the importance of furthering regional connectivity in Asia-Pacific—a region which, despite significant reductions in poverty levels, is now witnessing rising income inequality, both within and between countries. It calls for driving the region's growth by exploiting the interdependence and synergies of five elements: trade and transport connectivity, ICT networks, energy connectivity, people-to-people networks, and promotion of knowledge-based economies, and advocates approaching connectivity as a regional public good.

Author: UNESCAP
Year: 2014
Download - 12.2 MB
Tags:  Economic IntegrationRegional CooperationPoverty ReductionAsia-PacificConnectivityEnergyICTBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesSri LankaTradeTransportUNESCAP

 


Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2014

This year's edition presents an in-depth inquiry on poverty in Asia, tackling whether the $1.25/day extreme poverty standard still accurately depicts minimum living standard of the poor in Asia and the Pacific. Using this broad measure, the poverty rate is projected to fall to 24.5% for South Asia by 2030, if recent economic growth trends continue. However, considering the current national poverty line average among today's less developed economies in the region, an Asia-specific extreme poverty line is more accurately estimated at $1.51/day, increasing Asia’s poverty rate in 2010 by 9.8%, and of a large economy like India by 15%. Hence, despite huge gains made, reducing poverty remains a pressing challenge in Asia and the Pacific. This book proposes several measures to counteract worsening poverty, including close regional cooperation which can reduce a country’s vulnerability, and urgent policy actions that promote economic growth and prioritize climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 12.3 MB
Tags:  Poverty ReductionDisaster RiskRegional CooperationAsia-PacificBangladeshBhutanEconomicsEnergyIndiaMaldivesMilennium Development GoalsNepalSri LankaSustainabilityTransport

 


Economic Implications of Deeper South Asian–Southeast Asian Integration: A CGE Approach

High tariff and non-tariff barriers, and costly transport links and inefficient trade facilitation measures continue to hamper the growth of trade between South Asia and Southeast Asia. This paper explores whether potential gains from improved connectivity—via Myanmar as inter-regional bridge—justify a high level of investment. Using an advanced computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, reduction of inter-regional tariffs, decreasing of non-tariff barriers by 50%, and cutting down of trade costs between South Asia and Southeast Asia by 15% yields a prediction of 8.9% rise in welfare in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and an increase of 6.4% in gross domestic product by 2030.

Author: Ganeshan Wignaraja, Peter Morgan, Michael Plummer, and Fan Zhai
Year: 2014
Download - 996 KB
Tags:  TransportTrade FacilitationSouth AsiaSoutheast AsiaRegional IntegrationTariffTradeConnectivityInvestmentMyanmarGDP

 


Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia

This book discusses the economic costs and benefits of unilateral and regional actors on climate change adaptation in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It provides the total economic loss throughout the 21st century and estimates the funding required for adaptation measures to avert potential losses. Huge impacts are likely on vulnerable sectors in the region, with South Asia losing on average nearly 2% of its gross domestic product by 2050. Results of the study will aid climate change adaptation in the region, including initiatives for regional cooperation.

Author: Mahfuz Ahmed and Suphachol Suphachalasai
Year: 2014
Download - 5.18 MB
Tags:  ClimateSouth AsiaRegional CooperationEnergyBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


Nepal: Development Effectiveness Brief 2014

Nepal has the potential to achieve more inclusive growth and can largely benefit from regional cooperation and integration with its developing neighbors. It is also benefiting from South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation, a flagship ADB-supported program that promotes economic cooperation and integration in areas of trade facilitation (custom modernization and transport connectivity), power development, trade, and tourism development. This brief further explores ADB’s contribution to inclusive development and poverty reduction, energy, and transport. Exporting energy when surplus is available is one way of meeting seasonal demand by subregional cooperation and power trade. Transport infrastructure is also another key ingredient to equitable, inclusive growth that can address challenges such as lack of market access, inadequate roads, and poor connectivity.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 960 KB
Tags:  NepalRegional CooperationSouth AsiaADBConnectivityEnergyRoadsSASECTradeTransport

 


Mega-regional Trade Agreements: Game-Changers or Costly Distractions for the World Trading System?

This document explores the impact of regional trade agreements such as mega-regionals on countries that are not part of World Trade Organization negotiations. It focuses on trade-diverting effects of Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership such as the potential for multilateralization and discrimination. The report further explores potential impact of mega-regionals on Asia-Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. The latter sections highlight the opportunities and challenges in promoting coexistence of these future agreements with the multilateral trading system.

Author: World Economic Forum
Year: 2014
Download - 1.25 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificRegional TradeTrade PolicyIndiaWTO

 


Future of Factory Asia

This volume, co-published by the Asian Development Bank and the Korea Economic Research Institute, reflects one of the broad thematic sessions of the Seoul conference, Beyond Factory Asia. It assesses the challenges and sustainability of the Factory Asia model – supplying from the East and consuming in the West – and provides suggestions and strategies on effective management of these concerns. The volume further analyzes obstacles in the success of Factory Asia, its speed in expanding its own domestic and regional markets, and its progress in upgrading competitiveness in the manufacturing sector. The new Factory Asia must nurture new sources of growth in the region and focus on regional economic integration.

Author: Choi Byung-il and Changyong Rhee (eds.)
Year: 2014
Download - 5.41 MB
Tags:  Economic IntegrationAsia-PacificTrade PolicyADBAsiaManufacturingRegional IntegrationBangladeshEnergySri LankaTransport

 


Energy Security, Sustainability, and Affordability in Asia and the Pacific

Energy security, sustainability, and affordability from 2010 to 2035 for Asian Development Bank’s Asia and Pacific members are calculated in this working paper, including potential benefits of integrating energy systems regionally. Based on business-as-usual and alternative scenarios, outlook on SASEC member countries by 2035 include (i) dramatic improvement in Bhutan's energy efficiency, (ii) slight decrease in Bangladesh's energy intensity—although carbon dioxide will increase in its primary energy mix, as dependence on fossil fuels rise, and (iii) decrease in energy self-sufficiency of SASEC member countries by 2035, but improved energy affordability. Since renewable energy sources and importation of energy may be capital-intensive, requiring additional tariff support, regional cooperation can enhance affordability and energy security—with Bhutan and Nepal standing to benefit greatly from energy integration in South Asia.

Author: Norberto Fueyo, Antonio Gómez, and César Dopazo
Year: 2014
Download - 6.25 MB
Tags:  EnergyBhutanNepalSustainabilityAsia-PacificADBRegional IntegrationSASECSouth AsiaBangladeshSustainabilityRenewablesTariffRegional Cooperation

 


The Role of Sri Lanka in Enhancing Connectivity between South Asia and Southeast Asia

As Sri Lanka rebuilds at the end of a 30-year conflict, its progress in improving physical infrastructure—including the Colombo port expansion and other programs for new expressways and road connectivity—has been significant. Yet, the country has seen a sharp decline in its overall exports-to-gross domestic product ratio. How Sri Lanka can benefit from greater connectivity with its neighbors in South Asia and Southeast Asia is discussed in this paper. Trade policies geared towards enhancing regional integration efforts could boost Sri Lanka's economy. Additionally, to lessen the challenges of financing and sustaining implementation of planned infrastructure development efforts, Sri Lanka could also implement a more stringent institutional and regulatory environment encouraging more private sector participation.

