Energy Results

Energy demand in the SASEC subregion is expected to increase over the next decade resulting from economic growth and rising per capita incomes and energy consumption. With energy resources in South Asia unevenly spread, regional energy cooperation could help countries develop their energy resources in an optimal manner to lower energy costs, improve regional energy security, and contribute to climate change mitigation. SASEC initiatives in the energy sector support improvement of energy trade infrastructure, developing a regional power market by harmonizing legal and regulatory frameworks, and developing low-carbon alternatives and conservation and energy efficiency measures.


total items: 73
Asian Economic Integration Report 2021: Making Digital Platforms Work for Asia and the Pacific

This report reviews economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific. As of the end of 2019, ADB had committed a total of $13.77 billion to 60 projects under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) partnership, including projects for improving transport connectivity, trade facilitation, and power transmission. In 2019, SASEC members revamped the SASEC Operational Plan 2016–2025 to prioritize narrowing gaps in the subregion’s transport and energy networks. The SASEC program focused on expanding multimodal connectivity to include maritime and inland water transport. Subregional health cooperation was strengthened in 2020 to improve access to health services in Asia and the Pacific.

Source: Asian Development Bank

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Operational Plan 2016-2025 Update

This report embodies the strategic objectives and updated operational priorities of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program operational plan for 2016–2025. It reflects the changes resulting from a rigorous vetting process and identifies priority projects based on preparedness and their roles in filling network gaps. This Update also defines SASEC transport and energy networks and presents adjusted estimates of funding needs to help meet SASEC’s goals of multimodal connectivity, energy market development, and increased intraregional and interregional trade.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Role of Regional Cooperation and Integration in Improving Energy Insecurity in South Asia

This working paper examines the literature on energy security in Asia. It gives an overview of resource constraints and the growth nexus in Asia, the scope for enhancing energy security, and the potential of regional cooperation to boost energy security. Wide disparity exists in energy security across the regions and between and within countries in Asia. With energy security critical to national security and access to natural resources, it is an important aspect of Asia’s long-term growth and development. This working paper puts forth that increasing regional cooperation can help improve access to energy among the energy-deficit developing countries in Asia, and benefit the region.It concludes that regional cooperation and integration promotes an interdependence network that ensures maximum use of renewable and non-renewable energy resources. This working paper also covers energy infrastructure development, investment needs, and potential sources of funding.

Source: Tapan Sarker, Shanawez Hossain, K. M. Nazmul Islam

Review of the ADB Clean Energy Program

This publication presents a review of the Clean Energy Program of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It looks at what needs to be done in light of goals of mitigating climate change and promoting sustainable development. It also looks at the goals in terms of ADB’s Strategy 2030. Fostering regional cooperation and integration is among the operational priorities ADB has identified in Strategy 2030. ADB operations in the energy sector has promoted energy connectivity—such as through power interconnections in South Asia—and sharing best practices and technologies in renewable energy development.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Role of Regional Cooperation and Integration in Improving Energy Insecurity in South Asia

This brief discusses challenges and potentials in improving energy security in South Asia. It shows that increasing regional cooperation will help improve energy access and can help the region preserve natural assets, enhance agricultural production, and improve food security.

Source: Tapan Sarker, Shanawez Hossain, K. M. Nazmul Islam

ADB Annual Report 2018

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) supports cross-border infrastructure to help foster regional cooperation and integration. It is transforming transport corridors into economic corridors, allowing South Asian countries to participate in regional and global value chains and promote agriculture trade. In 2018, ADB committed $150 million to upgrade sections of South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) road corridors in India and Nepal. The investments aim to improve connectivity between Manipur (in India) and Myanmar; build an India–Nepal international bridge; and improve the safety of Nepal’s East–West Highway. ADB also approved a technical assistance project to build institutional capacity and improve expertise of trade facilitation officials in SASEC member countries.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Impact Evaluation of Energy Interventions: A Review of the Evidence

Impact evaluations in the energy sector has so far focused on rural electrification and improved cookstoves. However, most investments have been in power generation and transmission. This energy sector impact evaluation report assesses what has been produced against what might be possible. It summarizes outcomes of 85 impact evaluations of energy interventions in developing countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. It looks at evidence gaps and proposes future directions for impact evaluations in the energy sector.

