News List

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

Year:
November 2019

Asia and the Pacific Has Made Great Strides in Enhancing Regional Cooperation -Mr. Masatsugu Asakawa

Mr. Masatsugu Asakawa, sole nominee for the next Asian Development Bank (ADB) president, outlined in a statement that ADB has made great strides in advancing regional cooperation and expanding coverage of cross-border infrastructure. He said ADB will be furthering efforts to advance regional cooperation and integration through such initiatives as the South Asia Subregional Economic Corporation (SASEC) partnership.

Read More

Tags:

October 2019

Bangladesh and India Urge Implementation of BBIN MVA, Strengthening Multimodal Connectivity

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to operationalize the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement for movement of goods and passengers between “member countries who are willing and ready.” Prime Minister Hasina reiterated this call for early implementation of the transit agreement with Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli when they met in late October.

Read More

Tags:

October 2019

Bangladesh, Nepal Joint Secretary Level Meeting Highlight Trade and Connectivity

The fourth meeting of Nepal-Bangladesh commerce joint-secretary level technical committee focused on further boosting trade between the two countries and reducing the trade deficit, as well as increasing connectivity. The meeting reached an agreement on providing easy access to agricultural goods of both countries.

Read More

Tags:

October 2019

ADB: Implementing Transport Agreements Key to Bangladesh-India Trade Growth

The delay in and non-operationalization of bilateral agreements and non-tariff measures are holding back trade between India’s northeastern region and Bangladesh, underscored Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, ADB Country Director for India, at the recently-held Bangladesh-India Stakeholders’ Meeting.

Read More

Tags:

October 2019

Myanmar and Nepal's Friendly Ties

Myanmar and Nepal are planning to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations in 2020 with various programs and events in the two countries. This upcoming milestone was highlighted in the bilateral talk between Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Myanmar President U Win Myint in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

Read More

Tags:

October 2019

New Butwal-Gorakhpur Cross-border Transmission Line to be Jointly Built by India and Nepal

India and Nepal held an energy secretary level meeting to finalize details of the new Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-border transmission line and review the energy banking agreement. The meeting decided to build 400 kVA transmission line under 50-50 equity. The delegation from India also agreed to open up energy banking with Nepal, and allow Nepal to enter its power exchange market.

Read More

Tags:

October 2019

Commentary: Let’s Make It Easier for Countries to Trade

Trade is one of the engines of Asia’s economic growth. Amid these challenging times for trade, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) supports trade reforms in Asia and the Pacific. In South Asia, ADB is supporting the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program to simplify trade documentation, promote automation in border agencies, develop a national single window platform, and develop trade-related infrastructure.

Read More

Tags:

October 2019

Rationalizing BIMSTEC’s Areas of Cooperation to Help Deliver More Results: BPWC Meeting

The BIMSTEC Permanent Working Committee (BPWC) discussed rationalizing the organization’s areas of cooperation and the draft memorandum of understanding to be signed with the Asian Development Bank at the BPWC meeting in Colombo. Mr. Ravinatha Aryasinha, Foreign Secretary of the Government of Sri Lanka, emphasized that for Sri Lanka, early finalization of the BIMSTEC Charter and rationalization of the sectors are crucial to re-energize the organization.

Read More

Tags:

October 2019

Nepal Gets Access to Three Indian Inland Waterway Routes

The Government of India has, in principle, allowed Nepal access to three inland waterway routes: (i) Kolkata-Kalughat, Raxaul; (ii) Kolkata-Sahebgunj, Biratnagar; and (iii) Kolkata-Varanasi-Raxaul. These new routes will expand Nepal's transit options to the sea. A draft letter for this arrangement was finalized during the Joint Secretary-level meeting between India and Nepal in late September.

Read More

Tags:

September 2019

India Plans National Logistics Policy to Bring Down Logistics Cost

The Government of India plans to implement a National Logistics policy to help bring down the logistics cost by 10%, according to Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Railways of the Government of India. The proposed policy was sent to the Cabinet for approval.

Read More

Tags: India, Trade Facilitation

September 2019

Nepali Importers Get Cargo Duty Insurance Subsidy in Kolkata

The Kolkata Customs of the Government of India has granted an 84.33% subsidy for Nepali cargo duty insurance. Nepali importers were also provided the flexibility to buy insurance from private companies beginning 12 September.

Read More

Tags: Nepal, India, Trade Facilitation, Transit Facilitation

September 2019

ADB's New Partnership Strategy to Help Bhutan Improve Its Regional Cooperation Efforts through SASEC

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has endorsed a new 5-year country partnership strategy for Bhutan. The strategy focuses on helping Bhutan achieve inclusive and sustainable growth, and will help Bhutan improve its regional cooperation efforts through the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC).

Read More

Tags: Bhutan, SASEC, Regional Cooperation, ADB

September 2019

Commentary: Adopting Economic Corridors as a Development Strategy

Economic corridor development is an effective policy that could promote sustainable growth in Bangladesh. It is a tool that enables the proliferation of industry, creates jobs, upgrades infrastructure, and links production centers with global value chains. It also helps create markets in lagging regions.

Read More

Tags:

September 2019

Bangladesh in Talks with Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and Nepal for Electricity Trade

Bangladesh is in talks with Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and Nepal to import electricity to meet Bangladesh’s growing energy demand. This was according to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was speaking via videoconferencing at the inauguration of four power plants and eight substations in the country.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Energy, India, Myanmar, Nepal

September 2019

ADB to Provide around $5B to Bangladesh for Education, Regional Cooperation, Etc.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) handed over to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ADB’s Country Operations Business Plan for 2020–2022. The plan programs around $5 billion in projects to promote sustainable growth in Bangladesh, and prioritizes skills development participation in global value chains through the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation partnership.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, SASEC, ADB, Regional Cooperation, Transport, Rail

September 2019

India, ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting Discussed Trade, Investment Agreements

Ten economic ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India held their 16th consultation. The meeting acknowledged the ratification of the ASEAN-India Trade in Services Agreement and endorsed the review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement.

