Trade Facilitation

Trade facilitation focuses on removing barriers to the international movement of goods and cargo to lower trade costs, at and around the border and along the supply chain, to make countries more competitive in regional and global markets. In the SASEC subregion, bottlenecks in trade facilitation are the leading non-tariff barriers that constrain intraregional trade. SASEC trade facilitation initiatives aim to make cross-border trade and transport in the subregion faster, cheaper, and more predictable, while maintaining the security of the supply chain and ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of all involved players.

PUBLICATIONS

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Facilitate Trade for Development: Aid for Trade

The Aid for Trade program has been providing support to developing economies in tackling obstacles to growth through better facilitation of trade in the last 10 years. Since its launch in 2006, a total of $308 billion has been disbursed to finance aid-for-trade programs and projects, which are working to reduce trade and transport costs, promote trade expansion, and achieve economic and social objectives. As high trade costs persist in keeping developing countries from fully exploiting their trade and development potential, the Aid for Trade program remains highly relevant, and will help developing economies, including landlocked and small and vulnerable economies, achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Source: William Hynes and Frans Lammersen

Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism: Baseline Study in Bangladesh

This report synthesizes the business process analysis conducted on the export of plastic kitchenware and tableware from Bangladesh to Bhutan through Burimari land port, and the import of lentils from Nepal to Bangladesh through Banglabandha land port, as well as studies on trade corridors and border crossings in Bangladesh, to quantify current trade and transport facilitation in Bangladesh through a set of indicators. Findings of the study reveal bottlenecks to trade, including costly one-time procedures for a new trader, numerous documents and copies required to complete export and import processes, and low speed along the trade corridors. This report includes specific short-term and long-term policies to improve Bangladesh’s trade and transport facilitation.

Source: Asian Development Bank

World Trade Statistical Review 2017

The World Trade Statistical Review looks at the last 10 years and examines the latest developments in world trade, with a detailed analysis of the most recent trends for trade in goods and services. The book gives information on the participation of India, Bangladesh, and other South Asian economies in world trade, and highlights trends in the use of trade-facilitating measures. It also gives information on the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and regional trade agreements, such as the South Asian Free Trade Arrangement.

Source: World Trade Organization

WORKING PAPER

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Trade and Trade Facilitation along the Belt and Road Initiative Corridors

This paper reviews the current state of trade and trade facilitation among the countries along the six corridors under the Belt Road Initiative (BRI), and looks at the potential impact of infrastructure development on trade. It explores at the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) corridor, and reviews trade growth, tariff rates, logistics performance index, ease of trading across borders, and other indicators in those countries.

Source: Bala Ramasamy, Matthew Yeung, Chorthip Utoktham, and Yann Duval

Connecting Bangladesh: Economic Corridor Network

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

Source: Mohuiddin Alamgir

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

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

Source: Mustafizur Rahman, Khaleda Akhter and Naimul Gani Saif

REPORTS

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For the Greater Common Good: Addressing Infrastructural Inadequacies in India for Improved Regional Connectivity

Both soft and hard infrastructure are needed to successfully implement the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) and other connectivity initiatives. This field survey report identifies infrastructural gaps in India and suggests possible remedies to help improve flow of goods among the BBIN economies.

Source: CUTS International

Maritime Cooperation in SASEC: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

Most South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) countries rely on maritime transport for international trade. Stronger maritime relations are crucial to achieve the economic growth potential for the subregion. This report looks at how countries can strengthen international trade by improving maritime cooperation among the SASEC countries, comprised of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It gives an overview of the SASEC maritime sector and identifies collaboration initiatives that could address key challenges.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Economic Integration Report 2019/2020: Demographic Change, Productivity, and the Role of Technology

This report reviews economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific. It reports that in 2018, the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) focused on reducing gaps in multimodal connectivity among its member countries. By the end of 2018, 52 ADB-financed projects worth $11.36 billion had been committed to SASEC projects, with an additional $106.44 million in 81 technical assistance grants. SASEC nodal officials and working groups met in Singapore in March 2018 to update the SASEC operational plan. The operational plan identified 77 projects ($45.6 billion) to be financed by SASEC members, ADB, and development partners. A holistic approach under the operational plan will build transport links with Southeast Asia and East Asia and expand regional trade markets.