Source: David A. Raitzer, Nina Blöndal, and Jasmin Sibal

Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2019: Ambitions beyond Growth

The Asia-Pacific region needs an estimated $1.5 trillion per year to end poverty and hunger, provide basic health care, quality education, enabling infrastructure, and clean energy for all, and for climate action and living in harmony with nature. Available public and private resources make these ambitions affordable for most countries in the region. However, development partnerships and regional cooperation are needed for all countries to achieve these “ambitions beyond growth.”

Source: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Basic Statistics 2019

Basic Statistics presents select economic, environmental, and social indicators used to track progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals. It includes indicators for development indicators for 46 economies in the Asia and Pacific region, including those for the seven SASEC countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Source: Asian Development Bank

World Bank East Asia and Pacific Economic Update, October 2019: Weathering Growing Risks

Amid weakening global demand and policy uncertainty regarding trade tensions, growth in developing East Asia and Pacific region slowed in the first half of 2019. There is a need to address vulnerabilities and preserve economic dynamism in developing economies in the region. In Myanmar, GDP growth will reach 6.8% in 2021/2022 with the projected pick-up in agriculture. Policy measures to encourage investment, such as those for the energy sector, are expected to strengthen Myanmar’s manufacturing and construction sectors.

Source: World Bank

Fostering Effective Energy Transition

This report introduces the Energy Transition Index, which looks at the performance of energy systems in 114 countries and their readiness to transition to a secure, sustainable, affordable, and inclusive future energy system. The report shows that India has been improving electricity access. It also encourages countries to benchmark themselves against comparable groups in terms of development status and energy trade balance to identify best practices and develop applicable improvement plans.

Source: World Economic Forum

Basic Statistics 2018

Basic Statistics presents development indicators for 45 economies in the Asia and Pacific region, including those for the seven SASEC countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It presents selected core indicators such as international and national poverty rates, inflation, and current account balance. It also presents information on indicators related to land, population, sustainable development goals, national accounts, money, balance of payments, reserves, external debt, and central government finance.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Development Outlook 2018 Supplement: The Outlook Remains Stable

South Asia continues to be the fastest expanding subregion, with growth on track to achieve forecasts of 7.0% in 2018 and 7.2% in 2019. India will meet April forecasts of 7.3% in 2018 and 7.6% in 2019. Owing to strong agricultural growth in Bangladesh and industry growth in Nepal, 2018 GDP growth in the two countries surpassed earlier forecasts. Decline in construction slowed Sri Lanka’s economic growth to 3.2% while hydropower production was lower than forecast in Bhutan. Cement, wood, and metal imports grew in Maldives.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Strategy 2030: Achieving a Prosperous, Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Asia and the Pacific

Under its new long-term strategy, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) continues its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty while bringing focus to a vision of a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia-Pacific. ADB’s key operational priorities include the fostering of regional cooperation and integration, covering its support for enhancing connectivity and competitiveness, promoting regional public goods, and strengthening the financial sector cooperation. ADB also aims to strengthen subregional initiatives, such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2018

The Asia-Pacific region experienced rapid growth as inflation remained stable and firmer global demand supported a pickup in investments. In the South and South-West Asian subregion, there is an opportunity for greater trade integration. It is the fastest-growing subregion in Asia and the Pacific, with growth accelerating in all countries with the exception of India and Sri Lanka. In Bangladesh, large infrastructure projects and new energy initiatives drove strong domestic demand and backed the country’s robust growth.

Source: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

How Would Cross-Border Electricity Trade Stimulate Hydropower Development in South Asia?

South Asia uses only 20% its hydropower potential, estimated at more than 350 gigawatts. This report looks at regional electricity trade and examines the potential of hydropower development and trade in the region. It studies the importance of improving cross-border transmission interconnections to promote hydropower in South Asia. It also shows that large hydropower development would provide the additional benefits of irrigation and flood control that can be shared among neighboring countries, such as Bangladesh, India, and Nepal.