Read More

Tags: India, ASEAN

September 2019

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.

Read More

Tags: Sri Lanka, SASEC, Transport, Trade Facilitation

September 2019

Motihari-Amlekhgunj Cross-border Pipeline Inaugurated

The 69 kilometer Motihari (India)-Amlekhgunj (Nepal) pipeline, signed by India and Nepal in 2015, was jointly inaugurated by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on 10 September 2019. The project is South Asia's first cross-border pipeline for petroleum products.

Read More

Tags: Nepal, India, Energy

September 2019

ADB, BIDA Consult with Stakeholders on the Northeast Bangladesh Economic Corridor

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) held a consultation workshop on the Northeast Bangladesh Economic Corridor (NEBEC) development. The workshop helped gather stakeholders' feedback. The NEBEC is strategically located for cross-border trade with India's northeastern region, Bhutan, and Nepal.

Read More

Tags:

August 2019

Kathmandu-Siliguri Bus Service Launched

A bus service between Kathmandu, Nepal and Siliguri, West Bengal, India was inaugurated on 26 August 2019. Mr. Raghubir Mahaseth, Minister for Transport Management of the Government of Nepal, and Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri, Indian Ambassador to Nepal, jointly flagged off the bus service. Mr. Mahaseth emphasized that the bus service will further strengthen the links between the two nations and help to expand trade links.

Read More

Tags: Nepal, India, Transport, Trade

August 2019

India and Nepal Agree to Acknowledge Quality Certificates of Select Food Imports

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and the National Food and Feed Reference Laboratory of Nepal will reciprocally acknowledge test analysis or quality certificates issued by each other for food imports. The list of food products include ginger, cardamom, tea, and coffee—Nepal’s top exported items to India. The Nepal Chamber of Commerce noted in a statement that this bilateral agreement is expected to reduce hurdles in border checking.

Read More

Tags: India, Nepal, Trade

August 2019

17th Bangladesh and India JSC Meeting on Energy Vows to Further Bilateral Cooperation

The 17th joint steering committee (JSC) meeting of Bangladesh and India discussed the proposal by Bangladesh to export its surplus electricity to India, as well as the tripartite agreement to enable Bangladesh to import electricity from Bhutan. Speaking to the press after the meeting, the heads of delegations vowed to work together to further develop their bilateral relations.

Read More

Tags:

August 2019

India-Nepal Joint Commission Meeting Expresses Satisfaction Over Progress of Projects

The Fifth Meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission reviewed bilateral relations, and areas of cooperation. The delegations expressed satisfaction over progress of ongoing projects. They agreed to expedite the early completion of remaining agreed projects, and pledged to conclude the review of treaties and agreements related to the trade, transit, and rail services early.

Read More

Tags: India, Nepal, Trade Facilitation, Rail

August 2019

India’s External Affairs Minister Visits Bangladesh

Mr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of the Government of India, visited Bangladesh 19–21 August 2019. He called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and discussed matters concerning her upcoming visit to India in October. He also met with Mr. AK Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister of the Government of Bangladesh. The two officials discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties.

Read More

Tags: India, Bangladesh

August 2019

Bhutan, India PMs Sign Electricity Trade Agreement

Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi have signed a power purchase agreement between PTC India Limited and Bhutan’s Druk Green Power Corporation Limited for the sale and purchase of electricity from the 720 megawatt Mangdechhu hydropower project. The two prime minister jointly inaugurated the hydropower plant during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Bhutan.

Read More

Tags: Hydropower, Bhutan, India, Energy

August 2019

Thailand Port Deal to Boost Trade with Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka

Thailand and India have signed a memorandum of understanding that will promote a new maritime route between Thailand’s Ranong Port and India’s Krishnapatnam Port. The deal is part of Thailand’s policy to strengthen trade with Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka under the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) framework.

Read More

Tags: BIMSTEC, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trade

August 2019

Addressing Challenges to BBIN MVA to Bring Long-Term Benefits

Infrastructure bottlenecks will need to be removed to effectively implement the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement. According to Mr. Bipul Chatterjee, Executive Director, CUTS International, addressing the many short-term challenges would bring long-term benefits and result in a win-win situation for all member countries.

Read More

Tags: BBIN, Motor Vehicles Agreement, Transport, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal

August 2019

SDF Supports Bhutan’s Drukair in Purchasing ATR Aircraft

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Development Fund (SDF) and Drukair Corporation signed a $13 million loan agreement to help DrukAir purchase a new ATR Aircraft. This is SDF’s first loan under its economic and infrastructure window. Mr. Sunil Motiwal, Chief Executive Officer of SDF, noted that this assistance will help Bhutan expand its aviation connectivity to Bangladesh, India, and Nepal.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Transport, SAARC

August 2019

Mini Dry Port Awaiting Completion of Bypass Road

The mini dry port in Phuentsholing, Bhutan, has been constructed and will begin operation once the northern bypass road is completed. Both are components of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Road Connectivity Project.

Read More

Tags: SASEC, Bhutan, Transport

August 2019

Nepal Stakeholders Urge Three-country Implementation of the BBIN MVA

An Interaction Workshop on the benefits, impact, and implications for Nepal of the implementation of the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) among Bangladesh, India, and Nepal was organized by SAWTEE and ADB. The workshop arrived at a consensus that Nepal should participate in the three-country implementation.

