Publications List

Comprehensive listing of books, reports, and research on regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in South Asia and relevant global RCI publications, including publications on transport, trade facilitation, energy, and economic corridors in the SASEC region.

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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
Download - 4.46 MB
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
Download - 716 KB
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
Download - 799.28 K
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
Download - 2.1 MB
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
Download - 3.3 MB
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
Download - 1.85MB
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

 
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