Transport

Transport demand in South Asia continues to grow as the region's economies expand, alongside rising incomes, increased consumption, and demand for trade and travel. In South Asia, transport systems have largely developed at a national level, creating the need to develop transport networks in the 21st century that go beyond borders, and address capacity constraints, service quality, and safety. SASEC support for the transport sector facilitates cross-border connectivity by developing multimodal transport systems, including road transport, railways and ports that are aligned with the development of subregional markets.

PUBLICATIONS

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Bridging the East: Trade and Transport Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal Region

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement aims to reap the trade and economic potentials of the countries of South Asia. This study identifies hurdles to the successful implementation of the agreement through evidence-based advocacy and dialogue. The study highlights issues related to infrastructure, political economy, gender, and livelihood.

Source: CUTS International

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

Lessons from ADB Transport Projects: Moving Goods, Connecting People, and Disseminating Knowledge

This publication shares 20 case stories from the Asian Development Bank bearing practical lessons for transport projects across Asia and the Pacific region under different socioeconomic and political situations. The book includes reports on improving aviation in Bhutan, working on computerized transport and trade logistics in Nepal, and constructing Sri Lanka's Greenfield Highway, and the role policy plays in those projects. It also draws lessons from how India's road development increased rural communities' access to public services and economic opportunities, and how participatory processes in selecting road improvement projects in Bangladesh provide a model for long-term plan for road maintenance.

Source: Asian Development Bank

WORKING PAPER

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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

Seaborne Trade between South Asia and Southeast Asia

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

Source: David Wignall, Mark Wignall

REPORTS

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Role of Multi-modal Connectivity in Fostering Value Chains in the BBIN Sub-region

This report looks at how multimodal connectivity can strengthen regional value chains in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) subregion. It also provides a snapshot of various multimodal connectivity initiatives, such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program, the inland waterways agreement between Bhutan and Bangladesh, and the railway link between Raxaul (India) and Sirsiya (Nepal).

Source: CUTS International

Review of Sustainable Transport Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific 2019

A dominantly road-centric and fossil fuel dependent freight transport sector has made Asia and the Pacific one of the highest CO2 emitting regions in the world, while making the regional transport system more vulnerable to climate disasters. Shifting to sustainable freight transport will be driven by technology and innovation, but it will also need public policy that promotes better transport connectivity within the region.

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

United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Infrastructural Impediments to Better Connectivity in South Asia

The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) aims to integrate the region through smooth movement of passenger and commercial vehicles across the BBIN countries. This survey presents a first-hand perspective on infrastructure in the region. This paper lays out impediments to trade and suggests a way forward to create an enabling environment for the motor vehicles agreement to succeed.

Source: CUTS International

PERIODICALS

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Review of Developments in Transport in Asia and the Pacific 2017

This issue of the Review of Development in Transport in Asia and the Pacific looks at how transport development helps achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also discusses emerging trends that are making transport systems cleaner, safer, and more affordable, and examines how projects including the SASEC Road Connectivity Project in Bangladesh facilitate regional transport operational connectivity.

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

EVENT MATERIALS

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SASEC Nodal Officials' Meeting 2017

2017-05-06, Yokohama, Japan

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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Webinar Highlights Economic Potential of Bangladesh-India River Tourism

Experts discussed unique opportunities in river tourism between Bangladesh and India at a public-private dialogue on India-Bangladesh cross-border tourism and cruise operations organized by CUTS International on 29 April 2021.

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.

Inland Waterways to Reduce Shipping Costs

A shipment of lychee drinks will be traveling through inland waterways from Narsingdi, Bangladesh, to Kolkata, India. According to Mr. Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping, Bangladesh, developing inland waterways will lower the cost of shipping and increase trade between India and Bangladesh.

PUBLICATIONS

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Bridging the East: Trade and Transport Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal Region

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement aims to reap the trade and economic potentials of the countries of South Asia. This study identifies hurdles to the successful implementation of the agreement through evidence-based advocacy and dialogue. The study highlights issues related to infrastructure, political economy, gender, and livelihood.