Author: Dushni Weerakoon and Nipuni Perera
Year: 2014
Download - 364 KB
Tags:  Trade PolicyTrade FacilitationSri LankaConnectivitySouth AsiaSoutheast AsiaADBTransportRegional Integration

 


Opportunity Cost of Natural Gas Subsidies in Bangladesh

This paper examines the impact of optimal gas pricing policy using a general equilibrium model for the Bangladesh economy. It estimates the opportunity cost of underpricing or subsidizing gas in Bangladesh. It further explores the potential impacts of an increase in investment on social and physical infrastructure using the social accounting matrix multiplier model. The results reveal that Bangladesh is losing a significant development opportunity due to its gas subsidy. Calculations using a dynamic computable general equilibrium model suggest that withdrawal of the gas subsidy along with increased investments in physical and social infrastructure would lead to positive macroeconomic and sectoral effects in Bangladesh.

Author: Herath Gunatilake and Selim Raihan
Year: 2014
Download - 6.29 MB
Tags:  BangladeshEnergyADBInvestment

 


Estimating the Benefits of Cross-Border Paperless Trade

Cross-border paperless trade is trade that occurs on the basis of electronic communications and has been part of customs reform efforts in a variety of countries. Increased implementation of cross-border paperless trade is high on the trade facilitation agenda in Asia-Pacific. This report considers six measures to calculate estimates of possible economic benefits of cross-border paperless trade through counterfactual simulations using 2013 data and simple econometric models. Simulation results reveal that this new generation of trade facilitation can significantly reduce trade costs and boost intra- and extra-regional trade in the region. Partial implementation of these measures can lead to an export increase of $36 billion annually. Total direct cost savings across all trade is about $1 billion per annum for partial reform, and $7 billion for full implementation.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Download - 652 KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTradeAsia-PacificUNESCAPCustomsExportBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


Trade and Investment Barriers Affecting International Production Networks in India

Recognizing India as an outlier in development of international production networks with the lowest participation among Asian countries, this study investigates the reason for India’s lackluster participation in production-sharing networks. Using desk work, field surveys, and interviews, an analysis is adopted with three comparator countries in the region that have been successful in production-sharing arrangements as well as industrial growth – China, Malaysia, and Thailand. It further describes foreign direct investment inflows into India, analyzes behind-the-border investment environment, and provides recommendations to improve investment climate and hasten the pace of manufacturing development in India.

Author: Anwarul Hoda and Durgesh Kumar Rai
Year: 2014
Download - 706 KB
Tags:  IndiaTradeProduction NetworksInvestmentThailandManufacturingCustomsEconomic CorridorEnergyTrade FacilitationTransport

 


Bilateral Free Trade Agreements: Opportunities and Challenges for Bangladesh - Framework Issues

Slow progress of negotiations for multilateral trade under the World Trade Organization and the global economic crisis have led to a rise in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in developing countries, yet Bangladesh has remained ambivalent in setting its strategies regarding FTAs. Instead, it has opted to maintain exports through preferential market access with its partners among developed countries. This report cautions that with the increasing reduction of tariffs among developed countries, Bangladesh's preferential market access with these trading partners will soon lose its luster. On the other hand, exploring alternative markets by signing FTAs among least developed countries and developing countries in South Asia may be a better option for Bangladesh. This policy paper argues that Bangladesh needs to expand its export market by exploring bilateral FTAs with other trading partners, including its neighbors in the South Asia region.

Author: Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Mehruna Islam Chowdhury, and Saifa Raz
Year: 2014
Download - 1.58 MB
Tags:  TradeTrade PolicyBangladesh

 


Green Power for Bhutan: Clean Energy Crosses Borders to Reach Poor Households

Constructed under the ADB-financed Green Power Development Project, Bhutan's Dagachhu hydropower plant showcases how a public–private partnership for hydropower development successfully promotes cross-border energy trade, contributes to increased national energy security, and improves access to on- and off-grid energy for 9,000 rural households and public facilities. This report reviews the project's key features and discusses how an investment in renewable energy infrastructure is leading Bhutan and its neighboring countries toward greater inclusive growth.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 1.23 MB
Tags:  EnergyInfrastructurePoverty ReductionBhutan

 


The Long and Winding Road: How WTO Members Finally Reached a Trade Facilitation Agreement

The conclusion of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation at the Bali negotiations in December 2013 marked the end of a journey that lasted almost a decade. As the first multilateral trade agreement successfully negotiated by World Trade Organization (WTO) ministers, it broke new ground in the decentralized, bottom-up way the negotiations were structured; in the manner the capacities and resources of developing countries were addressed; and in how the Agreement has shifted the system’s focus beyond policy barriers toward process frictions. The negotiated outcome is likely to have an impact not just on Trade Facilitation, but on the WTO and the multilateral trading system as a whole.

Author: Nora Neufeld
Year: 2014
Download - 80 KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTrade PolicyRegional CooperationWTOIndia

 


Policies to Enhance Trade Facilitation in South Asia and Southeast Asia

This Asian Development Bank Institute publication identifies the state of play of trade facilitation and provides an overview of intra- and inter-regional trade in South and Southeast Asia. It highlights key challenges and bottlenecks to effective trade facilitation, ranging from the lack of expert human resources such as information technology specialists in small landlocked countries (Bhutan and Nepal), to the high border transaction costs and severe congestion faced at border crossing points, and the lack of effective dialogue on bilateral enhancement of trade facilitation. Regional initiatives such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program aim to address these challenges through customs modernization and harmonization, automation, and the use of international best practices in border procedures.

Author: Anthony Bayley
Year: 2014
Download - 1.26 MB
Tags:  South AsiaTrade FacilitationTrade PolicySoutheast AsiaADBICTBhutanNepalSASECCustoms

 


The Global Enabling Trade Report 2014

The Global Enabling Trade Report offers a tool to monitor progress on implementing measures for the Trade Facilitation Agreement. Benchmarking the performance of 138 economies in four critical areas, including border administration, the Report takes off from the success of the Bali package by emphasizing measures that facilitate trade at a more practical level, with benefits that significantly outweigh the cost of necessary reforms and produces positive spillover effects on other indicators—market access, infrastructure, and operating environments. Also mentioned are insights on further boosting trade facilitation within the region, such as regional cooperation and sharing of good practices. The Report is intended as a motivator for change at a time of renewed momentum for trade facilitation where windows of opportunities for policymakers to push through trade-enabling measures are open.

Author: Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz, Thierry Geiger, Sean Doherty (eds.)
Year: 2014
Download - 3.56 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationBangladeshIndiaNepalSouth AsiaSri Lanka

 


Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014

The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report offers a platform for dialogue among key stakeholders in government, business, and civil society on improving the living standards of the world’s citizens through insights on institutions, policies, and factors that drive or hinder growth and national competitiveness. Using the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), twelve pillars are considered, including infrastructure, which, among factor-driven economies of Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, impacts the location of economic activity, reduces distance between regions, and enables production and faster flow of goods. Market size—essential for countries with small domestic markets—is another key index measured. The 2013-2014 report also includes an assessment of newly-covered Bhutan, and an analysis for the drop in India's GCI ranking.

Author: Klaus Schwab
Year: 2014
Download - 7.17 MB
Tags:  EconomicsPoverty ReductionInfrastructureBangladeshBhutanEnergyIndiaNepalSri LankaTransport

 


Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation

This paper reports survey findings on progress in implementing various trade facilitation and paperless trade measures made by 29 countries in Asia and the Pacific, including six SASEC member countries. Factors considered include pre-arrival clearance, post-clearance audit, National Single Window, and authorized operator programmes. The survey reveals that while countries have prioritized automation and paperless trade at the regional level, there is an urgent need for regional arrangements that will facilitate cross-border exchange of trade-related electronic documents and information to enable smoother trade facilitation.

Author: Tengfei Wang and Yann Duval
Year: 2014
Download - 1.18 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationRegional CooperationTradeAsia-PacificSASECSingle WindowUNESCAPCustomsBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


WCO News: WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

WCO News is a biannual newsletter of the World Customs Organization (WCO). This issue, released in June 2014, focuses on the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation. WCO's commitment to its implementation is highlighted and linkages between articles of the Agreement and WCO instruments and tools are explored. Also included is a feature on the benefits Authorized Economic Operator programmes bring supply chain companies.