Source: Asian Development Bank

PERIODICALS

showing 1
Regional Organizations Cooperation Mechanism for Trade Facilitation, Issue IX, January 2016

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

Source: UNESCAP

EVENT MATERIALS

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NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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Bangladesh and India Reiterate Strengthening Trade, Energy Cooperation, and Connectivity for Bilateral, Subregional Benefit

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a state visit to Bangladesh on 26-27 March 2021 to join celebrations for the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangladesh and India are also commemorating 50 years since the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

Bangladesh, Nepal Sign MoUs Boosting Sanitary and Phytosanitary Cooperation and Railway Connectivity

The Governments of Bangladesh and Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Strengthening Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Cooperation on 22 March 2021. SPS, as well as technical barriers to trade (TBT), serves as critical nontariff measures that constrain trade in the SASEC subregion.

India, SpiceJet Multimodal Transport Project Carries Cargo from Dhaka to Spain

A multimodal transport project initiative of the Ministry of Civil Aviation of the Government of India, the Airports Authority of India Cargo Logistics and Allied Services Company Limited, and SpiceXpress, the air cargo division of SpiceJet, transported 48 tonnes of cargo from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Spain.

PUBLICATIONS

showing 3 of 10   VIEW ALL
Facilitate Trade for Development: Aid for Trade

The Aid for Trade program has been providing support to developing economies in tackling obstacles to growth through better facilitation of trade in the last 10 years. Since its launch in 2006, a total of $308 billion has been disbursed to finance aid-for-trade programs and projects, which are working to reduce trade and transport costs, promote trade expansion, and achieve economic and social objectives. As high trade costs persist in keeping developing countries from fully exploiting their trade and development potential, the Aid for Trade program remains highly relevant, and will help developing economies, including landlocked and small and vulnerable economies, achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Source: William Hynes and Frans Lammersen

Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism: Baseline Study in Bangladesh

This report synthesizes the business process analysis conducted on the export of plastic kitchenware and tableware from Bangladesh to Bhutan through Burimari land port, and the import of lentils from Nepal to Bangladesh through Banglabandha land port, as well as studies on trade corridors and border crossings in Bangladesh, to quantify current trade and transport facilitation in Bangladesh through a set of indicators. Findings of the study reveal bottlenecks to trade, including costly one-time procedures for a new trader, numerous documents and copies required to complete export and import processes, and low speed along the trade corridors. This report includes specific short-term and long-term policies to improve Bangladesh’s trade and transport facilitation.

Source: Asian Development Bank

World Trade Statistical Review 2017

The World Trade Statistical Review looks at the last 10 years and examines the latest developments in world trade, with a detailed analysis of the most recent trends for trade in goods and services. The book gives information on the participation of India, Bangladesh, and other South Asian economies in world trade, and highlights trends in the use of trade-facilitating measures. It also gives information on the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and regional trade agreements, such as the South Asian Free Trade Arrangement.

Source: World Trade Organization

WORKING PAPER

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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.

Source: Anthony Bayley

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.

Source: Tengfei Wang and Yann Duval

REPORTS

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For the Greater Common Good: Addressing Infrastructural Inadequacies in India for Improved Regional Connectivity

Both soft and hard infrastructure are needed to successfully implement the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) and other connectivity initiatives. This field survey report identifies infrastructural gaps in India and suggests possible remedies to help improve flow of goods among the BBIN economies.

Source: CUTS International

Maritime Cooperation in SASEC: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

Most South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) countries rely on maritime transport for international trade. Stronger maritime relations are crucial to achieve the economic growth potential for the subregion. This report looks at how countries can strengthen international trade by improving maritime cooperation among the SASEC countries, comprised of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It gives an overview of the SASEC maritime sector and identifies collaboration initiatives that could address key challenges.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Economic Integration Report 2019/2020: Demographic Change, Productivity, and the Role of Technology

This report reviews economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific. It reports that in 2018, the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) focused on reducing gaps in multimodal connectivity among its member countries. By the end of 2018, 52 ADB-financed projects worth $11.36 billion had been committed to SASEC projects, with an additional $106.44 million in 81 technical assistance grants. SASEC nodal officials and working groups met in Singapore in March 2018 to update the SASEC operational plan. The operational plan identified 77 projects ($45.6 billion) to be financed by SASEC members, ADB, and development partners. A holistic approach under the operational plan will build transport links with Southeast Asia and East Asia and expand regional trade markets.