Source: CUTS International

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

Lessons from ADB Transport Projects: Moving Goods, Connecting People, and Disseminating Knowledge

This publication shares 20 case stories from the Asian Development Bank bearing practical lessons for transport projects across Asia and the Pacific region under different socioeconomic and political situations. The book includes reports on improving aviation in Bhutan, working on computerized transport and trade logistics in Nepal, and constructing Sri Lanka's Greenfield Highway, and the role policy plays in those projects. It also draws lessons from how India's road development increased rural communities' access to public services and economic opportunities, and how participatory processes in selecting road improvement projects in Bangladesh provide a model for long-term plan for road maintenance.

Source: Asian Development Bank

WORKING PAPER

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REPORTS

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Role of Multi-modal Connectivity in Fostering Value Chains in the BBIN Sub-region

This report looks at how multimodal connectivity can strengthen regional value chains in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) subregion. It also provides a snapshot of various multimodal connectivity initiatives, such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program, the inland waterways agreement between Bhutan and Bangladesh, and the railway link between Raxaul (India) and Sirsiya (Nepal).

Source: CUTS International

United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Infrastructural Impediments to Better Connectivity in South Asia

The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) aims to integrate the region through smooth movement of passenger and commercial vehicles across the BBIN countries. This survey presents a first-hand perspective on infrastructure in the region. This paper lays out impediments to trade and suggests a way forward to create an enabling environment for the motor vehicles agreement to succeed.

Source: CUTS International

In Search of Harmony: Strengthening Connectivity Among the BBIN Countries

This report is a part of CUTS International’s series of field surveys to understand the economic scenario and its impact on cross-border trade in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) subregion. The report identifies procedural issues that affect trade and suggests remedial measures to help increase the speed of connectivity and create and enabling environment for the implementation of the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement.

Source: CUTS International

PERIODICALS

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EVENT MATERIALS

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SASEC Nodal Officials' Meeting 2017

2017-05-06, Yokohama, Japan

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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India's Northeast Region is Gateway to Southeast Asia -India Foreign Secretary

India's northeastern states are working to improve infrastructure and connectivity to help reduce the cost of transport and basic commodities. India's northeastern region is the country's gateway to East and Southeast Asia, and India is promoting transport and energy connectivity with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal, explains Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary of the Government of India.

Bangladesh Approves SASEC Highway Project

The Bangladesh Executive Committee of the National Economic Council has approved a road expansion program through the SASEC Road Link Project II: Elenga-Hatikamrul-Rangpur Highway Four-Lane Upgradation. The project will be part of a road network connecting Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal that would increase trade and commerce in the subregion.

Increased Connectivity to Help BBIN Face Post-COVID Shocks

Extensive connectivity in the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal subregion is needed to respond to economic vulnerabilities brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Increased connectivity through trade and transport infrastructure, such as those under the South Asian Subregional Economic Cooperation program, help the Asian Development Bank in its work to reduce poverty and promote gender equality.

PUBLICATIONS

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Bridging the East: Trade and Transport Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal Region

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement aims to reap the trade and economic potentials of the countries of South Asia. This study identifies hurdles to the successful implementation of the agreement through evidence-based advocacy and dialogue. The study highlights issues related to infrastructure, political economy, gender, and livelihood.

Source: CUTS International

Lessons from ADB Transport Projects: Moving Goods, Connecting People, and Disseminating Knowledge

This publication shares 20 case stories from the Asian Development Bank bearing practical lessons for transport projects across Asia and the Pacific region under different socioeconomic and political situations. The book includes reports on improving aviation in Bhutan, working on computerized transport and trade logistics in Nepal, and constructing Sri Lanka's Greenfield Highway, and the role policy plays in those projects. It also draws lessons from how India's road development increased rural communities' access to public services and economic opportunities, and how participatory processes in selecting road improvement projects in Bangladesh provide a model for long-term plan for road maintenance.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Together We Deliver: 50 Stories of ADB's Partnerships in Asia and the Pacific

This special edition of Together We Deliver tells 50 stories that highlight the importance of good partnerships in Asia and the Pacific in meeting complex development challenges. In South Asia, ADB has supported infrastructure development and social programs, helping lift people out of poverty in a diverse, rapidly urbanizing subregion. The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Roads Improvement Project, for instance, is set to widen 160 kilometers of Nepal’s East–West Highway, which connects Nepal to India. The improved roads will provide faster and better access to social services and economic opportunities, and will facilitate national and regional integration.