Author: World Customs Organization
Year: 2014
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Tags:  Trade FacilitationWCOWTOBangladeshCustomsIndiaSri Lanka

 


The Merits of Regional Cooperation: The Case of South Asia

This book makes the case for a re-strengthened South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), arguing that regional integration is a key factor for countries in South Asia to succeed economically and increase confidence among potential foreign investors. SAARC's inroads in improving border crossings, transport routes, and infrastructure are improving weak levels of trade within the region. However, these efforts are insufficient; they need to go hand-in-hand with further improving bilateral relations – and SAARC is in a good position to facilitate these negotiations. Spanning a wide range of subjects, including international relations, strategic affairs, environment, politics and economic issues, the publication aims to show the huge potential of South Asia as a region.

Author: Siegfried O. Wolf, Paulo Casaca, Anne J. Flanagan, and Cátia Rodrigues
Year: 2014
Download - 1353 KB
Tags:  Regional CooperationASEANBangladeshEuropeIndiaSAARCSouth Asia

 


Asian Financial Integration: Impacts of the Global Crisis and Options for Regional Policies

The impact of the global financial crisis (GFC) reverberated deeply throughout the financial markets of Europe and the United States. In contrast, due to its relative independence from global financial markets at that time, Asia was sheltered from its painful blow. As the GFC fast-tracked the growth of Asian economies, thrusting them to the center and leading the global recovery, questions about Asia's financial future come up: how can Asian growth and development continue? This book reviews lessons learned from the GFC and looks at important Asian policy responses to the crisis, including capital account liberalization in India. It also attempts to provide a road map for the future, discussing how Asia can strengthen regional institutions and cooperate, while undertaking domestic reforms consistent with the regional and global agenda, and by proposing strategies for financial integration in the region.

Author: Yiping Huang and Shiro Armstrong (eds.)
Year: 2014
Download - 2836 KB
Tags:  Regional IntegrationEconomic IntegrationAsiaEuropeIndia

 


Globalization in an Age of Crisis: Multilateral Economic Cooperation in the 21st Century

Is globalization in retreat, ask editors of Globalization in an Age of Crisis. Hosting discussions on multilateralism in trade and macroeconomic issues, the book considers international policy making following the global economic crisis of 2008-2009 that saw countries prioritize policy initiatives advancing national interests over international economic cooperation. Critical junctures are considered, including the current WTO round and whether it can deliver on its promise to improve trading prospects of developing countries (chapter 3), and the compatibility of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with multilateral trading systems (chapter 4). Empirical assessments measuring the 'successes' of existing PTAs are also included.

Author: Robert C. Feenstra and Alan M. Taylor
Year: 2014
Download - 4823 KB
Tags:  Trade PolicyTradeEconomicsWTO

 


Trade Facilitation Potential of Asian Transit Agreements in the Context of the WTO Negotiations

Freedom of transit is an issue critical to landlocked developing countries whose lack of direct access to the sea has increased costs and lessened their competitiveness in international trade. To meet challenges arising from transit barriers, member states of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific recommend transit facilitation as part of an integrated approach to trade facilitation. This working paper analyzes freedom of transit and transit facilitation in the context of trade and transport agreements in the Asia Pacific region, identifying good practices and weighing in on the extent to which existing agreements meet the provisions on transit facilitation stated in the draft text of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

Author: Louis Cousin and Yann Duval
Year: 2014
Download - 1.6MB
Tags:  Transport FacilitationTrade FacilitationWTOAsiaUNESCAPBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal

 


Deepening India’s Shallow Export Basket

India’s bilateral trade with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) grew to US$70 million in 2011 and growth trajectories suggest that bilateral trade will continue to expand. India exports low value-added products such as ores, cotton, and copper to the PRC; and imports high value-added and technology sophisticated products such as electrical machinery and equipment from the PRC. India suffers from lack of export diversification although manufactures are an increasing share of India’s bilateral export basket. The proposed PRC-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) can deepen India’s export basket; and FTA-based reforms on pharmaceuticals, and information and technology services sector can significantly impact India’s bilateral trade composition.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 371 KB
Tags:  IndiaTradeTrade Policy

 


Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific - Sustaining the Momentum: Vigilance and Reforms

The Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific is one of the five Regional Economic Outlooks published bi-annually by the International Monetary Fund, and contains recent economic developments and prospects for the region. This report shows that Asia is a continuing source of global economic dynamism having strengthened its resilience to global risks, and is well positioned to meet future challenges if it stays on course with reform. Chapter 3 highlights the growing source of interconnectedness in the region and the need for policymakers to maximize growth benefits while managing vulnerabilities.

Author: International Monetary Fund
Year: 2014
Download - 9.80 MB
Tags:  Economic IntegrationTrade PolicyRegional IntegrationAsia-PacificBangladeshEconomicsIndiaSri Lanka

 


Unpacking the Bali Package: a Snapshot of Bali Ministerial Decisions of WTO Members

The Bali Package represents a key turning point for the World Trade Organization. Covering trade facilitation, agriculture, and trade issues for developing and least-developed countries, it is set to increase trade activity on a global scale and lower the cost of doing international trade. This paper acts as a precursor to its implementation by identifying challenges countries may face, giving a brief history of each pillar, exploring the next possible steps for each ministerial decision, and examining the likely effects of this decision/agreement on various other stakeholders, particularly on consumers.

Author: Archana Jatkar and Chenai Mukumba
Year: 2014
Download - 586.18KB
Tags:  TradeTrade FacilitationTrade PolicyWTOAgricultureLeast Developed CountriesIndia

 


Together We Deliver: 10 Stories from ADB-Supported Projects

Together We Deliver showcases ten ADB projects across Asia and the Pacific that demonstrate clear development impacts, replicable best practices, and valuable use of innovation. Among those highlighted is SASEC's Green Power Development Project in Bhutan, which is boosting the national economy through clean energy exports to India and also funding social programs that bring electricity to more than 8,500 rural poor households. The book also features a rural road project in India that connects remote communities to schools, hospitals, and other facilities. Capturing a wide range of ADB's assistance, the book portrays how ADB is changing for better the lives of many in Asia and the Pacific region.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 4.06MB
Tags:  Regional CooperationBhutanIndiaDevelopmentEnergy

 


SAARC Biz: The Inevitability of South Asia

SAARC Biz is a monthly publication of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry and features a report on the 'Inevitability of South Asia'. While the term 'South Asia' is commonly accepted, it argues that regionalism is far from being implemented on the ground. For instance, SAARC was accepted as a concept of cross-border regionalism but was hobbled due to budget constraints and restrictive mandates. Connectivity across national frontiers is needed to jump-start regionalism and improve lives in the most deprived parts of the Subcontinent.

Author: SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Year: 2014
Download - 2.31 MB
Tags:  South AsiaRegional CooperationSAARCIndustrializationRegional IntegrationPoverty ReductionGenderLeast Developed CountriesConnectivityAgricultureBangladeshYouthIndiaEnvironmentInvestmentTourismRenewables

 


Asian Development Outlook 2014: Fiscal Policy for Inclusive Growth

The Asian Development Outlook, ADB’s flagship economic publication provides comprehensive macroeconomic analysis in Asia including growth projections by country and region. The Asian Development Outlook 2014 forecasts that developing Asia will grow 6.2% in 2014 and 6.4% in 2015. South Asia remains one of the slowest growing subregions—although growth is forecast to improve by 5.3% in 2014 and 5.8% in 2015.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 5.75 MB
Tags:  ADBBangladeshBhutanEconomic CorridorEnergyIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTransport

 


Simulating World Trade in the Decades Ahead: Driving Forces and Policy Implications

This working paper considers economic prospects up to the year 2100, offering assumptions about key exogenous variables, providing a baseline for climate change policy evaluation, and discussing sectoral and trade issues. The paper combines an economic growth model with a multi-sectoral model to construct scenarios for around 150 countries up to a maximum time horizon of 2035, with forecasts on a number of key variables such as energy prices, demographics, etc. It suggests that trends toward increased regionalization may be reversed, with multilateral trade relationships gaining in importance.