Source: Asian Development Bank

PERIODICALS

showing 2
Regional Organizations Cooperation Mechanism for Trade Facilitation, Issue IX, January 2016

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

Source: UNESCAP

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

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

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

EVENT MATERIALS

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Bhutan: Workshop on Harmonized System

2016-08-22, Gelephu, Bhutan

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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Webinar Deliberates on Gender Dimensions of Trade Facilitation in the BBIN Subregion

A webinar organized by CUTS International on 30 October 2020 deliberated the findings of the project, ‘Gender Dimensions of Trade Facilitation in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Subregion.’ The work undertaken by CUTS reveals that the absence of gender responsive trade facilitation measures helps exacerbate gender inequality.

India, Bhutan Open Temporary Trade Route in Pasakha

The Government of India has opened an additional Land Customs station at Ahlay, Pasakha, in response to a request from the Government of Bhutan. The temporary alternate trade route hopes to decongest vehicular traffic along the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing route, and boost bilateral trade and commerce between the two nations.

Ministerial Meeting of LLDCs Emphasize Need to Address Trade and Transport Issues

The 9th Annual Ministerial Meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) on Trade and Transport was held to discussed key issues in transport, transit cooperation, trade, and trade facilitation among LLDCs. Bhutan and Nepal sent delegations to the Meeting. They highlighted initiatives being taken to connect their countries to the global market, including bilateral agreements in the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal subregion and the SASEC Trade Facilitation Program.

PUBLICATIONS

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World Trade Statistical Review 2017

The World Trade Statistical Review looks at the last 10 years and examines the latest developments in world trade, with a detailed analysis of the most recent trends for trade in goods and services. The book gives information on the participation of India, Bangladesh, and other South Asian economies in world trade, and highlights trends in the use of trade-facilitating measures. It also gives information on the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and regional trade agreements, such as the South Asian Free Trade Arrangement.

Source: World Trade Organization

Services and Global Value Chains: The Asia-Pacific Reality, Studies in Trade, Investment and Innovation 89

This book reviews issues concerning the roles of services in global value chains. It presents a framework for assessing links among different services and between services and the manufacturing sector. The book explains the contribution of services to global value chains in the Asia-Pacific region and to the world and also draws lessons with which countries could understand the importance of services and participation in global value chains to achieving sustainable development.

Source: Witada Anukoonwattaka, Mia Mikic, Yuhua Zhang

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

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

Source: Sabyasachi Mitra, Rana Hasan, Manoj Sharma, Hoe Yun Jeong, Manish Sharma, and Arindam Guha

WORKING PAPER

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What Does It Cost to Trade Cross-Border?

Customs duties, local taxes, and customs clearance increase trade costs and serve as obstacles for many small and medium enterprises. This paper explores challenges these enterprises face in using e-platforms and trading internationally. It looks at de minimis exemptions (the minimum value of goods below which no duties are collected) in India and other economies and analyzes the impact of these exemptions on exports by micro and small enterprises.

Source: Sanjay Kumar Mangla

Digital Trade Facilitation: Paperless Trade in Regional Trade Agreements

Most regional trade agreements now feature one or more measures for electronically exchanging trade-related information. These measures are becoming essential to maintaining trade competitiveness and enabling effective participation in cross-border e-commerce. This paper examines the extent to which measures enabling paperless trade are included in regional trade agreements (RTAs), such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-India Free Trade Agreement. India leads the region with the highest number of RTAs involving paperless trade measures. Asia-Pacific RTAs now increasingly cover specific areas of paperless trade such as electronic certificates of origin and sanitary and phytosanitary certificates.

Source: Yann Duval and Kong Mengjing

Trade and Trade Facilitation along the Belt and Road Initiative Corridors

This paper reviews the current state of trade and trade facilitation among the countries along the six corridors under the Belt Road Initiative (BRI), and looks at the potential impact of infrastructure development on trade. It explores at the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) corridor, and reviews trade growth, tariff rates, logistics performance index, ease of trading across borders, and other indicators in those countries.

Source: Bala Ramasamy, Matthew Yeung, Chorthip Utoktham, and Yann Duval

REPORTS

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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

For the Greater Common Good: Addressing Infrastructural Inadequacies in India for Improved Regional Connectivity

Both soft and hard infrastructure are needed to successfully implement the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) and other connectivity initiatives. This field survey report identifies infrastructural gaps in India and suggests possible remedies to help improve flow of goods among the BBIN economies.