Read More

Tags:

August 2019

Bangladesh Mulls Constructing New Pipeline to Import LNG

The Government of Bangladesh is considering the construction of a new pipeline to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from India. According to Mr. Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources of the Government of Bangladesh, the country’s Gas Transmission Company Limited plans to install the pipeline near the Satkhira border. This will help supply fuel-based power plants and industries in the southeastern region of Bangladesh.

Read More

Tags: India, Nepal, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Rail

August 2019

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka Plan Another Joint Economic Commission Meeting

The upcoming meeting will discuss the proposed Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Bilateral Free Trade Agreement. It will also discuss the implementation plan for the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, and the Memorandum of Understanding on Standards between the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution and the Sri Lanka Standards Institute.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Free Trade Agreement

August 2019

Commentary: How South Asia Can Continue as World’s Fastest Growing Subregion

South Asia has been the fastest growing subregion in the world. Since 2014, its eight economies have been collectively growing by 7.0% annually. But in order to continue performing well in the coming years, the region will need reforms and investments. By promoting regional cooperation and integration, for example, South Asia can accelerate economic growth and boost employment.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Trade, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

July 2019

BIMSTEC Secretary General Calls on India’s External Affairs Minister

Mr. M. Shahidul Islam, Secretary General BIMSTEC, called on Mr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of the Government of India, in New Delhi, India. He briefed the External Affairs Minister on initiatives taken by the BIMSTEC Secretariat toward fulfillment of BIMSTEC leaders' directives agreed during the Fourth BIMSTEC Summit, emphasized the need to hold regular sectoral meetings, and complete the ongoing review and rationalization of BIMSTEC's sectors of cooperation.

Read More

Tags:

July 2019

India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Notes CDP for the VCIC Ready

Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India, informed the Rajya Sabha, the Council of States of the Government of India, in a written note that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has prepared the Conceptual Development Plan (CDP) for the Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) project. Four nodes have been identified for development under the VCIC. The State Government of Andhra Pradesh is prioritizing Visakhapatnam and Chittoor.

Read More

Tags:

July 2019

Myanmar to Further Liberalize Trade

The Government of Myanmar plans to reduce the number of products requiring import licenses. Mr. Khin Maung Lwin, Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of Myanmar, noted that this plan to liberalize trade for select items is part of an initiative to improve Myanmar's trade facilitation.

Read More

Tags:

July 2019

Ship Transports Cargo from Bhutan to Bangladesh via India for First Time

An Indian cargo ship carrying a shipment of stone aggregate from Bhutan has arrived in Bangladesh. It passed through the Brahmaputra River in India. It was the first shipment to take the route, saving an estimated 30% transportation cost and travelling at half the time it would take for the shipment to travel by land.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Inland waterways, Transport

July 2019

Nepal Approves Detailed Project Report for Planned Indo-Nepal Railway

The Government of Nepal has approved the Detailed Project Report for the planned Indo-Nepal railway. The railway route is set to connect Rupaidiya in eastern Uttar Pradesh in India to Kohalpur in Nepal. The Government of Nepal has begun the process of land acquisition.

Read More

Tags:

July 2019

Nepal Exports Electricity to India under Energy Banking Mechanism

Nepal exported 350 megawatts of surplus electricity to India in July, putting into practice the energy banking arrangement between the two nations. In a press conference, Mr. Barsha Man Pun, Minister for Energy, Water Resource, and Irrigation of the Government of Nepal, informed the public that Nepal supplied India with excess electricity through the Raxaul-Parwanipur and Kushaha-Kataiya international transmission lines.

Read More

Tags:

July 2019

ADB Discusses North East Industrial Corridor Feasibility Study with Nagaland Chief Secretary

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been tasked by the Ministry of Finance of the Government of India to conduct a feasibility study on the proposed North East Industrial Corridor. An ADB team met with Mr. Temjen Toy, Chief Secretary of Nagaland, India, and senior officers of relevant state departments for further discussions. Mr. Toy emphasized the need to connect border trading points, and mentioned that lack of facilities hampered trade in the borders.

Read More

Tags:

July 2019

Bangladesh and Bhutan Discuss Preferential Trade Agreement, Cooperation in Energy and Logistics

Mr. Sonam Tobden Rabgye, outgoing Ambassador of Bhutan to Bangladesh called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Their Meeting emphasized enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the power sector, and agreed to finalize the Preferential Trade Agreement. Prime Minister Hasina offered Bhutan access to its air and sea ports. She also said Bhutan can construct a warehouse in Bangladesh, and access this through the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal facility.

Read More

Tags:

July 2019

Seventh Meeting of India-Nepal Oversight Mechanism Held

The Seventh Meeting of the Nepal-India Oversight Mechanism reviewed progress of projects under bilateral cooperation, including cross-border railway, petroleum pipelines, roads, integrated check posts, bridges, energy, irrigation, inundation, agriculture, and post-earthquake reconstruction. Officials expressed satisfaction in their progress, and agreed to address problems and obstacles to ensure smooth implementation.

Read More

Tags:

July 2019

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.

Read More

Tags: ADB, SASEC, Sri Lanka, Customs, Transport

July 2019

Water Grid Program to Improve Bangladesh-India Connectivity

Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance, India, announced during her budget speech on 5 July 2019 that the opening of a protocol route between India and Bangladesh would be the start of a water grid program. The water grid would connect India’s northeaster region to Kolkata and Haldia ports in India and Mongla port in Bangladesh, allowing for seamless movement of import and export cargo and reduced logistics cost.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, India, Inland waterways, Transport

July 2019

India Foreign Secretary Visits Bhutan

Mr. Vijay Gokhale, Foreign Secretary of the Government of India, visited Bhutan on 4–5 July 2019 to meet its top leaders and deepen bilateral ties between the two countries. He called on His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, and Mr. Tandi Dorji, Foreign Minister of the Government of Bhutan.