Author: Lionel Fontagné, Jean Fouré and Alexander Keck
Year: 2014
Download - 178 KB
Tags:  ClimateTradeStatisticsTrade PolicyPolicyEnergyTariffASEANIndiaEnvironment

 


Asian Economic Integration Monitor - April 2014

The Asian Economic Integration Monitor, a semiannual review of regional economic cooperation and integration in Asia covers regional economic updates, intraregional trade, financial integration and investment, and the importance of disaster risk financing instruments. The Theme Chapter: Insuring Against Asia’s Natural Catastrophes discusses market solutions and the role of government in developing disaster risk financing and strengthening financial resilience. The economic update section encourages strengthening regional cooperation in surveillance and financial safety nets, and deepening economic links. Inter-subregional trade between each subregion and the rest of Asia is rising, except in South Asia, while financial integration continues to deepen across the region.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 2.18 MB
Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationSouth AsiaDisaster RiskClimateBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTransport

 


Solving India’s Renewable Energy Financing Challenge: Which Federal Policies can be Most Effective?

As India works toward increasing the use of renewable energy across the country, unsubsidized renewable energy remains 52-129% more expensive than conventional energy and needs policy support. This joint publication by the Climate Policy Initiative and Indian School of Business weighs in on federal policies that can provide a solution to India's renewable energy challenge, and asks whether existing support policies are the most cost effective.

Various policies are assessed, in light of the different criteria federal policymakers consider. Existing federal policies are compared with a recommended class of debt-related federal policies using a suggested framework. The study concludes that long-term, debt-related policies are more cost-effective. The research also presents viable short-term policy options.

Author: Gireesh Shrimali, Shobhit Goel, Sandhya Srinivasan, David Nelson
Year: 2014
Download - 1.14MB
Tags:  EnergyClimateIndia

 


Lose to Gain: Is Involuntary Resettlement a Development Opportunity?

This book examines how displaced persons recover from physical and economic displacement in the South Asian context using resettlement case studies from India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Despite improvement in national policies and willingness to enforce good practices, the level of involuntary resettlement good practices in South Asia varies widely. There is need for greater commitment, legal reforms, and adequate resources to ensure that involuntary resettlement becomes a development opportunity for all project-affected persons.

Author: Perera, Jayantha (ed.)
Year: 2014
Download - 4.44 MB
Tags:  IndiaNepalSouth AsiaResettlementBangladeshEnergyRenewablesSri LankaTransport

 


Towards a National Integrated and Sustainable Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism: BPA+

This ADB-UNESCAP publication aims to provide guidance to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region on establishing a sustainable trade and transport facilitation monitoring mechanism (TTFMM). Underpinning the TTFMM is the integrated methodology of Business Process Analysis Plus (BPA+), which is built on the Business Process Analysis methodology, and supplemented by Time Release Studies (TRS) and Time-Cost-Distance (TCD) methodologies. It is envisaged that establishment of TTFMM will enable effective monitoring and enhancement of national trade facilitation on a continuous basis and in a sustainable manner.

Author: UNESCAP
Year: 2014
Download - 1.61MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTransport FacilitationTransportTrade PolicyBangladeshIndiaNepalSri Lanka

 


Macroeconomic Update: Nepal

This issue explores various dimensions of Nepal’s export competitiveness, and stresses the need to address crippling domestic supply-side constraints to boost exports. It suggests that the country needs to properly utilize technical assistance through various financing windows to address constraints such as inadequate infrastructure, political instability, labor disputes, deficiency in human resources and research and development, among others.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 1.52MB
Tags:  EconomicsTrade PolicyNepal

 


Asian Market Development and Integration: Challenges and Opportunities

This book, co-published by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Korea Capital Market Institute (KCMI), in collaboration with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, examines the path of capital market development in Asia since the 2008 global crisis. It presents the analytical framework for addressing capital market integration at the regional level and its likely impacts.

Author: Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Korea Capital Market Institute(KCMI), eds.
Year: 2014
Download - --
Tags:  EconomicsTrade PolicyRegional IntegrationBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


The Political Economy of Asian Regionalism

This book reviews the political economy of Asia's economic cooperation and integration and focuses on the innovations needed for current institutional reform in the region. It analyzes Asian regionalism after the global financial crisis including free trade agreements. The book also discusses the possible formation of a region-wide economic community.

Author: Giovanni Capannelli, Masahiro Kawai
Year: 2014
Download - --
Tags:  EconomicsRegional Cooperation

 


Who Shapes Climate Action in India? Insights from the Wind and Solar Energy Sectors

This report discusses climate change as a problem with domestic and international dimensions that intersect in complex ways. It focuses on the main players - including government, private sector, and civil society - by attempting to understand their influence in shaping climate change within India. Wind and solar sectors are highlighted as renewable energy is an important part of the energy mix and there has been remarkable activity in these sectors in recent years. The case studies describe key discourse and perceptions influencing renewable energy policy and the central questions shaping climate policy in India.

Author: Ankur Chaudhary, Ankita Narain, Chetan Krishna and Ambuj Sagar
Year: 2014
Download - 1.31MB
Tags:  ClimateEnergyIndia

 


Potential Growth in Emerging Asia

This paper estimates potential growth for China, India, and five ASEAN countries during 1993-2013. It states that India has exhibited a slowdown in potential growth, reflecting a decline of total factor productivity growth. The paper also puts forward that demographic factors will be much more supportive in the future as the working-age population starts to decrease.

Author: Rahul Anand, Kevin Cheng, Sidra Rehman, Longmei Zhang
Year: 2014
Download - 1MB
Tags:  EconomicsIndiaASEANTrade

 


Three Decades of Development Partnership: Royal Government of Bhutan and Asian Development Bank

In celebration of 30 years of partnership between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan, this publication tells the story of development in the power sector, transport connectivity, the process of urbanization, and more in the landlocked nation of Bhutan. The final chapter—Deepening Regional Connectivity in Bhutan—is devoted to the engagement of the country in the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 3.52MB
Tags:  BhutanRegional Cooperation

 


Economic Corridor Development for Inclusive Asian Regional Integration: Modeling Approach to Economic Corridors

The experience of economic corridor development in different regions across continents is examined in this publication, which shares detailed models that assess the economic impact of corridor investments. The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) model highlights the regionally inequitable impact of corridor projects and focuses on the incremental effects of infrastructure investments in terms of gains in per capita income.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 3.7MB
Tags:  TransportTrade PolicyEconomic CorridorIndiaBangladeshSri Lanka

 


Impacts of Trade Facilitation Measures on Poverty and Inclusive Growth: Case Studies from Asia - A Study by the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade

This book addresses the gap between trade facilitation and poverty reduction and contains a compilation of specific case studies that explores the linkages between trade facilitation measures and poverty. It also presents cross-country analysis that examines inequality in low- and middle-income countries. Other chapters discuss economic corridors and microfinance development as trade facilitation measures and examine access to trade facilitation by export-oriented micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. It also explores barriers to international entrepreneurship for the vegetable business in Bangladesh. Finally, it offers a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) on poverty reduction.

