SASEC Countries to Gain by Improving Transport Times

19 June 2018

South Asian countries stand to make significant economic gains by improving transport times, according to a study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). By investing in infrastructure that improves connectivity for international shippers and reduces transport times to key markets, South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) countries could reap major benefits.

Trade Costs, Time, and Supply Chain Reliability looks at trade costs, time, and supply chain reliability in the region and covers SASEC countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka). The new study uses shipment-level data on parcel flows to analyze the effect of time on trade costs.

Indirect linkages and the need for transshipment increase time, cost, and uncertainty. The study notes that while some international gateways perform well in South Asia, none are close to the world technological frontier. The study says that improving shipment times and reducing uncertainty have the potential to significantly increase trade.

Sri Lanka leads other countries in Asia in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index. Colombo is among the best-connected ports.


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