Read More

Tags: India, Bhutan

July 2019

India’s Union Cabinet Approves India-Maldives MoU for the Establishment of Passenger and Cargo Service by Sea

The Cabinet of the Government of India approved ex-post facto the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Establishment of Passenger and Cargo Service by Sea between India and Maldives. The cities of Malé and Kulhudhuffushi in Maldives hold good potential for the proposed ferry service to and from Kochi, India, according to a news release.

Read More

Tags:

June 2019

Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Trade Ties to Grow

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are set to sign a free trade agreement, which is expected to increase bilateral trade between the two countries. Trade is expected to grow at a steady pace with the planned FTA, says Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Mr. Riaz Hamidullah.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Trade Facilitation Agreement

June 2019

Commentary: Improving Facilitation through the Use of Electronic Seals

Replacing mechanical seals with electronic sealing devices has enabled Indian Customs to reduce the risk of fraud and security threats while extending higher levels of facilitation to traders. The electronic seals have allowed India to improve its ranking in World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2019, particularly in the category "trading across borders."

Read More

Tags: ADB, Authorized Economic Operators, Bangladesh, Customs, Electronic Cargo Tracking System, India, Nepal, Regional Cooperation, WCO

June 2019

ADB Funds Feasibility Study on Setting Up an LNG Hub in Sri Lanka

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is financing a technical assistance that supports a feasibility study and survey on adopting liquefied natural gas (LNG) power generation in Sri Lanka. The study will identify the optimal LNG facility, and the most suitable location for the development of new LNG-fired power plants and its associated facilities. This potential LNG facility could also supply fuel to Maldives.

Read More

Tags:

June 2019

Bangladesh and Nepal Convene JWG and JSC Meetings to Advance Energy Cooperation

Energy secretaries of the Governments of Bangladesh and Nepal held the second Joint Working Group (JWG) and Joint Steering Committee (JCS) meetings. These meetings discussed bilateral energy cooperation by the two neighbors. It deliberated on matters concerning power trade, proposed interconnections of transmission lines, and potential hydropower development investment in Nepal.

Read More

Tags:

June 2019

Sri Lanka’s New National Port Master Plan Emphasizes Boosting Efficiency and Infrastructure

The new national port master plan developed for the Government of Sri Lanka urged Colombo Port to boost its efficiency and fast track its infrastructure development to keep the port competitive. According to the plan, improving administration and procedures can better the container logistics chain. This should be complemented with upgrades and/or development of infrastructure in port and hinterland connections.

Read More

Tags:

June 2019

Nepal to Welcome Bangladesh Hydropower Investments

Nepal will welcome private and public sector investments from Bangladesh, said Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Secretary, Nepal, Mr. Dinesh Kumar Ghimire. He said Nepal and Bangladesh are looking to boost trade and business with each other and should explore new areas of cooperation.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Energy, Hydropower, Investments, Nepal, Solar Energy

June 2019

Maldives Signs $10 million National Single Window Project with ADB

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

Read More

Tags: ADB, Maldives, National Single Window, SASEC, Trade Facilitation

June 2019

Conference on India-Myanmar Relations Emphasizes Need for MVA

A conference was held in Imphal, India to discuss how to deepen India-Myanmar ties and boost bilateral cooperation. Speakers recommended implementing a motor vehicle agreement (MVA) to facilitate vehicular movement between the two neighbors and enable seamless trade. They also suggested reduction of visa fees to boost tourism and mutual recognition of educational degrees.

Read More

Tags:

June 2019

Commentary: Putting Sri Lanka on Map as a Regional Energy Hub

This editorial explains the region's need for a land-based LPG storage facility that could also act as a transshipment terminal. Written by Mr. W.K.H. Wegapitiya for the Daily Mirror, this brief urges public and private sectors to join together into making Sri Lanka the region's energy hub.

Read More

Tags:

June 2019

India’s CBIC and Maldives Customs Service to Collaborate on Customs Capacity Building

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) of the Government of India and Maldives Customs Service (MCS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in capacity building. The MoU aims to help boost the capacity of MCS to undertake and sustain customs reforms and modernization initiatives.

Read More

Tags:

June 2019

SAARC Council of Experts of Energy Regulators Holds Fourth Meeting

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Council of Experts of Energy Regulators (CEERE) held its fourth meeting in Male, Maldives on 8 June 2019. The meeting discussed finalizing the draft roadmap of the SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation (Electricity).

Read More

Tags:

June 2019

India's External Affairs Minister Visits Bhutan

Mr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of the Government of India, visited Bhutan from 7-8 June 2019. He called on His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Prime Minister Lotay Tshering. He also met with Mr. Tandi Dorji, Foreign Minister of the Government of Bhutan.

Read More

Tags:

June 2019

India and Maldives to Focus on Increasing Connectivity

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih noted the importance of regional cooperation in advancing development and remarked on the mutual benefit it brings to both countries. As part of cooperation arrangements, they emphasized importance of people-to-people contact and signed an MoU for the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea.

Read More

Tags:

June 2019

India, Maldives Sign Agreements/MoUs Boosting Bilateral Cooperation

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih held discussions on boosting India-Maldives bilateral ties. They reiterated their strong commitment to further strengthening and invigorating the traditionally strong and friendly relations between India and Maldives. They signed six agreements and MoUs, which expands India and Maldives’ cooperation across sectors.

Read More

Tags:

June 2019

India-Nepal Meeting Agrees to Amend Trade and Transit Treaties, Railway Service Agreement

The Governments of India and Nepal have agreed to update the Trade and Transit Treaties and the Railway Service Agreement on a reciprocal basis in a joint commerce secretary-level meeting held in India. Proposed amendments include adding inland waterways as a means of transport for Nepal-bound freight, and allowing rail operators from Nepal and private rail operators from India to transport Nepal-bound cargo.