Source: CUTS International

Maritime Cooperation in SASEC: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

Most South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) countries rely on maritime transport for international trade. Stronger maritime relations are crucial to achieve the economic growth potential for the subregion. This report looks at how countries can strengthen international trade by improving maritime cooperation among the SASEC countries, comprised of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It gives an overview of the SASEC maritime sector and identifies collaboration initiatives that could address key challenges.

Source: Asian Development Bank

PERIODICALS

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Changing Patterns of Trade and Global Value Chains in Postcrisis Asia

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

Source: Ganeshan Wignaraja, Juzhong Zhuang, Mahinthan J. Mariasingham, and Madeline Dumaua-Cabauatan

Artnet Newsletter - July 2017

Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT) is an open regional network composed of leading trade research institutions and think tanks across the Asia-Pacific region. The 2017 July issue of its newsletter features the benefits Sri Lanka could reap from its free trade agreement with India and the shaping of the digital trade agenda.

Source: Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade

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

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

Source: UNESCAP

EVENT MATERIALS

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Nepal: Electronic Cargo Tracking System Workshop

2017-03-06, Kathmandu, Nepal

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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Trade Facilitation Mobile App Launched in India

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India has launched a Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Trade Facilitation Mobile App. India aims to move toward paperless, automated processing systems, simple procedures, online data exchange between departments, and digital payments and acknowledgements.

Bangladesh and India Reiterate Strengthening Trade, Energy Cooperation, and Connectivity for Bilateral, Subregional Benefit

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a state visit to Bangladesh on 26-27 March 2021 to join celebrations for the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangladesh and India are also commemorating 50 years since the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

India, SpiceJet Multimodal Transport Project Carries Cargo from Dhaka to Spain

A multimodal transport project initiative of the Ministry of Civil Aviation of the Government of India, the Airports Authority of India Cargo Logistics and Allied Services Company Limited, and SpiceXpress, the air cargo division of SpiceJet, transported 48 tonnes of cargo from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Spain.

PUBLICATIONS

showing 3 of 7   VIEW ALL
World Trade Statistical Review 2017

The World Trade Statistical Review looks at the last 10 years and examines the latest developments in world trade, with a detailed analysis of the most recent trends for trade in goods and services. The book gives information on the participation of India, Bangladesh, and other South Asian economies in world trade, and highlights trends in the use of trade-facilitating measures. It also gives information on the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and regional trade agreements, such as the South Asian Free Trade Arrangement.

Source: World Trade Organization

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.

Source: Selim Raihan, Mostafa Abid Khan, and Shaquib Quoreshi

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.

Source: Asian Development Bank

WORKING PAPER

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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.

Source: Yann Duval and Chorthip Utoktham

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.

Source: Tengfei Wang and Yann Duval

REPORTS

showing 3 of 17   VIEW ALL
Maritime Cooperation in SASEC: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

Most South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) countries rely on maritime transport for international trade. Stronger maritime relations are crucial to achieve the economic growth potential for the subregion. This report looks at how countries can strengthen international trade by improving maritime cooperation among the SASEC countries, comprised of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It gives an overview of the SASEC maritime sector and identifies collaboration initiatives that could address key challenges.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Economic Integration Report 2019/2020: Demographic Change, Productivity, and the Role of Technology

This report reviews economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific. It reports that in 2018, the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) focused on reducing gaps in multimodal connectivity among its member countries. By the end of 2018, 52 ADB-financed projects worth $11.36 billion had been committed to SASEC projects, with an additional $106.44 million in 81 technical assistance grants. SASEC nodal officials and working groups met in Singapore in March 2018 to update the SASEC operational plan. The operational plan identified 77 projects ($45.6 billion) to be financed by SASEC members, ADB, and development partners. A holistic approach under the operational plan will build transport links with Southeast Asia and East Asia and expand regional trade markets.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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

PERIODICALS

showing 2
Regional Organizations Cooperation Mechanism for Trade Facilitation (ROC-TF) Newsletter: Issue X, August 2016

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

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

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

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

Source: UNESCAP

EVENT MATERIALS

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NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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Maldives Signs $10 million National Single Window Project with ADB

The Government of Maldives has signed a $10 million project with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for its National Single Window Project. The agreement was signed at the sidelines of the Maldives Partnership Forum by Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer and Mr. Ronald Butiong, Director for Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination, South Asia Department, ADB.