Source: Asian Development Bank

WORKING PAPER

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Transport Corridors and their Wider Economic Benefits: A Critical Review of the Literature

This paper reviews literature estimating the impact of large transport investments. It reviews 78 studies, 11 of which centers on infrastructure projects in India. The paper looks at the economic benefits of transport infrastructure projects to better understand how corridors could generate wider economic benefits, with a focus on roads, rails, and waterways. The review assesses the impact of transport corridor projects on economic welfare and equity, environmental quality, and social inclusion, and suggests a need for policies and institutions that address trade-offs.

Source: Mark Roberts, Martin Melecky, Theophile Bougna, and Yan Sarah Xu

Seaborne Trade between South Asia and Southeast Asia

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

Source: David Wignall, Mark Wignall

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

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

Source: Pradumna B. Rana and Binod Karmacharya

REPORTS

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Role of Multi-modal Connectivity in Fostering Value Chains in the BBIN Sub-region

This report looks at how multimodal connectivity can strengthen regional value chains in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) subregion. It also provides a snapshot of various multimodal connectivity initiatives, such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program, the inland waterways agreement between Bhutan and Bangladesh, and the railway link between Raxaul (India) and Sirsiya (Nepal).

Source: CUTS International

Review of Sustainable Transport Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific 2019

A dominantly road-centric and fossil fuel dependent freight transport sector has made Asia and the Pacific one of the highest CO2 emitting regions in the world, while making the regional transport system more vulnerable to climate disasters. Shifting to sustainable freight transport will be driven by technology and innovation, but it will also need public policy that promotes better transport connectivity within the region.

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

COVID-19 and Transport in Asia and the Pacific: Guidance Note

This guidance note outlines the effects of the coronavirus disease pandemic on the transport sector in developing Asia and the Pacific. In India, for example, rail freight traffic in April and May 2020 had decreased by 28% compared with demand in 2019. The publication shares possible measure for a post-pandemic recovery that provides greener and more resilient recovery. The publication also proposes regional cooperation bodies for coordinating cross-border freight and logistics and international air travel.

Source: Asian Development Bank

PERIODICALS

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UNCTAD Transport Newsletter: Fourth Quarter 2014

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

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

EVENT MATERIALS

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Stakeholder Workshop for ECTS in Kathmandu, Nepal

2018-02-27, Kathmandu, Nepal

 
SASEC Nodal Officials' Meeting 2017

2017-05-06, Yokohama, Japan

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

showing 3 of 179   VIEW ALL
Webinar Highlights Economic Potential of Bangladesh-India River Tourism

Experts discussed unique opportunities in river tourism between Bangladesh and India at a public-private dialogue on India-Bangladesh cross-border tourism and cruise operations organized by CUTS International on 29 April 2021.

Foreign Ministers of India and Maldives Review Bilateral Cooperation

Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Foreign Minister of the Government of Maldives, met with Mr. S Jaishankar, Foreign Minister of the Government of India, on 16 April 2021, as part of his two-day visit to India. The two foreign ministers reviewed the status of ongoing projects in Maldives backed by India. India supports around $2 billion worth of projects in Maldives, including ports, roads, bridges, water and sanitation, and socio-economic development projects.

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.

PUBLICATIONS

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World Tariff Profiles 2014

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

Source: World Trade Organization, International Trade Centre, and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

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

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

Source: Richard E. Baldwin, Masahiro Kawai, Ganeshan Wignaraja (Eds.)

Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2014

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

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

WORKING PAPER

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REPORTS

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Review of Sustainable Transport Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific 2019

A dominantly road-centric and fossil fuel dependent freight transport sector has made Asia and the Pacific one of the highest CO2 emitting regions in the world, while making the regional transport system more vulnerable to climate disasters. Shifting to sustainable freight transport will be driven by technology and innovation, but it will also need public policy that promotes better transport connectivity within the region.

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

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

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EVENT MATERIALS

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SASEC Nodal Officials' Meeting 2017

2017-05-06, Yokohama, Japan

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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Foreign Ministers of India and Maldives Review Bilateral Cooperation

Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Foreign Minister of the Government of Maldives, met with Mr. S Jaishankar, Foreign Minister of the Government of India, on 16 April 2021, as part of his two-day visit to India. The two foreign ministers reviewed the status of ongoing projects in Maldives backed by India. India supports around $2 billion worth of projects in Maldives, including ports, roads, bridges, water and sanitation, and socio-economic development projects.

Commentary: Four Border Junctions

India could play a crucial role in interconnecting regional energy networks. In this commentary, Mr. Mahendra P. Lama outlines what India needs to approach energy security projects in India and its neighboring countries.

SAARC Finance Ministers Meet in Yokohama, Japan

Finance ministers and senior officials of member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka met on 5 May at Yokohama, Japan, at the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) 50th Annual General Meeting.

PUBLICATIONS

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Bridging the East: Trade and Transport Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal Region

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement aims to reap the trade and economic potentials of the countries of South Asia. This study identifies hurdles to the successful implementation of the agreement through evidence-based advocacy and dialogue. The study highlights issues related to infrastructure, political economy, gender, and livelihood.

Source: CUTS International

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

Climbing Higher: toward a Middle-income Nepal

Nepal is experiencing modest growth but brisk poverty reduction. It has halved the poverty rate in just seven years and witnessed an equally significant decline in income inequality. Yet Nepal remains one of the poorest and slowest-growing economies in Asia, with per capita income falling behind its regional neighbors. The report discusses the need for comprehensive policy reform to address the country’s challenges in becoming a lower-middle-income country by 2030. The report outlines suggested reforms to facilitate greater investment and improved productivity, build new sources of growth, and deepen human capital.

Source: World Bank Group

WORKING PAPER

showing 2
A Connectivity-Driven Development Strategy for Nepal: From a Landlocked to a Land-Linked State

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

Source: Pradumna B. Rana and Binod Karmacharya

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

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

Source: Yurendra Basnett and Posh Raj Pandey

REPORTS

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Role of Multi-modal Connectivity in Fostering Value Chains in the BBIN Sub-region

This report looks at how multimodal connectivity can strengthen regional value chains in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) subregion. It also provides a snapshot of various multimodal connectivity initiatives, such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program, the inland waterways agreement between Bhutan and Bangladesh, and the railway link between Raxaul (India) and Sirsiya (Nepal).

Source: CUTS International

Review of Sustainable Transport Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific 2019

A dominantly road-centric and fossil fuel dependent freight transport sector has made Asia and the Pacific one of the highest CO2 emitting regions in the world, while making the regional transport system more vulnerable to climate disasters. Shifting to sustainable freight transport will be driven by technology and innovation, but it will also need public policy that promotes better transport connectivity within the region.

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

United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Infrastructural Impediments to Better Connectivity in South Asia

The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) aims to integrate the region through smooth movement of passenger and commercial vehicles across the BBIN countries. This survey presents a first-hand perspective on infrastructure in the region. This paper lays out impediments to trade and suggests a way forward to create an enabling environment for the motor vehicles agreement to succeed.

Source: CUTS International

PERIODICALS

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EVENT MATERIALS

showing 3 of 34   VIEW ALL
Stakeholder Workshop for ECTS in Kathmandu, Nepal

2018-02-27, Kathmandu, Nepal

 
SASEC Nodal Officials' Meeting 2017

2017-05-06, Yokohama, Japan

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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Nepal, ADB Sign the SASEC Airport Capacity Enhancement Project

The Government of Nepal and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a loan agreement for the SASEC Airport Capacity Enhancement Project. The project will improve the capacity of two major airports in Nepal, the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu and the Gautam Buddha Airport (GBA) in Lumbini.