Read More

Tags:

May 2019

ADB to Help Maldives Establish A National Single Window

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

Read More

Tags: ADB, SASEC, Maldives, National Single Window, India, Sri Lanka, Trade Facilitation

May 2019

Sri Lanka, India, and Japan to Jointly Develop Colombo Por's East Container Terminal

The Governments of Sri Lanka, India, and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to jointly develop Colombo Port's East Container Terminal. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) highlights that this project reflects the longstanding good will and cooperation among the three countries. Sri Lanka, India, and Japan pledged to work together for further development of the Colombo Port, and contribute to regional prosperity and stability of global trading networks.

Read More

Tags:

May 2019

Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina Opens SASEC Flyovers, Underpasses, Bridges

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Konabary and Chandra flyovers; the Kaliakair, Deohata, Mirzapur, and Gharinda underpasses; and the Kadda-1 and Bimail bridges on the Joydebpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga highway under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation countries (SASEC) road connectivity project.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Economic Corridor Development, SASEC, Transport

May 2019

Bangladesh SASEC Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Railway Project Gets Tranche 2 Financing

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh signed an agreement for Tranche 2 financing of the Bangladesh: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Chattogram (Chittagong)-Cox's Bazar Railway Project, Phase 1. The $400 million loan support from ADB forms the second part of the $1.5 billion ADB railway project loan. Tranche 2 will be complemented with $50 million financing from the Government of Bangladesh.

Read More

Tags:

May 2019

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Requests ADB Support in Building Regional Infrastructure

Mr. Manmohan Parkash, Country Director of Bangladesh Resident Mission of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), called on Mr. AK Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister of the Government of Bangladesh. In the meeting, the Foreign Minister stressed Bangladesh's appreciation for strengthening regional connectivity through the ADB-supported SASEC program. He further requested the ADB Country Director for continued support in building regional infrastructure.

Read More

Tags:

May 2019

20th Regional Heads of Customs Administration Conference of the WCO Asia Pacific Region Held in Kochi

The conference was organized by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs of the Government of India. It reviewed members' progress in promoting, facilitating, and securing cross-border trade in the region through programs and initiatives of the World Customs Organization. The conference also discussed issues on security, trade facilitation, e-commerce, trusted trader programs, and emerging technological and logistical challenges.

Read More

Tags:

May 2019

Sri Lanka Exports to SASEC Countries up by 8%

Sri Lanka’s exports to SASEC member countries have increased from 6% to 8% in the 13-year-period from 2002 to 2015. India is Sri Lanka’s largest trading partners, according to the study Potential Exports and Nontariff Barriers to Trade: Sri Lanka National Study prepared by ADB. The study looks at ways to help Sri Lanka exports by establishing laboratory facilities for testing products and by developing the country’s regulatory framework, institutional settings, and capacity.

Read More

Tags: Sanitary and Phytosanitary, Technical Barriers to Trade, SASEC, Sri Lanka

May 2019

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.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Renewable Energy, Regional Cooperation, Nepal, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Trade, Transport

May 2019

ECTS Reduces Need for Indian Customs Clearance on Nepal's Third Country Imports via Rail

With the implementation of the electronic cargo tracking system (ECTS) at the ports of Kolkata and Visakhapatnam (Vizag), clearance by Indian customs authorities will no longer be required on Nepal's third country imports onboard container rail cargo. Kolkata port authorities are also planning to introduce ECTS for cargo transshipment via roads, in phases.

Read More

Tags:

May 2019

Commentary: Closer Economic Ties with Neighbors Vital

This article makes a case for strengthening of economic ties between India and its neighbors, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal. Currently, India's trade in South Asia is worth around $19.1 billion—only 3% of its total trade. This commentary, originally published in the Hindu Business Line, explores three emerging avenues of bilateral cooperation that are gaining economic momentum between India and its neighbors: border 'haats' (markets), waterways connectivity, and energy networks.

Read More

Tags:

May 2019

Expanding Energy Generation Critical to Bangladesh’s Growth

Mr. Hun Kim, Director General, South Asia Regional Department, Asian Development Bank expressed high hopes for Bangladesh in a press briefing held on the sidelines of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors. He noted that the country's ability to expand its energy generation would be critical to its growth. Expanding and diversifying the region's energy supply, which will help enhance Bangladesh's energy security, is a key focus of the SASEC Program.

Read More

Tags:

May 2019

Three Pharmaceutical Companies in Bangladesh Become Authorized Economic Operators

The status of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) was granted by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) of the Government of Bangladesh to three pharmaceutical companies—Square, Beximco, and Incepta Pharmaceuticals. An accreditation ceremony was held on 5 May 2019, jointly organized by the NBR and USAID Bangladesh under the Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Activity project

Read More

Tags: Authorized Economic Operators

May 2019

LPG Transshipment Terminal Inaugurated in Sri Lanka

The Laugfs LPG Transshipment Terminal was officially inaugurated at Sri Lanka's Hambantota International Port. The 30,000 MT LPG terminal will operate as a central hub for importing and re-exporting LPG and be a source of provision to retailers. It is eyeing $500 million in annual exports, and will facilitate coastal shipping services between Hambantota and Colombo Ports.

Read More

Tags:

May 2019

Nepal to Apply the ‘One basin, One hub' Concept in Implementing Transmission Line Projects

The Government of Nepal will apply the 'one basin, one hub' concept in implementing transmission line projects. Environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and arable land, and threat to human settlements are some of the possible negative outcomes that could arise from allowing every power producer to build separate transmission lines, according to Mr. Netra Gyawali, Chief Executive Officer, National Transmission Grid Company.