Source: Govinda R. Timilsina

Energy Transition Pathways for the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific: Regional Trends Report on Energy for Sustainable Development 2018

Policymakers face complex and challenging tasks to develop clear, sustainable, and achievable pathways for South Asian countries and the rest of Asia-Pacific to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for energy (SDG7). This report provides an analysis of what can be achieved under current policies. It then identifies gaps and presents transition pathways to assist policymakers to make informed decisions for achieving SDG7 targets.

Source: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Infrastructure Financing in South Asia

South Asia is the world's fastest-growing region. The region has also shown significant reduction in poverty and income inequality owing to improved road transport, electricity, and sanitation. The growth is attributed partly to the improvement in infrastructure in Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka. Yet, to sustain growth and deal with climate change, the region must invest more to develop infrastructure in the next 15 years. This paper looks at public and private sector financing of infrastructure and discusses the factors driving infrastructure investment.

Source: Shikha Jha and Rosa Mia Arao

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2018

This report presents the latest economic, financial, social, and environmental statistics for the 48 regional members of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In 2017, foreign direct investment flows to developing Asia was stable, with 8.8% going to South Asia; energy gains were made in five of six countries in South Asia; and starting a business continues become easier in most developing ADB member economies following lowered regulatory costs and simplified compliance procedures. Nepal and Armenia experienced the most rapid annual growth rate at 7.5%, while India witnessed a 6.7% growth in GDP.

Source: Asian Development Bank

World Energy Trilemma Index 2018

Using global and national data, this report presents a ranking of countries’ energy performance in terms of energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability. The rankings show impacts of decisions and changes to suggest policy innovation that could help countries successfully navigate the energy transition. In South Asia, India was noted for increasing diversity of its energy generation while trying to meet rising demand. Bhutan attained 100% electrification in 2016, while Bangladesh increased energy access from 55% to 76% from 2014 to 2018, largely due to the use of micro and mini solar power systems. Nepal has achieved 91% electricity access and is on track to achieving 100% electrification by 2030.

Source: World Energy Council

World Energy Outlook 2018

Electricity demand is doubling in developing economies, led by India. This makes cleaner and affordable electricity central to economic development and emissions reduction. This report analyzes different pathways across various fuels and technologies. It looks at policies that could help reduce air pollution and meet global energy and climate goals.

Source: International Energy Agency

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Energy in Asia and the Pacific

Countries in the Asia-Pacific region face multiple energy-related challenges, which are driving transformation of energy systems. Addressing these energy challenges is an integral part of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. This report analyzes challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and its efforts to accelerate the energy transition to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7.

Source: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Basic Statistics 2017

Basic Statistics 2017 contains development indicators for 45 economies in the Asia and Pacific Region, including the seven SASEC countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It includes selected indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as the proportion of population living below $1.90 (PPP) a day, proportion of population with access to electricity, renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption, unemployment rate, total official flows for infrastructure, and trade balance.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Development Bank and Bangladesh: Fact Sheet

This Asian Development Bank (ADB) Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on Bangladesh, as well as concise information on ADB's operations in Bangladesh and contact information. ADB supports Bangladesh’s efforts to generate inclusive and sustainable growth, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. ADB has provided Bangladesh with $18.3 billion for 269 loans, $252.4 million for 422 technical assistance projects, and $787.10 million for 35 grants. ADB supports projects contributing to regional connectivity to foster development along economic corridors and co-finances the SASEC Railway Connectivity: Akhaura-Laksam Double Track Project.

Source: Asian Development Bank

State of Electricity Access Report (SEAR) 2017

This report presents insights drawn from emerging innovative business and delivery models so that governments, donors, the private sector, civil society organizations, and practitioners could develop interventions to close the electricity access gap. It shows that urgent measures are needed to speed up access to modern energy services in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and that responses will have to be supported by a conducive environment of the right institutions, policies, strategic planning, and incentives.