Author: Ravi Ratnayake, Rajan Sudesh Ratna, Martina Francesca Ferracane and Yann Duval
Year: 2013
Download - 8.75 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationBangladeshTradePoverty ReductionEconomic CorridorSmall and medium enterprisesIndiaSAARCCustomsPakistan

 


Beyond Factory Asia: Fuelling Growth in a Changing World

This paper assesses the challenges of Factory Asia – a model of regional networks connecting production centers in different Asian economies. It forms part of regional and global value chains and constitutes an important source of growth in the region. Regional cooperation is vital to the success of Factory Asia, which calls for greater South-South cooperation to leverage knowledge in domestic manufacturing, allowing countries such as India to leapfrog to higher value chains. For Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with small domestic markets, strategic options include carving out a niche in lower-value manufacturing. The paper further argues that policymakers should be wary of expanding or increasing the number of free trade agreements for the growth or spread of production networks.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 1.18 KB
Tags:  South AsiaRegional CooperationTrade PolicyManufacturingExportsSmall and medium enterprisesIndiaAgricultureBangladesh

 


South Asia Energy Security: Challenges and Opportunities

The imbalance between the growing demand for energy in South Asia and the countries' uneven energy resources has led to weakened energy security in the region. Import dependence from outside the region has become a costly solution. As countries in South Asia move to expand their economies, fostering cross border energy trade and promoting energy investment opportunities could be a better alternative to resolving the energy deficit. However, energy cooperation within South Asia is challenged by major issues that could impede regional energy trade that is beneficial for all.

Author: Bhupendra Kumar Singh
Year: 2013
Download - 2.25MB
Tags:  EnergySouth AsiaBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalPakistanSri LankaTradeHydropower

 


Reducing Poverty by Closing South Asia's Infrastructure Gap

This report takes a critical look at inter-and intra-regional infrastructure of South Asia and explores inequality of access across space and time. It gives an approximate total cost of regional infrastructure needs and investment trends in the South Asia region, along with a proposed framework on ranking of infrastructure needs. The report also examines better usage of existing resources and policy options to help the poorest gain better access to infrastructure. Finally, it recognizes the enormity of infrastructure deficiencies in South Asia and acknowledges that a good mix of infrastructure investment and supportive reform implementation will enable the region to close the infrastructure gap.

Author: Luis Andrés, Dan Biller, and Matías Herrera Dappe
Year: 2013
Download - 1.723 MB
Tags:  TransportSouth AsiaInfrastructureEnergyRoadsRailwayWater SupplyBangladeshBhutanNepalIndiaSri LankaMaldives

 


The Future of the World Trading System: Asian Perspectives

According to WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, the problems facing Asian regionalism are a scaled-down version of the problems facing the world. Thus, solutions that address Asia’s noodle bowl would most likely work at the global level. This concise collection of short chapters is based on longer papers presented at the Geneva Conference on 11-12 March 2013, organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute and Centre for Trade and Economic Integration at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in collaboration with WTO. The chapters are written by leading Asian and international trade experts on key changes taking place in the world trading system and its policy implications for Asia.

Author: Richard E. Baldwin, Masahiro Kawai, and Ganeshan Wignaraja, eds.
Year: 2013
Download - 1.7MB
Tags:  Regional IntegrationTrade PolicyTradeGlobal Value ChainsGlobal Production NetworkRegional TradeTrade FacilitationIndia

 


Connecting South Asia and Southeast Asia: Interim Report

This joint ADB-ADBI study focuses on how improved physical connectivity (infrastructure) and associated institutional connectivity (software) can enhance more effective economic integration between the two subregions. The report reviews economic ties, identifies issues and constraints, and explores better connectivity and closer economic integration. It also examines major developments in South Asia-Southeast Asia trade and investment, economic cooperation, role of economic corridors, and regional cooperation initiatives.

Author: ADB and ADBI
Year: 2013
Download - 1.1MB
Tags:  InfrastructureEconomic IntegrationRegional CooperationTradeTransportTrade FacilitationEconomic CorridorEnergy

 


Beyond Low Wage Labor: Strengthening Bangladesh's Competitiveness - Using Trade to Leverage the Demographic Dividend

This Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) is a response to the Government of Bangladesh’s request to build a foundation for accelerated growth through enhanced economic integration. The study analyzes Bangladesh’s internal and external constraints for further integration into the world economy. DTIS contains a large number of industry and service sector studies that summarize policies and gaps in physical and institutional infrastructure, consolidate the country’s strength and potential in existing sectors, and highlight export growth and performance in Bangladesh.

Author: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Year: 2013
Download - 2.5MB
Tags:  Economic IntegrationTrade PolicyBangladeshInfrastructureExportsEmployment

 


Attracting Foreign Direct Investment: What Can South Asia's Lack of Success Teach other Developing Countries?

Despite South Asian nations experiencing increased foreign direct investment (FDI) flows over the past decade by gaining a large share of cross border investments, FDI inflows in South Asian countries still remain the lowest relative to gross domestic product (GDP) among developing country regions. This paper uses an empirical model that accounts for possible trends in convergence in the ratio of FDI to GDP between countries and cross-sectional data for 78 countries from 2000 to 2011. In examining the historical patterns of South Asia’s FDI and its connection with the policy environment, policymakers can identify constraints to FDI and boost potential for broad-based growth.

Author: David M. Gould, Congyan Tan and Amir S. Sadeghi Emamgholi
Year: 2013
Download - 1.28MB
Tags:  South AsiaTrade PolicyFDIGDPInvestmentGovernanceTransparencyEconomic GrowthFinancial SectorRegional CooperationTrade

 


UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics 2013

This UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics provides essential data for analyzing and measuring world trade, international financial flows, investment, and development. It documents the south-south trend led by developing Asia and reveals how exports among developing countries remain centered in the Asian region. The share of south-south trade in total world exports doubled over the last 20 years to over 25 per cent. Apart from The People's Republic of China and other major petroleum and gas exporters, India is among the countries that have most expanded their south-south trade during the last two decades.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2013
Download - 6.06MB
Tags:  South AsiaStatisticsTradeIndia

 


Evaluating Aid for Trade on the Ground: Lessons from Bangladesh

This paper assesses the effectiveness and impact of aid for trade (AfT) in Bangladesh in a series of eight country studies by the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development. The study argues that the results for AfT are mixed for Bangladesh since it has addressed supply side constraints and contributed to enhancing export competitiveness. However, lack of efficient administrative mechanisms, limited human capacity, and political instability that lead to low absorption capacity limits the overall effectiveness and impact of AfT in Bangladesh.

Author: Fahmida Khatun, Samina Hossain and Nepoleon Dewan
Year: 2013
Download - 1.86MB
Tags:  BangladeshTradeAid for TradeSustainabilityExportDevelopmentAsiaGenderLDCLeast Developed Countries

 


The ASEAN Economic Community: A Work in Progress

This publication explores the barriers and impediments to the realization of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and to what extent its self-imposed deadline of 2015 for achievement of an AEC is more of a milestone of progress than a firm target. It examines whether the AEC is achievable, the obstacles faced in achieving it, and the measures required to help it become a reality.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 4.49MB
Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationTrade PolicyASEANEconomic IntegrationRegional CooperationADBRegional IntegrationServicesGlobal Value ChainsNon-Tariff MeasuresAsia-Pacific Trade AgreementIndiaTrade Facilitation

 


Climate Action South Asia: Information Update No. 4 (Addressing Climate Risks in Development Interventions)

This Climate Action South Asia information update provides an introduction to the systemic approach employed by the South Asia Department (SARD) of the Asian Development Bank in developing a climate risk screening framework. Localized climate impact assessments using extensive geophysical information and downscaled high-resolution climate data were applied in six South Asia country projects to analyze natural hazards in project areas and climate-related risks to the project investment.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 1.8MB
Tags:  ClimateSouth AsiaInfrastructure

 


ADB Regional Cooperation Operations Business Plan (RCOBP) 2014-2016 for South Asia

ADB's third Regional Cooperation Operations Business Plan (RCOBP) 2014-2016 for South Asia under its South Asia Regional Cooperation Strategy (RCS) 2011-2015 details a cumulative indicative lending program of $3.3 billion and maintains focus on improved regional connectivity, increased cross-border trade, and strengthened regional economic cooperation.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 565KB
Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTrade FacilitationTransportEnergySAARC

 


Review of Developments in Transport in Asia and the Pacific 2013

While transport has been an essential element in the rapid growth and economic development of Asia and the Pacific, the sector is now at a crossroads more than ever before. Rocketing demand for transport services is putting extreme pressure on existing infrastructure at a time when public budgets are constrained and awareness about the negative externalities of transport activities is growing.