ADB to Help Maldives Establish A National Single Window

The Asian Development Bank approved the proposed financing for the Maldives: SASEC National Single Window Project worth $11 million. This project will introduce a single electronic platform in Maldives to improve the speed and efficiency of cross-border control procedures by employing the latest technology. This project will improve the trade environment of Maldives, and help expand its trade with partners in the region, including India and Sri Lanka.

Regional Cooperation Initiatives to Bolster Greater Male Region Development

Mr. Wencai Zhang, Vice President, Asian Development Bank (ADB), encouraged the active participation of Maldives in regional cooperation programs, in his two-day visit to Male, Maldives. ADB plans to increase support for Maldives in 2018-2019 through its indicative investment program that focuses on developing the Greater Male region, and also includes the SASEC National Window Project.

PUBLICATIONS

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Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2017-2021

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

Source: Nepal Department of Customs

Facilitate Trade for Development: Aid for Trade

The Aid for Trade program has been providing support to developing economies in tackling obstacles to growth through better facilitation of trade in the last 10 years. Since its launch in 2006, a total of $308 billion has been disbursed to finance aid-for-trade programs and projects, which are working to reduce trade and transport costs, promote trade expansion, and achieve economic and social objectives. As high trade costs persist in keeping developing countries from fully exploiting their trade and development potential, the Aid for Trade program remains highly relevant, and will help developing economies, including landlocked and small and vulnerable economies, achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Source: William Hynes and Frans Lammersen

Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism: Baseline Study in Bangladesh

This report synthesizes the business process analysis conducted on the export of plastic kitchenware and tableware from Bangladesh to Bhutan through Burimari land port, and the import of lentils from Nepal to Bangladesh through Banglabandha land port, as well as studies on trade corridors and border crossings in Bangladesh, to quantify current trade and transport facilitation in Bangladesh through a set of indicators. Findings of the study reveal bottlenecks to trade, including costly one-time procedures for a new trader, numerous documents and copies required to complete export and import processes, and low speed along the trade corridors. This report includes specific short-term and long-term policies to improve Bangladesh’s trade and transport facilitation.

Source: Asian Development Bank

WORKING PAPER

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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.

Source: Anthony Bayley

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.

Source: Tengfei Wang and Yann Duval

REPORTS

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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

For the Greater Common Good: Addressing Infrastructural Inadequacies in India for Improved Regional Connectivity

Both soft and hard infrastructure are needed to successfully implement the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) and other connectivity initiatives. This field survey report identifies infrastructural gaps in India and suggests possible remedies to help improve flow of goods among the BBIN economies.

Source: CUTS International

Maritime Cooperation in SASEC: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

Most South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) countries rely on maritime transport for international trade. Stronger maritime relations are crucial to achieve the economic growth potential for the subregion. This report looks at how countries can strengthen international trade by improving maritime cooperation among the SASEC countries, comprised of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It gives an overview of the SASEC maritime sector and identifies collaboration initiatives that could address key challenges.

Source: Asian Development Bank

PERIODICALS

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

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

Source: Pascale Bourquin and Adam Heal

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

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

Source: UNESCAP

EVENT MATERIALS

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Nepal: Electronic Cargo Tracking System Workshop

2017-03-06, Kathmandu, Nepal

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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Bangladesh, Nepal Sign MoUs Boosting Sanitary and Phytosanitary Cooperation and Railway Connectivity

The Governments of Bangladesh and Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Strengthening Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Cooperation on 22 March 2021. SPS, as well as technical barriers to trade (TBT), serves as critical nontariff measures that constrain trade in the SASEC subregion.

Webinar Deliberates on Gender Dimensions of Trade Facilitation in the BBIN Subregion

A webinar organized by CUTS International on 30 October 2020 deliberated the findings of the project, ‘Gender Dimensions of Trade Facilitation in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Subregion.’ The work undertaken by CUTS reveals that the absence of gender responsive trade facilitation measures helps exacerbate gender inequality.

Inland Waterways to Help Channel Economic Activity along the Ganga River

Inland waterways is an important pillar of ‘Arth-Ganga,’ a project that aims to channelize economic activity along the banks of Ganga River to promote inclusive growth for India and generate enormous employment opportunities. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Shipping of the Government of India.