Source: World Bank

Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific: Promoting Connectivity for Inclusive Development

Aid for Trade (AfT) is essential to promoting growth and tradability of services, and is a major catalyst for inclusive economic and structural information. This report looks at how trade performance in Asia and the Pacific is evolving, and highlights emerging trends in AfT. The report looks at cooperation projects in the energy sector, and shows how South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) projects fund cross-border electricity transmission, power trade, energy efficiency, capacity building, and renewable sources of energy. The report also examines the impact of AfT on trade in services and the rise of e-commerce.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017 Update: Sustaining Development through Public-Private Partnership

Developing Asia is forecast to expand by 5.9% in 2017 and 5.8% in 2018, a slight upgrade from projections in the Asian Development Outlook 2017. However, growth forecast for South Asia is downgraded to 6.7% in 2017. India’s growth remains strong and most South Asian countries are expected to meet or exceed growth forecasts from April. Exceptions are Sri Lanka, where agriculture was affected by drought and floods, and Bhutan, where geological problems have constrained construction on two large hydropower projects. Growth in Nepal surged in 2017 on earthquake recovery but is slowing as agriculture struggles, following severe flooding in August 2017. Inflation forecast in South Asia is lowered to 4.2% for 2017 and 4.7% for 2018. Favorable global commodity prices, good harvests, and prudent macroeconomics are expected.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Development Bank and the Maldives: Fact Sheet

This Asian Development Bank (ADB) Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on Maldives, and information on ADB operations and contact details. ADB is helping Maldives upgrade commercial and domestic harbors, ensure power supply reliability, boost economic growth, and reduce regional disparities in living standards. Projects in sustainable energy development are helping Maldives achieve carbon neutrality and reduce high fuel costs. Since 1978, ADB has approved 29 loans and grants totaling $248.53 million for Maldives, and has funded 67 technical assistance projects totaling $29.65 million.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Development Bank and Myanmar: Fact Sheet

Updated yearly, this Asian Development Bank (ADB) Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on Myanmar, as well as information on ADB operations in the country and contact details. ADB is supporting Myanmar in promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, with investments focusing on infrastructure (in energy, transport, and urban and water services), education, and rural development. Regional cooperation will remain one of the key priorities.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Development Bank and Bhutan: Fact Sheet

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on Bhutan, as well as information on ADB operations and contact details. Since 1982, ADB has supported Bhutan through projects in energy, finance, and trade facilitation, and transport. ADB has approved loans totaling $498.81 million, grants of $222.4 million, and $73.48 million in technical assistance for Bhutan. ADB support reflects strong emphasis on green energy production, transport connectivity, and urban infrastructure projects. To make growth more inclusive, ADB will help Bhutan through projects focusing on cross-border connectivity, skills development, and agriculture.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Development Bank and Nepal: Fact Sheet

The ADB Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on Nepal, as well as information on ADB operations in the country and contact details. Nepal is working toward graduation to middle-income country status and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. ADB assistance aims to improve equitable access to education while pursuing a strategy that aims to address bottlenecks in infrastructure development in energy, transport, and urban facilities. ADB operations will also focus on agriculture, gender equality, good governance, environmental sustainability, regional cooperation, and private sector development.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Nepal Energy Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map

To improve energy security and stimulate economic growth in the face of an unprecedented energy crisis, Nepal is accelerating the development of its hydropower sector. This report examines the performance of Nepal’s energy sector amid development constraints, and highlights government development plans and strategy. It assesses the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB’s) future support strategy, which sees Nepal’s energy sector as a key driver of inclusive economic growth.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2017

This report gives the latest statistics on economic, financial, environmental, and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators for the 48 regional members of the Asian Development Bank, including up-to-date figures on energy, trade, and transport. In 2016, Asia and the Pacific accounted for 40.9% of global gross domestic product (GDP). While foreign direct investment (FDI) flows declined in East Asia and Southeast Asia in 2016, FDI flows to South Asia remained stable. The average number of days required to start a business in South Asia was 16. Energy consumption is also expected to increase in the coming decades owing to increasing GDP per capita and an increase in the use of energy-consuming goods.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Regional Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific: Implementation of the Operational Plan for Regional Cooperation and Integration, 2016–2020─Corporate Progress Report 2017

Regional cooperation and integration (RCI) is a valuable means for attaining national development goals. This report reviews ADB’s progress in implementing its Operational Plan for Regional Cooperation and Integration, 2016–2020, and identifies areas for improvement. It takes a close look at progress in connectivity, competitiveness, and regional public goods and collective action through projects such as the Nepal: SASEC Customs Reform and Modernization for Trade Facilitation Program.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Least Developed Countries Report 2017

This report focuses on transformational energy access for the LDCs, where 62% of people have no access to electricity. It makes a case for trade in electricity, such as the 2014 South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation framework agreement for regional cooperation on electricity among Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. International and regional trade in electricity could help lower electricity prices, mitigate power shocks, relieve shortages, and facilitate the transition to cleaner energy.

