News List

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

Year:
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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Tags: India, Myanmar, Bilateral Agreement