PUBLICATIONS

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World Trade Statistical Review 2017

The World Trade Statistical Review looks at the last 10 years and examines the latest developments in world trade, with a detailed analysis of the most recent trends for trade in goods and services. The book gives information on the participation of India, Bangladesh, and other South Asian economies in world trade, and highlights trends in the use of trade-facilitating measures. It also gives information on the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and regional trade agreements, such as the South Asian Free Trade Arrangement.

Source: World Trade Organization

Services and Global Value Chains: The Asia-Pacific Reality, Studies in Trade, Investment and Innovation 89

This book reviews issues concerning the roles of services in global value chains. It presents a framework for assessing links among different services and between services and the manufacturing sector. The book explains the contribution of services to global value chains in the Asia-Pacific region and to the world and also draws lessons with which countries could understand the importance of services and participation in global value chains to achieving sustainable development.

Source: Witada Anukoonwattaka, Mia Mikic, Yuhua Zhang

Connecting Asia: Infrastructure for Integrating South and Southeast Asia

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

Source: Michael G. Plummer, Peter J. Morgan, Ganeshan Wignaraja, eds.

WORKING PAPER

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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.

Source: Dushni Weerakoon and Nipuni Perera

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.

Source: Tengfei Wang and Yann Duval

REPORTS

showing 3 of 19   VIEW ALL
Maritime Cooperation in SASEC: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

Most South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) countries rely on maritime transport for international trade. Stronger maritime relations are crucial to achieve the economic growth potential for the subregion. This report looks at how countries can strengthen international trade by improving maritime cooperation among the SASEC countries, comprised of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It gives an overview of the SASEC maritime sector and identifies collaboration initiatives that could address key challenges.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Economic Integration Report 2019/2020: Demographic Change, Productivity, and the Role of Technology

This report reviews economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific. It reports that in 2018, the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) focused on reducing gaps in multimodal connectivity among its member countries. By the end of 2018, 52 ADB-financed projects worth $11.36 billion had been committed to SASEC projects, with an additional $106.44 million in 81 technical assistance grants. SASEC nodal officials and working groups met in Singapore in March 2018 to update the SASEC operational plan. The operational plan identified 77 projects ($45.6 billion) to be financed by SASEC members, ADB, and development partners. A holistic approach under the operational plan will build transport links with Southeast Asia and East Asia and expand regional trade markets.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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

PERIODICALS

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Changing Patterns of Trade and Global Value Chains in Postcrisis Asia

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

Source: Ganeshan Wignaraja, Juzhong Zhuang, Mahinthan J. Mariasingham, and Madeline Dumaua-Cabauatan

Artnet Newsletter - July 2017

Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT) is an open regional network composed of leading trade research institutions and think tanks across the Asia-Pacific region. The 2017 July issue of its newsletter features the benefits Sri Lanka could reap from its free trade agreement with India and the shaping of the digital trade agenda.

Source: Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade

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

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

Source: UNESCAP

EVENT MATERIALS

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Seventh SASEC Customs Subgroup Meeting

2018-07-30, Colombo, Sri Lanka

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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Sri Lanka Launches Improved Trade Information Portal

The Sri Lanka Department of Commerce launched in Colombo an enhanced trade information portal, which provides information on the country’s trade procedures. The portal benefits traders by providing transparent and up-to-date information on trade procedures and requirements.

Sri Lanka Customs Offers Efficient, Safe Services during Pandemic with Digital Tools

Digital tools have helped Sri Lanka Customs provide efficient services to its users while maintaining health protocols to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Sri Lanka Customs has embarked on several modernization processes, which have helped maintain social distancing.

Construction of Port Access Elevated Highway Project in Sri Lanka Begins

Construction of Colombo's first elevated highway commenced on 10 September 2019 with Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe laying the foundation stone to mark the start of construction. The project will help alleviate traffic congestion in Colombo’s densely populated areas, improve last-mile connectivity between the country’s expressway network and Colombo’s international port, provide better logistics services for freight operations, and facilitate regional trade.

PUBLICATIONS

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SASEC Vision – Myanmar

Myanmar serves as a land bridge between South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. This book identifies regional and subregional opportunities for Myanmar to harness natural and human resources, industrial potential, and infrastructure connectivity as part of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program. SASEC Vision – Myanmar serves to supplement the 2017 SASEC Vision document, which articulates shared aspirations of the SASEC countries and sets the path to achieve these through regional collaboration.