Author: United Nations
Year: 2013
Download - 11.6MB
Tags:  TransportInfrastructure

 


Deepening Economic Cooperation between India and Sri Lanka

This book analyzes the performance and impact of the India-Sri Lanka free trade agreement over the past decade and suggests the way forward. India became an important source of imports for Sri Lanka immediately after the implementation of the free trade agreement.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 2.9MB
Tags:  Regional CooperationTrade PolicyIndiaSri LankaTradeEconomic CooperationIndia-Sri Lanka Free Trade AgreementFree Trade AgreementsServicesTrade FacilitationExportsImport

 


South Asia Economic Focus: A Wake-Up Call

Global capital re-balancing has highlighted structural weakness and vulnerability in South Asia, acting as a wake-up call for policy makers.

Author: World Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 2.55MB
Tags:  South AsiaTrade Policy

 


Who Profits from Trade Facilitation Initiatives?

This Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT) Working Paper uses firm-level data on developing countries to investigate whether large firms benefit from trade facilitation. The findings show that firms of all sizes export more in response to improved trade facilitation. Trade facilitation can be beneficial to countries, including those engaged as suppliers in value chains.

Author: Bernard Hoekman and Ben Shepherd
Year: 2013
Download - 242.11KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTrade Policy

 


Trade Facilitation and Poverty Reduction in Asia and the Pacific: a Case Study of a South Asian Economic Corridor

This study assesses the potential impact of trade facilitation on poverty reduction in the region under SAARC Corridor 1, which is one of the leading corridors in South Asia and handles overland trade between Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Poverty reduction depends on decreasing trade barriers through better trade facilitation and improved infrastructure.

Author: Prabir De and Ajitava Raychaudhuri
Year: 2013
Download - 816.25KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationBangladeshIndiaInfrastructureEconomic Corridor

 


SASEC Overview Brochure

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program brings together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal to strengthen connectivity, promote economic growth through trade, and help unleash the tremendous potential of this strategically vital area of South Asia.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 6.5MB
Tags:  Regional CooperationSouth AsiaRegional IntegrationSASEC

 


Development of Capital Markets in Member Countries of SAARC

This publication helps codify and compare the level of development of capital markets in South Asia, and identifies some of the major obstacles to integration, along with measures to reduce barriers. It also examines benefits from harmonization and draws lessons from other regions striving to enhance harmonization, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 2.3MB
Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationEconomic Corridor

 


World Development Indicators 2013

This 2013 World Development Indicators report compiles important statistics about global development organized around six themes- world view, people, environment, economy, states and markets, and global links. Relevant market changes, such as the rise in foreign direct investments or the decrease in official development assistance, are tracked. It also contains a hyperlinked index to comprehensive indicator data available online.

Author: World Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 23.9MB
Tags:  StatisticsDevelopment

 


Same Energy, More Power: Accelerating Energy Efficiency in Asia

Energy efficiency is often defined as delivered energy service per unit of energy supplied into a system. Among the range of technology options that exist to provide energy service, energy efficiency approaches are the most cost competitive.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 894KB
Tags:  EnergySouth AsiaEnergy EfficiencyInvestmentHydropowerIndiaInfrastructure

 


India-ADB Development Partnership 2013

This publication showcases how Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been working closely with the Government of India to improve the overall design, delivery, and development effectiveness of ADB's India program.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 6.9MB
Tags:  IndiaRegional CooperationADBEnergyTransportRegional IntegrationEconomic CorridorTrade Facilitation

 


Bangladesh-ADB: 40 Years of Development Partnership

ADB's Bangladesh program evolved over time in close alignment with the country's priorities of attaining rapid economic growth and poverty reduction

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 8.4MB
Tags:  BangladeshRegional CooperationEnergyTransportTrade FacilitationPortsTrade

 


Financing Low-Carbon UrbanDevelopment in South Asia: A Post-2012 Context

The cities of South Asia are growing at an unprecedented rate. Currently, the region accounts for 5 of the world's 26 megacities (Delhi, Dhaka, Karachi, Kolkata, and Mumbai),with Kolkata and Mumbai being the most dense. The urban population in India is expected to increase by 20.8 percentage points between 2010 and 2050 compared to 7.8 percentage points in Latin America and the Caribbean. These trends necessitate bold efforts in project design and financing to steer this rapid urbanization onto an inclusive, green, and low-carbon urban development path.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 1.8MB
Tags:  ClimateEnergyIndiaSouth AsiaKyoto ProtocolBangladeshBhutanNepalIndiaMaldivesSri Lanka

 


ARIC Information Pack: October 2013

The ARIC Information Pack compiles news and events on regional cooperation & integration (RCI) that corresponds to ADB's four RCI pillars: cross-border infrastructure, trade and investment, money and finance, and regional public goods. A special feature on the implications of the US recovery to Asian exports also appears in this issue.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 1.1MB
Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationADBSASEC

 


Bhutan Critical Development Constraints

Bhutan 2020: A Vision for Peace, Prosperity and Happiness embodies the development philosophy of His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and sets out directions that will enable Bhutan to execute this philosophy while at the same time retaining its commitment to its distinctive model of harmonious and balanced development.

Author: Asian Development Bank / Australian Government / Japan International Cooperation Agency
Year: 2013
Download - 1.3MB
Tags:  BhutanDevelopment

 


Aid for Trade: An Investment Benefit Road Map for South Asia

Aid for Trade (AfT) came to prominence just over a decade ago at the launch of the World Trade Organization's Doha Round. With its focus on helping least developed countries and economies escape the poverty trap, it aims to strengthen their capabilities to meet market demand and to reduce supply-side constraints such as a lack of trade infrastructure.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 9.2MB
Tags:  Trade PolicyPoverty ReductionInfrastructureIndiaBangladeshBhutanMaldivesSri LankaNepalTrade FacilitationTransportGlobal Value ChainsExports

 


Energy Outlook for Asia and the Pacific: October 2013

The Energy Outlook for Asia and the Pacific aims to support ADB energy sector operations by providing stakeholders with an energy outlook for the region up to the year 2035. It attempts to identify policy, social, infrastructure, and technology issues that must be addressed to meet future energy need of ADB members in Asia and the Pacific.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 2.4MB
Tags:  EnergyInfrastructureRenewablesHydropowerTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalMaldivesSri Lanka

 


What is Economic Corridor Development and What Can It Achieve in Asia's Subregions?

Economic corridors connect economic agents along a defined geography. They provide important connections between economic nodes or hubs that are usually centered in urban landscapes. They do not stand alone, as their role in regional economic development can be comprehended only in terms of the network effects that they induce.

Author: Hans-Peter Brunner
Year: 2013
Download - 1.1MB
Tags:  Economic CorridorEconomicsTransportDevelopmentADBBangladeshIndiaSri Lanka

 


Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2013

This publication aims to present the latest key statistics on development issues concerning the economies of Asia and the Pacific to a wide audience, including policy makers, development practitioners, government officials, researchers, students, and the general public.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 11.7MB
Tags:  EconomicsTrade PolicyStatistics

 


The Transformation of Rice Value Chains in Bangladesh and India: Implications for Food Security

This paper reports the survey findings that rice value chains are transforming in Bangladesh and India.

