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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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

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

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

Source: Pritam Banerjee

Meeting Asia's Infrastructure Needs

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

Source: Asian Development Bank

2016 Development Effectiveness Review

The Development Effectiveness Review tracks development progress in Asia and the Pacific and monitors the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) effectiveness 2010-2016. For South Asia, ADB shares results in regional cooperation, energy, and road and rail transport. ADB also approved $4.4 billion in financing for projects in South Asia during 2016. The Review includes details of ongoing and newly approved projects.

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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BIMSTEC Seeks Stronger Ties and Cooperation

The 18th session of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Senior Officials' Meeting and the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting stressed the importance of cooperation in energy, technology, trade, and transport, through a revitalized, more integrated, and stronger BIMSTEC process. The Joint Statement underscored the need to finalize the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area Agreement.

Commentary: South Asian Countries Building Connections

Mr. Prabir De, Professor at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, discusses how the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) subregional grouping’s focus to bridge connectivity gaps is crucial to reducing poverty in the region. He highlights the pressing need to begin implementing comprehensive trade facilitation and connectivity measures in the BBIN subregion, and remarks how success of the BBIN initiative is important to move broader regional integration initiative

BBIN Intraregional Trade On the Rise

The International Trade Centre's Trade Map reports an increase in intraregional trade in the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) subregion in 2016, from $21.65 billion in 2015 to $23.52 billion. The ratio of BBIN intraregional trade to world trade went up from 2.98% in 2015 to 3.34% in 2016.

 

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

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

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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REPORTS

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Meeting Asia's Infrastructure Needs

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

Source: Asian Development Bank

2016 Development Effectiveness Review

The Development Effectiveness Review tracks development progress in Asia and the Pacific and monitors the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) effectiveness 2010-2016. For South Asia, ADB shares results in regional cooperation, energy, and road and rail transport. ADB also approved $4.4 billion in financing for projects in South Asia during 2016. The Review includes details of ongoing and newly approved projects.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Business Process Analysis of Import of Light Motor Vehicles from the Third Countries to Bhutan via Kolkata Port

This business process analysis report on the import of light motor vehicles (LMVs) from third countries to Bhutan via Kolkata Port is the first report of a series of a six-part study on Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism (TTFMM) in Bhutan. Study findings reveal it takes 28.5 days to import LMVs from the Republic of Korea, with costs amounting to around $1,289 to complete the import procedures, not including the applicable duty and taxes payable in Bhutan. 39 documents are needed to complete the import process, with 12 documents requiring extra copies. Specific recommendations are given to improve trade in this commodity.

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

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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New Agreement on Trade, Commerce, and Transit between India and Bhutan Comes into Force

The new Agreement on Trade, Commerce, and Transit between India and Bhutan has come into force beginning 29 July 2017. It provides for a free trade regime between the territories of India and Bhutan, and allows duty free transit of Bhutanese goods for trade with third countries.

Commentary: South Asian Countries Building Connections

Mr. Prabir De, Professor at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, discusses how the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) subregional grouping’s focus to bridge connectivity gaps is crucial to reducing poverty in the region. He highlights the pressing need to begin implementing comprehensive trade facilitation and connectivity measures in the BBIN subregion, and remarks how success of the BBIN initiative is important to move broader regional integration initiative

BBIN Intraregional Trade On the Rise

The International Trade Centre's Trade Map reports an increase in intraregional trade in the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) subregion in 2016, from $21.65 billion in 2015 to $23.52 billion. The ratio of BBIN intraregional trade to world trade went up from 2.98% in 2015 to 3.34% in 2016.

 

PUBLICATIONS

showing 3 of 28   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

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

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:

WORKING PAPER

showing 2
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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Development of East Coast Economic Corridor and Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor

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

Source: Pritam Banerjee

Meeting Asia's Infrastructure Needs

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

Source: Asian Development Bank

2016 Development Effectiveness Review

The Development Effectiveness Review tracks development progress in Asia and the Pacific and monitors the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) effectiveness 2010-2016. For South Asia, ADB shares results in regional cooperation, energy, and road and rail transport. ADB also approved $4.4 billion in financing for projects in South Asia during 2016. The Review includes details of ongoing and newly approved projects.