Source: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program

Financing Infrastructure in Asia and the Pacific: Capturing Impacts and New Sources

This book looks at the impact of infrastructure investment on economic and social indicators, and shows how infrastructure investment can increase output, taxes, trade, and firm productivity. One study in the book shows that trade facilitation reforms in South Asia resulted in increased intraregional trade and trade with other regions. The book proposes innovative modes of financing for infrastructure needed to drive sustainable growth.

Source: Naoyuki Yoshino, Matthias Helble, and Umid Abidhadjaev (editors)

Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2017-2021

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

Source: Nepal Department of Customs

WORKING PAPER

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Impact of Implementation of Digital Trade Facilitation on Trade Costs

This paper studies of the effect of the implementation of World Trade Agreement Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA) measures on trade costs in the Asia-Pacific region. Its analysis shows that full implementation of measures is associated with 15% reduction in trade cost. The paper also projects a 26% decrease in trade costs, amounting to $600 billion annually, with the full implementation of WTO TFA measures together with digital trade facilitation measures. It also looks at the need to develop legal and technical frameworks to support cross-border paperless trade, including the legal recognition of trade data and documents between public and private organizations in different countries.

Source: Yann Duval, Chorthip Utoktham, and Alexey Kravchenko

What Does It Cost to Trade Cross-Border?

Customs duties, local taxes, and customs clearance increase trade costs and serve as obstacles for many small and medium enterprises. This paper explores challenges these enterprises face in using e-platforms and trading internationally. It looks at de minimis exemptions (the minimum value of goods below which no duties are collected) in India and other economies and analyzes the impact of these exemptions on exports by micro and small enterprises.

Source: Sanjay Kumar Mangla

Time, Uncertainty, and Trade Flows

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

Source: Jose Anson, Jean-Francois Arvis, Mauro Boffa, Matthias Helble, and Benjamin Shepherd

REPORTS

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Regional Cooperation for Trade and Transport Connectivity in the Age of Pandemics in Asia and the Pacific

Governments, border agencies, logistics companies, and traders have been studying how trade and transport facilitation measures may be used to maintain the flow of goods across borders. In South Asia, the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Trade Facilitation Working Group and the SASEC Customs Subgroup, through SASEC’s Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework, have helped develop separate lanes for handling and releasing medicines and other critical goods. A SASEC technical assistance project is also being implemented to modernize cross-border e-commerce for micro, small and medium enterprises.

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

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

Learning from CAREC Corridors and Connectivity: Prospects for BBIN Sub-region

This publication looks at Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) corridors, drawing lessons for the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) subregion. It also looks at the potential for multimodal connectivity between CAREC and BBIN countries. BBIN countries formed the South Asian Growth Quadrangle in 1996 and, with help from the Asian Development Bank, formed the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program in 2001 to promote regional cooperation in transport and trade. The SASEC partnership later grew to include Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.

Source: CUTS International

PERIODICALS

showing 3 of 9   VIEW ALL
Changing Patterns of Trade and Global Value Chains in Postcrisis Asia

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

Source: Ganeshan Wignaraja, Juzhong Zhuang, Mahinthan J. Mariasingham, and Madeline Dumaua-Cabauatan

Artnet Newsletter - July 2017

Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT) is an open regional network composed of leading trade research institutions and think tanks across the Asia-Pacific region. The 2017 July issue of its newsletter features the benefits Sri Lanka could reap from its free trade agreement with India and the shaping of the digital trade agenda.

Source: Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade

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

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

Source: UNESCAP

EVENT MATERIALS

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Ninth SASEC Customs Subgroup Meeting

2020-09-30, Online

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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Trade Facilitation Mobile App Launched in India

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India has launched a Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Trade Facilitation Mobile App. India aims to move toward paperless, automated processing systems, simple procedures, online data exchange between departments, and digital payments and acknowledgements.

17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting Finalizes BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity

Foreign Ministers of the Bay of Bengal Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) grouping finalized the BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity at the 17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting held on 1 April 2021. The master plan will be endorsed for adoption in the next BIMSTEC summit to be hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka later this year.

Bangladesh and India Reiterate Strengthening Trade, Energy Cooperation, and Connectivity for Bilateral, Subregional Benefit

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a state visit to Bangladesh on 26-27 March 2021 to join celebrations for the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangladesh and India are also commemorating 50 years since the establishment of their diplomatic relations.