India's Northeast Region is Gateway to Southeast Asia -India Foreign Secretary

India's northeastern states are working to improve infrastructure and connectivity to help reduce the cost of transport and basic commodities. India's northeastern region is the country's gateway to East and Southeast Asia, and India is promoting transport and energy connectivity with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal, explains Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary of the Government of India.

Bangladesh Approves SASEC Highway Project

The Bangladesh Executive Committee of the National Economic Council has approved a road expansion program through the SASEC Road Link Project II: Elenga-Hatikamrul-Rangpur Highway Four-Lane Upgradation. The project will be part of a road network connecting Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal that would increase trade and commerce in the subregion.

PUBLICATIONS

showing 3 of 21   VIEW ALL
Lessons from ADB Transport Projects: Moving Goods, Connecting People, and Disseminating Knowledge

This publication shares 20 case stories from the Asian Development Bank bearing practical lessons for transport projects across Asia and the Pacific region under different socioeconomic and political situations. The book includes reports on improving aviation in Bhutan, working on computerized transport and trade logistics in Nepal, and constructing Sri Lanka's Greenfield Highway, and the role policy plays in those projects. It also draws lessons from how India's road development increased rural communities' access to public services and economic opportunities, and how participatory processes in selecting road improvement projects in Bangladesh provide a model for long-term plan for road maintenance.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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.

Sri Lanka: Building on Success

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

Source: Asian Development Bank

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

Seaborne Trade between South Asia and Southeast Asia

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

Source: David Wignall, Mark Wignall

REPORTS

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Review of Sustainable Transport Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific 2019

A dominantly road-centric and fossil fuel dependent freight transport sector has made Asia and the Pacific one of the highest CO2 emitting regions in the world, while making the regional transport system more vulnerable to climate disasters. Shifting to sustainable freight transport will be driven by technology and innovation, but it will also need public policy that promotes better transport connectivity within the region.

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

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

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National Trade Facilitation Committees: Beyond Compliance with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement?

This study presents analysis of 59 national trade facilitation committees from around the world, based on a survey by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. It outlines how countries are applying the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement article number 23.2 relating to the formation of national committees on trade facilitation. The study includes analysis of national trade facilitation committees’ institutional frameworks, composition, gender mainstreaming policies, communications activities, and financing sources. It also gives a summary of outcomes, obstacles faced, and lessons learned by the committees.

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

EVENT MATERIALS

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SASEC Nodal Officials' Meeting 2017

2017-05-06, Yokohama, Japan

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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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.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority Constructing New HQ to Give Access to Services in One Place

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority will construct a new administrative building, according to Mr. Sagala Ratnayake, Minister, Sri Lanka Ports, Shipping, and Southern Development. SLPA’s old premises along the Colombo harbor will be vacated to make way for the construction of the South Asian Subregional Economic Cooperation Port Access Elevated Highway.

Commentary: Four Border Junctions

India could play a crucial role in interconnecting regional energy networks. In this commentary, Mr. Mahendra P. Lama outlines what India needs to approach energy security projects in India and its neighboring countries.

PUBLICATIONS

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Future of Regional Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific

The book reviews how Asia and the Pacific can leverage regional cooperation to realize the region’s economic potential. Subregional initiatives such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program could support regional public goods, including road, energy, communication, and railway networks. SASEC is also promoting the development of economic corridors, the strategy for which was introduced in the SASEC Operational Plan 2016–2025.

Source: Bambang Susantono and Cyn-Young Park

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

Bridging the East: Trade and Transport Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal Region

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement aims to reap the trade and economic potentials of the countries of South Asia. This study identifies hurdles to the successful implementation of the agreement through evidence-based advocacy and dialogue. The study highlights issues related to infrastructure, political economy, gender, and livelihood.