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

World Energy Outlook 2017

This report looks at large-scale shifts in the global energy system, such as the the growing electrification of energy and the rise of renewables, and discusses how these shifts interact with each other. It also examines how India and other major developing countries are blurring the distinctions between energy producers and consumers.

Source: International Energy Agency

Harmonizing Electricity Laws in South Asia

Many in South Asia face electricity shortages that affect their socioeconomic development. But the region has a large hydropower potential and other energy resources that may be harnessed to drive growth in the region. This report looks at legal, regulatory, technical, and commercial requirements for energy trade to advance in the region, and gives recommendations for implementing the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Framework Agreement on Energy Trade.

Source: Asian Development Bank and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in Law

Improving Lives Together in Bangladesh: 50 Years of the Asian Development Bank

This report highlights the milestones in the Bangladesh-Asian Development Bank (ADB) partnership since 1973, including projects in transport and energy that have shown sustained development results. Development contributions from ADB-assisted projects in Bangladesh include the Second South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program (SASEC) Bangladesh-India Electrical Grid Interconnection Project that will help double electricity imports from India from the current 500 megawatts; the $505 million SASEC Railway Connectivity, Akhaura Laksam Double-Track Project, which will help railways meet passenger and freight demand; the SASEC Road Connectivity Project, which is upgrading a 70 km stretch along a corridor connecting the northwest to Dhaka to support domestic and subregional trade; and the SASEC Trade Facilitation Program, which aims to reduce non-tariff barriers by adopting international Customs administration protocols, upgrade existing Customs management systems, and establish a web-based electronic trade portal.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy Integration

BIMSTEC: The Road Ahead

This report examines how the Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) region can utilize its intraregional network to deepen regional cooperation and integration to better the lives of the roughly 1.5 million people living in this region. It discusses issues of trade, investment, regional value chains, and connectivity, in the context of making the BIMSTEC grouping more relevant and meaningful. With BIMSTEC's enormous potential waiting to be tapped, this report urges the grouping to take advantage of newly available opportunities and harvest low hanging fruits, including establishment of a BIMSTEC power trade network, promotion of business-to-business and people-to-people contact, enhancement of regional value chains, and engaging the experience and expertise of BRICS economies.

Source: Research and Information System

Study for Development of a Potential Hydropower Plant in South Asia

Rapid development in South Asia has produced a huge surge in energy demand. Nepal, with more than 83,000 megawatts of potential hydropower supply, can significantly increase the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region's energy security. This study highlights ongoing hydropower projects in Nepal, in particular, the Sunkoshi 2 Storage Project, which has the potential to become a regional hydropower plant in South Asia. It also emphasizes the need to expand the region's power transmission infrastructure to promote power trade, and updating of policies that govern cross-border electricity trade among countries in the region.

Source: SAARC Energy Centre

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.

Source: Anoop Singh, Tooraj Jamasb, Rabindra Nepal, and Michael Toman

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.

Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

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.

Source: The World Bank

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: International Energy Agency

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.

Source: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

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.

Source: Jayshree Sengupta

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: Sharmila Kantha

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.

Source: World Trade Organization

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.

Source: Ankur Chaudhary, Ankita Narain, Chetan Krishna and Ambuj Sagar

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.

Source: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

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.

Source: Ronald Antonio Q. Butiong

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: Anwarul Hoda and Durgesh Kumar Rai

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: Bhupendra Kumar Singh

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: Prabhu Ghate

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.

Source: Shahid Kardar

Sector Roadmaps with Result Frameworks

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

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Source: SAARC Energy Centre

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.

Source: Gilberto M. Llanto

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.

Source: Khaja Moinuddin