Source: Asian Development Bank

PERIODICALS

showing 1
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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SASEC Nodal Officials' Meeting 2017
2017-05-06, Yokohama, Japan
 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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India Minister of State for Commerce and Industry: India and ASEAN Must Step-up Efforts to Increase Trade

Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, India, urged India and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to bolster efforts to increase bilateral trade and investment, and improve road and sea transport links. She urged a review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement to facilitate elimination of technical barriers to trade, and promoted transformation of the India-Southeast Asia transport corridors into economic corridors.

New Agreement on Trade, Commerce, and Transit between India and Bhutan Comes into Force

The new Agreement on Trade, Commerce, and Transit between India and Bhutan has come into force beginning 29 July 2017. It provides for a free trade regime between the territories of India and Bhutan, and allows duty free transit of Bhutanese goods for trade with third countries.

SASEC Road Connectivity to Open Opportunities for MSMEs

India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval for a $253,406,409 project to be implemented by the state-run National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation. The project, part of the SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program, will upgrade and widen 65 kilometers of the Imphal-Moreh section of National Highway 39 in northeastern India.

 

PUBLICATIONS

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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:

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.)

WORKING PAPER

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REPORTS

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Meeting Asia's Infrastructure Needs

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

Source: Asian Development Bank

2016 Development Effectiveness Review

The Development Effectiveness Review tracks development progress in Asia and the Pacific and monitors the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) effectiveness 2010-2016. For South Asia, ADB shares results in regional cooperation, energy, and road and rail transport. ADB also approved $4.4 billion in financing for projects in South Asia during 2016. The Review includes details of ongoing and newly approved projects.

Source: Asian Development Bank

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

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

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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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.

Bangladesh Wants to Be South Asia’s Transport Hub

Bangladesh has the potential to become a transport hub for India, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Myamar, according to Mr. AMA Muhith, Finance Minister, Bangladesh. Turning Bangladesh into a regional and transshipment hub would enhance economic cooperation and result in collective economic growth for the countries, Mr. Muhith said at the SASEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi, India.

Ferry Services between Colombo and Tuticorin Being Planned

The Colombo Shipping Corporation is planning to re-establish ferry linkages under public-private partnership. A SAARC Meeting of Experts from India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, recommended resumption of ferry services between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. 

 

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

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

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

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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Meeting Asia's Infrastructure Needs

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

Source: Asian Development Bank

2016 Development Effectiveness Review

The Development Effectiveness Review tracks development progress in Asia and the Pacific and monitors the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) effectiveness 2010-2016. For South Asia, ADB shares results in regional cooperation, energy, and road and rail transport. ADB also approved $4.4 billion in financing for projects in South Asia during 2016. The Review includes details of ongoing and newly approved projects.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2015

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

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

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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BIMSTEC Seeks Stronger Ties and Cooperation

The 18th session of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Senior Officials' Meeting and the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting stressed the importance of cooperation in energy, technology, trade, and transport, through a revitalized, more integrated, and stronger BIMSTEC process. The Joint Statement underscored the need to finalize the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area Agreement.

Commentary: South Asian Countries Building Connections

Mr. Prabir De, Professor at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, discusses how the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) subregional grouping’s focus to bridge connectivity gaps is crucial to reducing poverty in the region. He highlights the pressing need to begin implementing comprehensive trade facilitation and connectivity measures in the BBIN subregion, and remarks how success of the BBIN initiative is important to move broader regional integration initiative

BBIN Intraregional Trade On the Rise

The International Trade Centre's Trade Map reports an increase in intraregional trade in the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) subregion in 2016, from $21.65 billion in 2015 to $23.52 billion. The ratio of BBIN intraregional trade to world trade went up from 2.98% in 2015 to 3.34% in 2016.

