News List

Compiled features on recent developments in regional cooperation and integration in the SASEC region.

Year:
April 2022

Bangladesh for Electricity Trade with Nepal

A bilateral meeting between Bangladesh and Nepal discussed the finalization of the process of importing hydropower from Nepal to Bangladesh. Mr. Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of the Government of Bangladesh, stated that Bangladesh can import surplus electricity from Nepal during the summer and monsoon seasons.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Nepal, Electricity

April 2022

Bhutan, India Inaugurate Three Projects Under Indian Assistance

Mr. Tandi Dorji, Foreign Minister of the Government of Bhutan, and Mr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of the Government of India, jointly inaugurated three projects in Bhutan that were completed with Indian assistance. These include the Chubachu-Jungzhina four-lane road, a major trunk road in Thimphu that helps ease traffic congestion.

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Tags: Bhutan, India, Transport

April 2022

Bangladesh Offers India Access to Chattogram Port

Mr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of the Government of India, called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In the meeting, Prime Minister Hasina offered access to Chattogram (Chittagong) Port in India’s northeastern region. She noted that Bangladesh and India need to increase their connectivity further, and access to the port would make this possible.

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April 2022

India, Maldives Discuss Energy Cooperation

Mr. R. K. Singh, Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy of the Government of India, and Ms. Aminath Shauna, Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology of the Government of Maldives held discussions on establishing transmission interconnection for renewable power transfer. Their meeting proposed signing two MoUs: (i) energy cooperation, and (ii) transmission interconnection.

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Tags: India, Maldives, Energy

April 2022

Gorai Flyover along SASEC Highway in Bangladesh Opened in Time for Eid al-Fitr Holiday

The Gorai flyover in Mirzapur upazila, Tangail, was opened to traffic on April 25, 2022. "The flyover will ensure smooth movement of vehicles," said Mr. Noor-e-Alam, additional director of South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC)-1 project, Bangladesh Roads and Highways Department.

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Tags: Bangladesh, SASEC, Road Transport, ADB, Economic Corridor Development

April 2022

BIMSTEC Energy Ministers Call for Accelerating Energy Cooperation

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) held the 3rd Meeting of the BIMSTEC Energy Ministers on 20 April 2022. Energy ministers from BIMSTEC countries adopted a joint statement calling for greater energy cooperation in the region.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Energy, Regional Cooperation

April 2022

Development of Assam’s Jogighopa Riverine Port to Boost Bhutan’s Subregional Trade

The inland waterways conclave held in Assam, India, highlighted the importance of the Jogighopa riverine port in enhancing bilateral trade among Bhutan, India, and Bangladesh. Gelephu, Bhutan—a source of boulder exports to Bangladesh and India—is within a 100-kilometer distance of Jogighopa riverine port.

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April 2022

Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group Formed to Further Mainstream India's "Neighborhood First" Policy

Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary of the Government of India, convened the first meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group (IMCG) on 12 April 2022. The IMCG is a high-level mechanism aimed at mainstreaming India’s "Neighborhood First" policy that aims to build greater connectivity, forge stronger inter-linkages, and greater people-to-people contact.

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Tags: India, Transport, Trade Facilitation, Energy

April 2022

Bangladesh Signs Intelligent Transport System Project under SASEC

The Bangladesh Roads and Highways Department signed an $18 million contract with NDE Ltd. and FiberHome Telecommunication Technologies Co. Ltd. for Bangladesh's first dedicated intelligent transport system (ITS) project. The project, under the SASEC Road Connectivity Project 2 (Package 15), is financed by the Asian Development Bank.

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Tags: Bangladesh, SASEC, Road Transport, ADB

April 2022

Passenger Rail Service between India and Nepal Starts to Operate

The railway service between India and Nepal for passengers, the Janakpur (Nepal) -- Jayanagar (India) railway service, was inaugurated by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on 3 April 2022 at a videoconferencing event in New Delhi, India. This is Nepal’s first broad gauge rail service.