Read More

Tags:

May 2019

SDF Governing Council Meeting Reviews Future Strategies and Action Plan

The SAARC Finance Ministers held the sixth Governing Council Meeting of the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) on the sidelines of the of the 52nd Asian Development Bank (ADB) Annual General Meeting in Nadi, Fiji. Mr. Sunil Motiwal, Chief Executive Officer, SDF, presented a report on the current status of SDF and talked about its future action plans, including implementation of its economic and infrastructure windows.

Read More

Tags:

May 2019

Thirteenth Informal Meeting of the SAARC Finance Ministers Held in Fiji

The 13th Informal Meeting of the SAARC Finance Ministers was held in Nadi, Fiji on 2 May 2019 on the sidelines of the 52nd Asian Development Bank (ADB) Annual General Meeting. Mr. Shixin Chen, Vice President for Operations 1, ADB, delivered opening remarks. In his speech, he highlighted participation of SAARC member countries in ADB’s regional cooperation and integration programs, SASEC and CAREC. He pressed upon continuing the implementation of the SASEC operational plan.

Read More

Tags:

April 2019

Indian Envoy Reviews Bilateral Trade and Connectivity with Bangladesh Ministers

Ms. Riva Ganguly Das, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, paid courtesy calls to Mr. AK Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister, Mr. Salman F. Rahman, Private Industries and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister, and Mr. Md Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Government of Bangladesh in April 2019. Matters of mutual interest on bilateral cooperation, trade, energy, and transport connectivity were discussed in her visits.

Read More

Tags:

April 2019

India Formalizes Assistance for the Government of Bhutan’s 12th Plan

The Government of India formalized its assistance to the Government of Bhutan’s 12th Plan at the first development talk for the 12th Plan between the two countries. India committed around $706.9 million (Nu49 billion) in support of the 12th Plan – with around $649.2 million (Nu45 billion) for development assistance and around $57.7 million (Nu4 billion) for Bhutan’s trade support facility. The bilateral meeting also discussed its implementation.

Read More

Tags:

April 2019

New Bridge over Omchhu to Complement SASEC Road Project in Bhutan

A 46.8-meter bridge over the Omchhu River in Phuentsholing, Bhutan, is now open to motor vehicle traffic. The bridge will ease congestion in Phuentsholing and complement the SASEC bypass road project, which aims to promote regional connectivity and cross-border trade through investment in road construction and land ports.

Read More

Tags: Bhutan, SASEC, Transport

April 2019

Traders Urge Simplification of Trade Processes at Benapole

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Benapole Custom House jointly organized a meeting urging simplification of the export-import processes at the Benapole Land Port. The meeting recommended capacity enhancement, infrastructure development, and a shift to a 24-hour operating schedule to facilitate smoother trade.

Read More

Tags:

April 2019

Sri Lanka Customs Prepares Launch of Paperless Documentation

Sri Lanka Customs is preparing to launch its paperless documentation platform on 1 June 2019. The system, which is currently on trial run, will enable traders to file customs declarations online and use e-signatures. Sri Lanka Customs is also in talks with port operators to streamline their document processing and link up with Sri Lanka Customs. This could help bring down the average container clearance time by 12 hours.

Read More

Tags:

April 2019

Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering Visits Bangladesh

Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering paid a State Visit to Bangladesh on the invitation of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The two Prime Ministers agreed to allow duty free, quote free access to 26 additional items; finalized the pact on the Movement of Goods in Transit; and signed the SOP for the operationalization of the MoU on Use of Inland Waterways for Transportation of Bilateral Trade and Transit Cargoes.

Read More

Tags:

April 2019

21st ASEAN-India Senior Officials' Meeting Agrees to Pursue Maritime Cooperation and Connectivity

The 21st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India Senior Officials' Meeting reviewed the strategic partnership between ASEAN and India, and assessed its future direction. The Meeting agreed to deepen Maritime Cooperation, and pursue ASEAN-India connectivity, including through the Trilateral Highway and its extension to Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam.

Read More

Tags:

April 2019

Brief: Achieving Prosperity by Developing Sri Lanka's Connectivity

Sri Lanka aims to become the center of connectivity in South Asia. Leveraging on its strategic location, Sri Lanka is working toward becoming the region’s hub port—the Indian Ocean’s logistic, shipping, distribution, and maritime hub. In his column, Mr. Sugeeswara Senadhira discussed Sri Lanka’s plans to restore internal connectivity and boost its transport infrastructure, to complement this aim

Read More

Tags:

March 2019

Nepal to Use India Transmission to Export Hydropower to Bangladesh and Myanmar

India said it would support Nepal’s energy sector as Nepal seeks to export energy to third countries, such as Bangladesh and Myanmar. The move will provide power producers in Nepal access to international markets for energy export.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Energy, India, Myanmar, Nepal

March 2019

BIMSTEC Prioritizing Energy Sufficiency

Energy sufficiency is being prioritized by member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), highlighted Mr. Win Khaing, Minister of Electricity and Energy, Government of Myanmar, during an expert subregional group meeting held in Nay Pyi Taw. This meeting emphasized expansion of energy trading as first step toward energy sufficiency.

Read More

Tags:

March 2019

ADB Country Director for Bangladesh Urges Harnessing Regional Power Trade

Mr. Manmohan Parkash, Country Director, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Bangladesh, commended Bangladesh's progress in the energy sector. On Bangladesh’s drive to achieve sustainable and inclusive development, he urged the country to continue working toward providing last mile connectivity for electricity access, developing proper energy mix by investing in renewables, and harnessing regional power trade.