 

PUBLICATIONS

showing 3 of 23   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

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:

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

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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Meeting Asia's Infrastructure Needs

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

Source: Asian Development Bank

2016 Development Effectiveness Review

The Development Effectiveness Review tracks development progress in Asia and the Pacific and monitors the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) effectiveness 2010-2016. For South Asia, ADB shares results in regional cooperation, energy, and road and rail transport. ADB also approved $4.4 billion in financing for projects in South Asia during 2016. The Review includes details of ongoing and newly approved projects.

Source: Asian Development Bank

Global Enabling Trade Report 2016

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

Source: Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the World Economic Forum

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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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.

India, Sri Lanka Sign MoU for Cooperation in Economic Projects

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited India on 25-29 April 2017, for discussion with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a range of bilateral issues and matters of mutual interest. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe welcomed the signing of the MoU for Cooperation in Economic Projects, which outlines the agenda for bilateral economic cooperation.

Bangladesh Wants to Be South Asia’s Transport Hub

Bangladesh has the potential to become a transport hub for India, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Myamar, according to Mr. AMA Muhith, Finance Minister, Bangladesh. Turning Bangladesh into a regional and transshipment hub would enhance economic cooperation and result in collective economic growth for the countries, Mr. Muhith said at the SASEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi, India.

 

PUBLICATIONS

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Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All

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

Source: World Bank Group

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

SASEC Powering Asia in the 21st Century

SASEC Powering Asia in the 21st Century defines the SASEC Vision, framing the SASEC partnership in the larger context of the subregion’s collective growth and development by articulating shared aspirations of the SASEC countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka), and setting the path to achieve these through regional collaboration. The SASEC Vision lays out a subregional transformative opportunity by leveraging natural resources, promoting industry linkages for the development of regional value chains, and expanding the region’s trade and commerce through the development of subregional gateways and hubs.

Source: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

WORKING PAPER

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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

Accumulating Trade Costs and Competitiveness in Global Value Chains

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

Source: Antonia Diakantoni, Hubert Escaith, Michael Roberts and Thomas Verbeet

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

REPORTS

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

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

Source: Pritam Banerjee

Meeting Asia's Infrastructure Needs

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

Source: Asian Development Bank

2016 Development Effectiveness Review

The Development Effectiveness Review tracks development progress in Asia and the Pacific and monitors the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) effectiveness 2010-2016. For South Asia, ADB shares results in regional cooperation, energy, and road and rail transport. ADB also approved $4.4 billion in financing for projects in South Asia during 2016. The Review includes details of ongoing and newly approved projects.

Source: Asian Development Bank

PERIODICALS

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

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

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

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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SASEC Nodal Officials' Meeting 2017
2017-05-06, Yokohama, Japan
 

NEWS & MULTIMEDIA

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BIMSTEC Seeks Stronger Ties and Cooperation

The 18th session of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Senior Officials' Meeting and the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting stressed the importance of cooperation in energy, technology, trade, and transport, through a revitalized, more integrated, and stronger BIMSTEC process. The Joint Statement underscored the need to finalize the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area Agreement.

India Minister of State for Commerce and Industry: India and ASEAN Must Step-up Efforts to Increase Trade

Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, India, urged India and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to bolster efforts to increase bilateral trade and investment, and improve road and sea transport links. She urged a review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement to facilitate elimination of technical barriers to trade, and promoted transformation of the India-Southeast Asia transport corridors into economic corridors.

New Agreement on Trade, Commerce, and Transit between India and Bhutan Comes into Force

The new Agreement on Trade, Commerce, and Transit between India and Bhutan has come into force beginning 29 July 2017. It provides for a free trade regime between the territories of India and Bhutan, and allows duty free transit of Bhutanese goods for trade with third countries.