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Tags: India, Nepal, Rail, Transport

April 2022

India and Nepal Note Positive Developments in Cross-border Energy Trade, Discuss Potential Energy Cooperation under BBIN

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba held bilateral talks focusing on power sector cooperation between India and Nepal. Nepal Prime Minister Deuba lauded India for its enabling cross-border electricity trade regulations that have made it easier for key partners including Nepal to access India's energy market and engage in power trade.

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March 2022

ADB Loan Package to Strengthen Bangladesh’s Cross-border Trade

ADB supports the improvement of efficiency, predictability, and security of Bangladesh’s cross-border trade, approving a $143 million loan package that will contribute in accelerating the country’s growth. Bangladesh: SASEC Integrated Trade Facilitation Sector Development Program includes a $90 million policy-based loan and a $53 million project loan.

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Trade Facilitation

March 2022

Fifth BIMSTEC Summit Adopts BIMSTEC Charter and Master Plan for Transport Connectivity

The Fifth Summit of Heads of State/ Government of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) adopted the BIMSTEC Charter and the BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity. The Summit was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 30 March 2022.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, ADB, Transport

March 2022

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Discuss Early Conclusion of the Preferential Trade Agreement

Mr. AK Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister of the Government of Bangladesh, Mr. G.L. Peiris, Foreign Minister of the Government of Sri Lanka, held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 18th BIMSTEC ministerial meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Their meeting underscored the importance of early conclusion of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to help significantly boost bilateral trade between the two countries.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Trade

March 2022

Planned ICP to Turn Sabroom into Logistics Hub for India’s Northeastern Region

The Land Ports Authority of India aims to establish an Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Sabroom (India) by the end of 2022. This ICP is envisioned to facilitate seamless trade and people-to-people movement with Bangladesh. Sabroom is a border town in the South Tripura district.

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Tags: Logistics, ICP, India, Tripura, Trade Facilitation

March 2022

Nepal's Second International Airport Ready for Takeoff

Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction of Nepal's Gautam Buddha International Airport is nearly complete. The linked article by Binita Shah Khadka, with original photos by Madhup Shrestha, was posted by the Asian Development Bank.

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Tags: Nepal, ADB, Transport, SASEC

March 2022

Survey for the Second Indo-Bangla Railway Link Completed

Survey work being done for three Indian Railway projects in Tripura has been completed, including survey for the Belonia (India) – Feni (Bangladesh) line. This is a 30-kilometer railway link that is planned to be the second Indo-Bangla railway connectivity.

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Tags: India, India, Bangladesh, Rail

March 2022

Construction of 132 kV India–Nepal Cross-border Transmission Line Gains Momentum

Construction of the Mainahiya (Rupandehi, Nepal)–Sampatiya (Uttar Pradesh, India) 132 kiloVolt transmission line has achieved 60% progress, noted the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). This transmission line is important to facilitate electricity trade between India and Nepal.

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Tags: India, Nepal, Energy

March 2022

ADB Reaffirms Support for BIMSTEC and SAARC

Mr. Thiam Hee Ng, Director, South Asia Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division, Asian Development Bank (ADB), visited the BIMSTEC Secretariat to discuss a range of issues related to the broadening of ADB-BIMSTEC partnership. He also visited the SAARC Secretariat to review the implementation status of the activities under the MoU between ADB and SAARC.

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Tags: ADB, BIMSTEC, SAARC

March 2022

ADB Speeding Up SASEC Projects in Sri Lanka

A delegation from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) discussed with officials of the Bangladesh Roads and Highways Department (RHD) South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) projects funded by the ADB, during a meeting at RHD headquarters in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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Tags: ADB, SASEC, Bangladesh, Road, Transport

March 2022

Bangladesh NBR Highlights Roadmap to Modernize Border Customs Ports in Meeting with WTO

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) of Government of Bangladesh and the World Trade Organization (WTO) held a meeting on 16 March 2022 on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. The NBR highlighted the roadmap developed to modernize Bangladesh’s border customs ports. The NBR has formed a customs legal framework that complies with international standards, and is developing an e-payment system and would adopt an ECTS.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bangladesh, Trade Facilitation