Author: Thomas Reardon / Bart Minten / Kevin Z. Chen / Lourdes Adriano
Year: 2013
Download - 436KB
Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTrade PolicyAgricultureADBGlobal Value ChainsFood SecurityTrade Facilitation

 


Climate Action South Asia: Information Update No. 3 (The Economics of Climate Change in South Asia: Adaptation and Impact Assessment)

Analyses show that the cost of early action on climate change in South Asia is lower than the cost of damage brought about by climate change impacts. In physical terms, the region will face water shortage and agricultural food production losses, which are vital to achieving poverty reduction and other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 1.9MB
Tags:  EconomicsClimateAgricultureClimate ChangeEnvironmentSouth AsiaMilennium Development GoalsSustainabilityBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalMaldivesPoverty ReductionHydropowerEnergy

 


Climate Action South Asia: Information Update No. 2 (Economics of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in South Asia: Options and Costs)

The study Economics of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Options and Costs in Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka reveals excellent opportunities in low-carbon green growth by pursuing resource- and energyefficient technologies that would lower emissions of greenhouse gases at low cost or even cost saving (benefits).

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 1.7MB
Tags:  EconomicsClimateClimate ChangeEconomicsSouth AsiaBangladeshBhutanMaldivesSri LankaEnergyEnvironmentSustainabilityADBNepalDevelopmentHydropower

 


Designing and Implementing Trade Facilitation in Asia and the Pacific

This reference book was published to support the implementation of trade facilitation measures and reforms in Asia and the Pacific. It includes operational guidance on assessing the status of trade facilitation, the measures and reforms needed, how to design trade facilitation initiatives, and how to implement them at national and regional levels. The book is intended to assist policy makers, practitioners, and economists by bridging the gap between theory and practice. The revised 2013 version includes updated statistical figures and data, information on actual trade facilitation policies and practices, and the most recent research on trade facilitation.

Author: Asian Development Bank / United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2013
Download - 1MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationTrade PolicyEconomic CorridorSanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresTechnical Barriers to TradeRevised Kyoto ConventionCustomsCustoms ValuationBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalMaldivesSri LankaServices

 


Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum: Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade

Conducted jointly by the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, this survey provides a status snapshot of trade facilitation in place across 26 countries of the region, including progress towards establishment of national trade facilitation committees, implementation of risk management measures, development of national single windows, and steps taken to move toward paperless trade. It further examines specific issues and challenges in these areas of South East Asian countries, and provides recommendations for improvement.

Author: ADB and UNESCAP
Year: 2012
Download - 825KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationPaperless TradeBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalMaldivesSri LankaCustomsTransport FacilitationMyanmarNational Single Window

 


International Energy Agency Capacity Building and Training Programme

The International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy Training and Capacity Building Programme brochure provides an introduction to the themes, contents, and training formats of the courses offered by the IEA. The modules are designed to benefit energy specialists and experts involved in formulating strategies and policies on a national scale, by assisting them in ongoing implementation and analysis and helping them meet forthcoming energy challenges.

Author: international Energy Agency
Year: 2012
Download - 3.23MB
Tags:  EnergyHarmonisationEnergy EfficiencyIndiaMyanmarTraining

 


Unlocking Bangladesh-India Trade: Emerging Potential and the Way Forward

This working paper breaks down the importance of trade cooperation between Bangladesh and India by taking a closer look at the impacts of Bangladesh's increased market access to India, and their improved border connectivity. Employing data from national government resources and multilateral development organizations including the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization, the study provides an estimate of the trade potential of Bangladesh and India, and calculates the implications on costs of trade facilitation, among others. It also discusses ongoing challenges in bilateral relations and provides recommendations that will enable larger gains for the two contiguous countries.

Author: Prabir De, Selim Raihan, and Sanjay Kathuria
Year: 2012
Download - 1.45MB
Tags:  TradeTrade FacilitationRegional CooperationBangladeshIndiaWBWTOBilateral Trade

 


Climate Action South Asia: Information Update No. 1 (Development in an Era of Accentuated Climate Risks)

To steer South Asian economies toward green, low-carbon, and climate-resilient development and for these to take hold in South Asia, the countries need (i) better understanding and greater public awareness of the implications of climate change, (ii) climate risks screening and decision-support tools for identifying actions and managing results, (iii) improved governance and institutional capacities to take necessary actions to manage climate change impacts, (iv) funding sources for such actions, and (v) projects and programs demonstrating positive results that can be scaled up.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2012
Download - 473KB
Tags:  EconomicsClimateClimate ChangeEnvironmentSustainabilitySouth AsiaDevelopmentEconomic GrowthADB

 


Asian Economic Integration Monitor - July 2012

The Asian Economic Integration Monitor is a semiannual review of Asia's regional economic cooperation and integration. It covers 48 regional member countries of the Asian Development Bank. This issue includes a special section-Regional Integration: A Balanced View.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2012
Download - 563KB
Tags:  Economic CorridorTrade PolicyRegional IntegrationStatisticsIndia

 


Regional Integration and Economic Development in South Asia

South Asian leaders have made it a priority to tackle key regional issues such as poverty, environment degradation, trade and investment barriers and food insecurity, among others. This book considers the leadership of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the interaction with civil society in the process of South Asian regional cooperation and integration, and discusses how the emerging urgency in the provision of regional public goods provides an excellent opportunity to add to the successes in South Asian regional integration.

Author: Sultan Hafeez / Rahman Sridhar Khatri / Hans-Peter Brunner
Year: 2012
Download - 4.7MB
Tags:  Economic CorridorRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationSAARCSAFTABangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


Sector Roadmaps with Result Frameworks

Sector roadmaps with result frameworks for transport, energy, and trade facilitation.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2011
Download - 217KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationEnergyTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


Regional Cooperation and Integration Through Cross-Border Insfrastructure Development in South Asia

This paper aims to identify the links between cross-border infrastructure development and poverty reduction. With South Asia being home to around 40% of the world's poor, there is a great need to boost intraregional trade through greater cooperation and integration. Regional integration promises to increase the region's capacity to connect with global production networks and participate in the global economy with greater efficiency.

Author: P.V. Srinivasan
Year: 2011
Download - 556KB
Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationSouth AsiaBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaPoverty Reduction

 


South Asia- Intra Regional Cooperation: The Way Forward

This study aims to showcase the benefits of regional integration and recommends strategies for overcoming the many hurdles.

Author: Shahid Kardar
Year: 2011
Download - 4.7MB
Tags:  PolicyEconomic CooperationRegional IntegrationDevelopmentSAARCNon-Tariff MeasuresTrade FacilitationSAFTAIndiaBangladeshBhutanMaldivesNepalSri LankaBIMSTECMyanmarSASECEnergy

 


The Institutions of Regionalism in South Asia - Do Institutions Matter?

This paper assesses the contribution of key institutions of regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in South Asia, and suggests ways in which the Asian Development Bank and other development partners can strengthen their support. It attempts to enhance understanding on the interplay between politics and RCI, including how good bilateral political relations or improvements have advanced RCI. With the overall political environment growing increasingly open to RCI, the paper suggests the time has come for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to consider strengthening the capacity of the SAARC Secretariat to meet the growing challenges and work load of managing the anticipated increase in RCI.