Read More

Tags:

March 2019

Third Nepal-Bangladesh Business Forum Emphasize Expanding Multimodal Connectivity

The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs and the Embassy of Bangladesh in Nepal jointly organized the third Nepal-Bangladesh Business Forum. The Forum held discussions on (i) expanding multimodal connectivity for mutual economic growth, and (ii) strong media cooperation for enhancing bilateral ties.

Read More

Tags:

March 2019

India-Nepal Agree to Include Inland Waterways in Trade and Transit Treaties

Senior officials met to review India-Nepal bilateral transit and trade treaties and agreed to discuss inland waterways facilities, which could reduce transit cost significantly once implemented. The two countries also agreed to install facilities for electronic cargo tracking on cargo bound for Nepal.

Read More

Tags: Inland waterways, India, Nepal, Transport, Electronic Cargo Tracking System

March 2019

Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering To Visit Bangladesh

Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering is scheduled to visit Bangladesh on the second week of April, and sign bilateral instruments between Bangladesh and Bhutan together with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. These include agreements for cooperation on inland waterways for cargo transportation, cooperation in health and agriculture, and cooperation between each country's Public Administration Training Center.

Read More

Tags:

March 2019

New CERC Regulations To Ease Cross Border Electricity Trade

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) of the Government of India revised the regulations on power trade between India and its neighboring countries, covering both bilateral and trilateral energy trade. Key sections of the CERC Cross Border Trade of Electricity Regulations 2019 include the General Provisions and the Transmission Planning, Connectivity, and Access.

Read More

Tags:

March 2019

Report: India needs $39 Billion Investment for Transmission Systems in the Next Three Years

A report published by Mercom highlighted that India needs $39 billion investment to implement the necessary transmission systems over the next three years to meet new power generation capacity and demand. Based on the National Electricity Plan, the report also underlined that around 110,000 circuit kilometers of transmissions lines are needed.

Read More

Tags:

March 2019

Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Emphasize Resolving Existing Barriers to Trade through Discussion

Ms. Riva Ganguly Das, the newly-appointed Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, paid a courtesy call to Mr. Tipu Munshi, Commerce Minister of the Government of Bangladesh. The meeting discussed increasing bilateral trade between the two neighboring countries. Ms. Das emphasized that trade between Bangladesh and India has huge scope for expansion. She underlined that existing barriers to trade between their countries will be solved through discussion.

Read More

Tags:

March 2019

Bangladesh, India Inaugurate New Development Projects

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated via video conference development projects in Bangladesh. Projects include supply of 1,100 buses and trucks to Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation; 36 community clinics; 11 water treatment plants; and extension of National Knowledge Network to Bangladesh. Prime Minister Modi highlighted that these projects will boost knowledge connectivity and transport connectivity.

Read More

Tags:

March 2019

New Rule to Promote Use of ECTS

The Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of Nepal, has allowed commercial banks to issue payment instruments in foreign currency for cargo transported by railway to the Birgunj dry port and Biratnagar customs point. The move aims to facilitate the implementation of the electronic cargo tracking system for third country import.

Read More

Tags: Electronic Cargo Tracking System, India, Nepal, Rail, Transit Facilitation

March 2019

Master Plan to Push Development of Ports and Shipping in Sri Lanka

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority held its final workshop on a National Port Master Plan on 7 March 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The plan is supported by a technical assistance project by the Asian Development Bank financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.

Read More

Tags: ADB, SASEC, Sri Lanka, Transport

March 2019

Components of the SASEC Road Connectivity Project in Bhutan Nears Completion

Improvements for the Pasakha bypass road in Bhutan are nearing completion, reports Kuensel. These include the i) development of a 1.3 kilometer road, ii) a gabion wall in Baunijhora stream, and iii) a 123-meter pre-stressed concrete girder bridge over the Bhalujhora river. The Asian Development Bank is providing 81% of the financing for these projects under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Project. 19% of the cost will be shouldered by the Government.

Read More

Tags:

March 2019

Jayanagar-Janakpur Rail Service in Final Stage of Completion

Construction and rail procurement for the Jayanagar (India)-Janakpur (Nepal) rail service are in their final stages, according to Mr. Balaram Mishra, Director General, Department of Railways, Government of Nepal, in a report on Setopati. Operations is estimated to begin in 2 months.

Read More

Tags:

February 2019

Government of India to Support Construction of Arun-3 Hydropower Project Transmission Line

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of the Government of India, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the proposed investment for the transmission line of the Arun-3 Hydropower Project in Nepal worth Rs 1236.13 crore (around $177.48 million).

Read More

Tags:

February 2019

UN Official: India Can Help Nepal Boost Global Trade

India can play a key role in helping Nepal achieve its aims of expanding its international trade, highlighted Ms. Fekitamoeloa ʻUtoikamanu, Undersecretary General and High Representative, UN-OHRLLS. She also urged simplification and harmonization of border crossing procedures to improve India-Nepal trade, and promoted the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement.

Read More

Tags:

February 2019

ECTS Enhances Nepal-bound Rail Transshipment from India’s Kolkata and Haldia Ports

Cargo containers using the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) bound for Nepal by rail was flagged off from the Kolkata Port on 15 February 2019. Mr. Vinit Kumar, Kolkata Port Trust Chairman, and Mr. Manish Chandra, Commissioner of Customs, Kolkata, led the ceremony. A pilot program using the ECTS modality is being implemented on rail routes originating from Kolkata and Haldia ports, to Birgunj via the Raxaul land customs station.

Read More

Tags: Electronic Cargo Tracking System

February 2019

SASEC-financed Mini Dry Port in Phuentsholing Ready for Use

The mini-dry port in Phuentsholing, Bhutan, built with loan/grant financing support from the Asian Development Bank under the SASEC Road Connectivity Project is ready for use. Constructed on 5.4 acres of land, the port will help promote regional connectivity with neighboring countries.