March 2022

SANEM Hosts Bay of Bengal Economic Dialogue 2022

The South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) hosted the 2nd Bay of Bengal Economic Dialogue 2022 on 11-12 March 2022. The session on Infrastructure Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal region noted the need to invest in other forms of infrastructure.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Connectivity

March 2022

Bangladesh, India, and Nepal Move Toward Finalizing the BBIN MVA Passenger and Cargo Protocols

The Governments of Bangladesh, India, and Nepal held a meeting on the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) on 7-8 March 2022 in New Delhi, India. The meeting discussed the Passenger and Cargo Protocols of the BBIN MVA Regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic.

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Tags: BBIN, Transport

March 2022

IWAI Cargo Ship Completes Journey from Bihar to Assam via Bangladesh

The MV Lal Bahadur Shastri, a cargo vessel of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), arrived at the Pandu Port in Assam, India, on 6 March 2022. This completes a journey that began in Patna Port in Bihar, India. Its route included National Waterway-1, Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route, and National Waterway-2.

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Tags: India, Bangladesh, Shipping

March 2022

Bangladesh, India Commerce Secretary-level Meeting Highlights Trade Growth, Progress in Connectivity Projects

Bangladesh is now India's 6th largest trade partner. This significant growth in bilateral trade between the two countries was highlighted at the Commerce Secretary level meeting held on 4 March 2022 in New Delhi, India. The meeting held extensive discussions on issues of mutual interest, including development of railway infrastructure and port infrastructure.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Rail, Ports

February 2022

India and Nepal Joint Working Group and Joint Steering Committee on Energy Sector Meet

The Governments of India and Nepal held the 9th Joint Working Group and Joint Steering Committee meetings on bilateral power sector cooperation. The meeting discussions focused on joint development of power generation projects in Nepal; joint development of cross-border power transmission infrastructure; power trade; and capacity building assistance.

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Tags: India, Nepal, Energy

February 2022

ADB Country Director Visits SASEC Road Project in Nepal

Mr. Arnaud Cauchois, ADB country director for Nepal, visited the Narayanghat-Butwal section of the SASEC Road Improvement Project to observe the status of the construction on 14–15 February 2022. Mr. Cauchois, joined by Mr. Sushil Babu Dhakal, project director for ADB, and staff members from the Department of Roads, visited four bridge construction sites, crushing plant sites, a concrete batching plant site, and labor and contractor camp sites.

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Tags: ADB, Nepal, SASEC, Road, Transport

February 2022

SASEC Bypass Road in Phuentsholing, Bhutan, Reduces Traffic Congestion

The Northern Bypass Road (NBR) has reduced traffic congestion in Phuentsholing, Bhutan, according to Mr. Devi Charan Dhimal, project coordinator, ADB. The NBR, constructed under the SASEC program, is a 2-kilometer four-lane road that includes an underpass near the Omchhu bridge. NBR Package-I was completed in January 2022.

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Tags: ADB, Bhutan, SASEC, Transport

February 2022

India Plans New Waterway Connectivity in Tripura

The Government of India will create a new waterway connectivity on the Gomati river in Tripura that will facilitate improved trade and movement between Bangladesh and India, and ease transport bottlenecks in the country’s northeastern region. Passenger and cargo vessels will use the new route once opened.

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Tags: Waterways, Transport, Shipping, Bangladesh, India

February 2022

SASEC Mini-dry Port in Phuentsholing, Bhutan, Completed

Phuentsholing has completed construction on Bhutan's first mini dry port. The project is connected to the North Bypass Road project and is part of a road connectivity project under the SASEC program. The mini dry port, which can process customs clearances for imports and exports, will help decongest Phuentsholing by allowing heavy trucks to bypass the town’s existing customs office.

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Tags: ADB, Bhutan, Customs, SASEC, Transport

February 2022

Proposed ADB Project to Enhance Bangladesh's Land Ports Can Boost Foreign Trade

Bangladesh's foreign trade volume will increase by 50%, cargo shipment-and customs-clearance time will decrease by 50%, and smuggling will be prevented if the Government of Bangladesh undertakes customs reform and improvement in trade facilitation, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) noted to the Government of Bangladesh.