Author: Prabhu Ghate
Year: 2011
Download - 463KB
Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationDevelopmentSAARCTradeServicesTrade FacilitationEnergyFree Trade AgreementsSAFTABangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTransport

 


RCI Digest 2011 Special Feature (October to December) Volume No.1- Issue No.5

ADB supports RCI in South Asia in four ways: (i) subregionally through the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program, (ii) regionally through the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), (iii) interregionally through the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), and (iv) through collaboration with networks of regional policy research institutes.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2011
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Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationSouth AsiaSASECBIMSTECPolicyASEAN

 


Energy Trade in South Asia: Opportunities and Challenges

The South Asia Regional Energy Study was completed as an important component of the regional technical assistance project Preparing the Energy Sector Dialogue and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Energy Center Capacity Development. It involved examining regional energy trade opportunities among all the member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. The study provides interventions to improve regional energy cooperation in different timescales, including specific infrastructure projects which can be implemented during these periods.

Author: Sultan Hafeez Rahman / Priyantha D. C. Wijayatunga / Herath Gunatilake / P. N. Fernando
Year: 2011
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Tags:  EnergyRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationSAARCTradeBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalMaldivesSri Lanka

 


Gas Hydrates Resource Potential of South Asia

The amount of natural gas worldwide is estimated to be greater than the entire world’s conventional natural gas resources, which makes gas hydrates a potential energy resource for the future. This document reviews the status of technology regarding exploration and exploitation of gas hydrates, as well as research initiatives by India and other countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). It also suggests a mechanism for technology transfer and promotion of research and development in the SAARC region.

Author: SAARC Energy Centre
Year: 2010
Download - 3.78 MB
Tags:  EnergySouth AsiaSAARC

 


The Provision of Regional Public Goods in South Asia

This report reviews the provision of high priority regional public goods (RPGs) selected for the South Asia subregion, and proposes areas of cooperation for improving the provisioning of RPGs in South Asia. It highlights the issues in cross border management of infrastructure projects and best practices in the provisioning of RPGs relevant for South Asia, evaluates ADB’s contributions to providing RPGs in the subregion, and concludes with recommendations on ADB’s South Asia Regional Department’s role in the provision of RPGs in the subregion.

Author: Khaja Moinuddin
Year: 2010
Download - 304KB
Tags:  EnergyAgricultureDisaster RiskGovernancePoverty ReductionBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTrade FacilitationTransport

 


Binding Contraints to Regional Cooperation and Integration in South Asia

This paper examines the benefits of regional cooperation and integration, focusing on the cost of neglecting to address the binding constraints to regional cooperation and integration. Component papers in this volume analyze the current state of play, and identifies the binding constraints to achieving more efficient transport corridors, regional energy trade and trade facilitation in the region.

Author: Gilberto M. Llanto
Year: 2010
Download - 1.1MB
Tags:  Regional CooperationEconomic IntegrationTrade FacilitationEnergyBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTransport

 


SAARC Regional Energy Trade Study - SRETS

SAARC Regional Energy Trade Study - SRETS

Author: SAARC Secretariat
Year: 2010
Download - 2.6MB
Tags:  EnergyRegional CooperationRegional Integration

 


Infrastructure for a Seamless Asia

The study reviews regional infrastructure being enhanced through regional cooperation in Asia and examines major issues and challenges. It suggests a framework for pan-Asian infrastructure cooperation, anchored on a long-term vision of creating a seamless Asia that will not only enhance the region's competitiveness and extend its global reach, but also help reduce poverty and promote greater environmental sustainability.

Author: Asian Development Bank / Asian Development Bank Institute
Year: 2009
Download - 3.1MB
Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationTransportTrade FacilitationConnectivityIndiaBangladeshBhutanNepalMaldivesSri LankaAsian HighwayTrans-Asian Railway NetworkEnergyMyanmar

 


Pan-Asian Integration

In today's globalized world where the economic fates of nations are inevitably linked, weathering the present economic storm for Asia will increasingly depend on harnessing regional dynamics particularly on the trade front. Pan-Asian Integration: Linking East and South Asia is a rich volume of perspectives from leading thematic experts on regional patterns of trade and investment, trade-related infrastructure, trade facilitation, among others.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2009
Download - 50KB
Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationTrade PolicyTransportTrade FacilitationEconomicsIndiaFree Trade Agreements

 


Study on Intraregional Trade and Investment in South Asia

This study broadens and deepens intraregional cooperation and integration in trade and investment among South Asian countries. It showcases the benefits of regional integration and presents an array of policy recommendations to maximize and realize such gains. Three parallel initiatives are needed: first, reduce nontariff barriers to deepen the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA); second, expand SAFTA's scope to include investments and services; and third, focus on key industries to succinctly demonstrate the process and benefits of reforms. These translate into six component studies: (i) the Role of Trade Facilitation in South Asian Economic Integration; (ii) Country Investment Studies for Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka; and (iii) Textile and Clothing Industry. The study invigorates the debate and focus on South Asian integration as a means to further growth and reduce poverty.

Author: Asian Development Bank / Australian Government
Year: 2009
Download - 1.2MB
Tags:  Trade PolicyTrade FacilitationRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationBangladeshIndiaNepalSri LankaSAFTA

 


Quantification of Benefits from Economic Cooperation in South Asia

The study examines the implication of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) on South Asian countries and on the region as a whole, employing both a quantitative and qualitative assessment on the outcomes of SAFTA. The research aims to provide support in the formulation of concrete policy measures for trade to ensure greater gains for the region, while at the same time mitigating potential negative impacts. Economic and social assessments through analytical tools and rational causal chain analysis further enrich the study.

Author: Asian Development Bank / United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2008
Download - 3.2MB
Tags:  Economic CorridorRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationSAFTAFree Trade AgreementsTrade FacilitationTransportServicesSAARCBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


Emerging Asian Regionalism-A Partnership for Shared Prosperity

The study summarizes important issues related to Asian regionalism. Viewing regional cooperation as a necessary tool for coping with the consequences of interdependence, the book discusses several pressing issues, such as integrating production, improving financial cooperation, and managing macroeconomic interdependence to create a stable architecture for an Asia-wide cooperation.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2008
Download - 12.7MB
Tags:  Economic CorridorRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationAsiaASEANSAARCBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalMaldivesSri Lanka

 


SASEC ICT Development Master Plan

This report represents the first comprehensive multilateral ICT development plan. Its primary objective is to create a framework that will support the already existing ICT plans of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal and help these SASEC countries collaborate more effectively with each other.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2006
Download - 2.4MB
Tags:  ICTRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationSASECBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal

 


SAARC Regional Multimodal Transport Study - SRMTS

SAARC Regional Multimodal Transport Study - SRMTS

Author: SAARC Secretariat
Year: 2006
Download - 4.4MB
Tags:  TransportTrade FacilitationRegional CooperationRegional Integration

 


Cross- Border Private Sector Cooperation in ICT Among SASEC Countries

This study explores the issue of cross-border cooperation in ICT among private sectors in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. It discusses the ICT policy frameworks of the four SASEC countries, and gives an update on improvements in their ICT infrastructure and the state of their ICT infrastructure linkages. It further provides a set of recommendations for the way forward.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2004
Download - 625KB
Tags:  ICTRegional Cooperation

 


Promoting Trade in SASEC: A Report on Non-Tariff and Non-Trade Barriers

This report proposes that improving border coordination and relationships will further increase the existing intraregional trade among SASEC countries. Several non-trade barriers are tackled in the context of trade promotion, with the view that addressing non-trade barriers would also lead to resolving issues on non-tariff barriers.

Author: Florian A. Alburo
Year: 2004
Download - 164KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTradeBangladeshBhutanNepalTrade Policy

 


Management Development and Institution Building in SASEC Countries

The study identifies challenges in management development in the four SASEC countries by comparing institutional development in Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh universities with the experience of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). It discusses long-term strategies and alternatives to strengthen the management development capacity in the region and support private sector needs.

Author: Sushil Khanna
Year: 2004
Download - 200KB
Tags:  DevelopmentIndia

 
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