Source: CUTS International

WORKING PAPER

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Transport Corridors and their Wider Economic Benefits: A Critical Review of the Literature

This paper reviews literature estimating the impact of large transport investments. It reviews 78 studies, 11 of which centers on infrastructure projects in India. The paper looks at the economic benefits of transport infrastructure projects to better understand how corridors could generate wider economic benefits, with a focus on roads, rails, and waterways. The review assesses the impact of transport corridor projects on economic welfare and equity, environmental quality, and social inclusion, and suggests a need for policies and institutions that address trade-offs.

Source: Mark Roberts, Martin Melecky, Theophile Bougna, and Yan Sarah Xu

Shifting Towards a Consumer-Centered Economy and the Implications for International Trade

This paper asserts that advances in information technology have allowed companies to know more about individual consumers. This has challenged theories that assume consumers to be identical, where goods and services that enter regional value chains are slow to respond to changing demands. The paper predicts that countries and firms will succeed depending on how they will integrate consumer information into the process of value addition.

Source: Matthias Helble

High-Speed Railway, Market Access, and Economic Growth

High-speed railway in the People’s Republic of China exerts positive impact effects on growth, where a 1% increase in market access leads to an increase of 0.12% in real income. Drawing insights from the effects of transport infrastructure in India, this paper suggests that high-speed railway could help promote regional cooperation and stimulate regional economic growth.

Source: Wei Zou, Liangheng Chen, and Junke Xiong

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

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International Rules and e-Commerce: Trade Insight, Vol. 15 No. 1–2, 2019

Trade Insight is published by the South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment. This issue includes discussions on various aspects of e-commerce, such as cryptocurrencies, integration of small and medium enterprises, and competition and regulation. Its editorial argues that South Asia should take an active part in drafting global rules on e-commerce. The issue also includes features on the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation investment agreement, Connectivity 2.0 for the South Asia Economic Union, the use of inland waterways, and the electronic cargo tracking system.

Source: South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment

Review of Developments in Transport in Asia and the Pacific 2017

This issue of the Review of Development in Transport in Asia and the Pacific looks at how transport development helps achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also discusses emerging trends that are making transport systems cleaner, safer, and more affordable, and examines how projects including the SASEC Road Connectivity Project in Bangladesh facilitate regional transport operational connectivity.

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

National Trade Facilitation Committees: Beyond Compliance with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement?

This study presents analysis of 59 national trade facilitation committees from around the world, based on a survey by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. It outlines how countries are applying the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement article number 23.2 relating to the formation of national committees on trade facilitation. The study includes analysis of national trade facilitation committees’ institutional frameworks, composition, gender mainstreaming policies, communications activities, and financing sources. It also gives a summary of outcomes, obstacles faced, and lessons learned by the committees.

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

EVENT MATERIALS

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Stakeholder Workshop for ECTS in Kathmandu, Nepal

2018-02-27, Kathmandu, Nepal

 
SASEC Nodal Officials' Meeting 2017

2017-05-06, Yokohama, Japan

 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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Webinar Highlights Economic Potential of Bangladesh-India River Tourism

Experts discussed unique opportunities in river tourism between Bangladesh and India at a public-private dialogue on India-Bangladesh cross-border tourism and cruise operations organized by CUTS International on 29 April 2021.

Foreign Ministers of India and Maldives Review Bilateral Cooperation

Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Foreign Minister of the Government of Maldives, met with Mr. S Jaishankar, Foreign Minister of the Government of India, on 16 April 2021, as part of his two-day visit to India. The two foreign ministers reviewed the status of ongoing projects in Maldives backed by India. India supports around $2 billion worth of projects in Maldives, including ports, roads, bridges, water and sanitation, and socio-economic development projects.

ADB Loan to Spur Growth along Tamil Nadu Industrial Corridor

The Asian Development Bank has approved a $484-million loan for a project to improve transport connectivity along the Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in Tamil Nadu, India, to strengthen industrial growth and create jobs along the corridor. The CKIC is part of India’s East Coast Economic Corridor, which stretches from West Bengal to Tamil Nadu and connects to Southeast Asia and East Asia.