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Tags: Bangladesh, ADB, Trade Facilitation

February 2022

Bangladesh Railway Procures New Broad-gauge Wagons with ADB Assistance

Bangladesh Railway continues to undertake initiatives to improve the country's rail connectivity across the country and with its neighbors. On 5 February 2022, Bangladesh Railway signed an agreement with the Hindustan Engineering and Industries Limited of India to purchase 420 broad-gauge wagons worth Tk. 231 crore (around $26.89 million) with financing from ADB.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Rail, ADB

February 2022

Cargo Ship Sails from Bihar to Assam via Bangladesh

India flagged off a pilot run of a cargo ship using waterways from Patna Port in Bihar, India, for the Pandu Port in Assam, India, via the Jamuna River,Bangladesh, on 5 February 2022. This 2,350 kilometer route that will be traveled by the carrier MV Lal Bahadur Shastri commenced from India’s western part to its northeastern region, passing through Bangladesh, under the Bangladesh-India Protocol for Inland Water Trade and Transit.

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Tags: Waterways, Shipping, Transport, Bangladesh, India

February 2022

India and Nepal Sign MoU to Build a Bridge over Mahakali River

The Governments of India and Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a bridge over Mahakali River with grant assistance from the Government of India. The planned 110-meter bridge will connect Dharchula (Uttarakhand, India) with Darchula (Sudurpaschim, Nepal).

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Tags: India, Nepal, Transport

January 2022

"Integrating BIMSTEC 2022" Highlights Need for Common Platform for Paperless Trade

The Indian Chamber of Commerce organized "Integrating BIMSTEC 2022," in collaboration with the Government of India, on the importance of creating a common platform for BIMSTEC countries to participate and carry forward paperless trade.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Trade Facilitation

January 2022

Planned Economic Corridor in India’s Northeastern Region Gets Government's Full Support

Mr. G Kishan Reddy, Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Development of North Eastern Region of the Government of India, lauded the Asian Development Bank for the excellent study carried out on the planned economic corridor in India’s northeastern region. He stated that the ministry will support the implementation of the ambitious projects for the economic corridor.

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Tags: India, Economic corridor

January 2022

Nepal Launches Customs Duty e-Payment System

Nepal’s Ministry of Finance launched the e-payment system for customs duty on the 70th International Customs Day. The system enables traders to pay their customs duty online. According to Mr. Janardan Sharma, Minister for Finance of the Government of Nepal, this will facilitate the collection of revenues.

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Tags: Nepal, Trade Facilitation

January 2022

India Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs Highlights Leveraging Technology for Trade Facilitation

On International Customs Day, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) of the Government of India highlighted how Indian Customs is leveraging technology for trade facilitation. Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs of the Government of India, recognized CBIC's focus on building a digital culture and enacting rapid digital transformation.

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Tags: India, Trade Facilitation

January 2022

India, Sri Lanka Underscore Beneficial Close Relations

Mr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of the Government of India, held a virtual meeting with Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, Finance Minister of the Government of Sri Lanka on 15 January 2022. The meeting reiterated India’s continued support for Sri Lanka, and emphasized that both countries stand to gain from forming closer economic interlinkages.

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Tags: India, Sri Lanka, Trade, Transport, Energy

January 2022

High Commissioner of India to Maldives Calls On Maldives’ Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Munu Mahawar, High Commissioner of India to Maldives, paid a courtesy call to Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Maldives. They reviewed ongoing developmental projects being implemented with the support of the Government of India and other cooperation program between India and Maldives.

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Tags: India, Maldives, Cooperation

January 2022

Waterways to Connect Ships from Assam, India, to Haldia via Bangladesh

India has begun dredging waterways along the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers. Development of the waterways will allow passenger and cargo ships from Assam and the rest of northeastern India to travel to Haldia in West Bengal, India, via Bangladesh.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Transport