Read More

Tags:

February 2019

7th Bhutan-Bangladesh Commerce Secretary-level Meeting Explores Promotion of Trade and Commerce

Mr. Md. Mofizul Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce of the Government of Bangladesh, and Mr. Yeshi Wangdi, Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Government of Bhutan headed the delegations of Bangladeshi and Bhutanese government officials at 7th Bhutan-Bangladesh commerce secretary-level meeting held in Thimphu, Bhutan.

Read More

Tags:

February 2019

Bangladesh Foreign Affairs Minister Visits India

Mr. Abdul Momen, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Government of Bangladesh, undertook a four-day visit to India. He co-chaired the 5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee Meeting with Ms. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of the Government of India. They discussed progress in trade and connectivity, and water, power and energy sectors. During his trip, Mr. Momen also called on India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Muk

Read More

Tags:

February 2019

Maldives-Sri Lanka Similarities Make it Easier to Do Business

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Maldives, said Sri Lanka’s similarities with Maldives make it easier for the two countries to do business with each other. He noted how trade between Maldives and Sri Lanka has prospered in the last two decades.

Read More

Tags: Maldives, Sri Lanka, Trade, Investment

January 2019

Trincomalee Port to be Developed into Export Hub

Development of Trincomalee harbor into a highly competitive port is a key pillar of the Government of Sri Lanka’s export strategy. Plans to boost its facilities for 24/7 operation and increase the volume of cargo it handles are underway. Galle harbor in Sri Lanka’s southwestern coast will also be upgraded to handle night navigation.

Read More

Tags:

January 2019

ECTS to be Implemented on Nepal-bound Cargo Transiting via Kolkata/Haldia

The Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) will be rolled out on pilot basis to facilitate the movement of Nepal-bound cargo transiting via Kolkata/Haldia. The new transshipment procedure will be implemented beginning 15 February 2019, announced the Office of the Commissioner of Customs (Port) of the Government of India in a circular.

Read More

Tags: Electronic Cargo Tracking System

January 2019

Private Sector Urged to Tap into Bangladesh-Nepal's Full Trade Potential

The Rangpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) hosted a discussion on exploring Bangladesh-Nepal trade potential, with Bangladeshi importers and exporters, industrialists and businesspersons, and an 11-member Nepalese business delegation. The meeting discussed prospects and barriers in bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Nepal.

Read More

Tags:

January 2019

Improvements in Cross-border Trade Lauded in CBIC’s International Customs Day Celebration

India's momentous leap to rank 77 in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings was highlighted at the International Customs Day celebrations of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). In his address, Chief Guest Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Finance, Government of India, congratulated the CBIC for their efforts to help improve India's rank on the "Trading Across Borders" metric.

Read More

Tags:

January 2019

Bangladesh Signs Deal for Elenga–Hatikumrul–Rangpur Highway under SASEC Program

The Government of Bangladesh has signed an agreement with a Bandgladesh-China joint venture to upgrade 190 kilometers of the Elenga–Hatikumrul–Rangpur section of the Dhaka-Northwest Corridor, under the SASEC program.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Road, SASEC, Transport

January 2019

India, Nepal Agree to Set Up Energy Bank

The Governments of India and Nepal have agreed to establish an energy banking mechanism that will enable both countries to trade electricity based on demand/supply, following recommendations of electricity authorities of both nations. The recently-held secretary-level Joint Working Group (JWG) Meeting recommended forming a joint technical team that will explore and make arrangements for bilateral energy banking.

Read More

Tags:

January 2019

Commentary: Smart Borders to Boost Trade in South Asia

This commentary from the Daily Star discusses how Bangladesh is working to ensure seamless connectivity in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and Nepal subregion. It also makes a case for the importance of enforcing regional transit agreement in South Asia to promote efficient movement of the goods, and reduce transaction costs and time.

Read More

Tags:

January 2019

Backgrounder: Border Haats Boost Ties between India-Bangladesh

Border haats or rural markets along the border of Bangladesh and India help to strengthen ties between the two countries, both culturally and economically. These border haats benefit local communities by providing opportunities for livelihood and social interaction.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Bilateral Trade, India, Trade Facilitation

January 2019

SASEC Elevated Port Highway in Sri Lanka Gets ADB Support

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena and Mr. Takehiko Nakao, President, Asian Development Bank, signed three agreements, including a $300-million loan to construct about 5.3 kilometers of an elevated toll highway linking Colombo's international port and the country’s expressway network under the South Asian Subregional Economic Cooperation Port Access Elevated Highway Project.

Read More

Tags: ADB, SASEC, Sri Lanka, Transport

January 2019

Inland Waterways to Strengthen Connectivity Between India and Southeast Asia

India is working to develop its inland waterways to increase economic connectivity with Southeast Asia. The project will connect India’s northeastern states with Bangladesh and Nepal and boost trade in the region as part of India’s Act East Policy.

Read More

Tags: Inland waterways, India, Southeast Asia, Transport

January 2019

Promoting SASEC as a Tourist Destination

Promoting SASEC as a tourist destination is a flagship initiative identified in the SASEC Vision document. In line with this, the Asian Development Bank initiated a study that aims to design a framework for SASEC cooperation in tourism to fully harness this sector's immense potential and to lay down the groundwork for such cooperation.

Read More

Tags:

January 2019

India to Begin Operating Myanmar's Sittwe Port

Mr. Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Chemical and Fertilizer, Government of India, informed the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) that the Sittwe Port in Myanmar is ready to operate. India will take over the operations of Sittwe Port, as agreed in the bilateral memorandum of understanding signed by the Governments of India and Myanmar. The Sittwe Port is part of the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project, and was constructed with assistance from the G

Read More

Tags: India, Myanmar, Bilateral Agreement