News List

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

Year:
August 2022

NHPC, PTC Ink MoU for the Sale of Power Generated from Nepal Hydropower Projects

National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (NHPC) and the PTC India Limited (formerly Power Trading Corporation of India Limited) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the sale of power to be generated from Nepal’s West Seti and Seti River-6 Projects in Nepal.

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Tags: Nepal, India, Energy

August 2022

Bangladesh Railways to Convert the Dhaka-Chattogram Railway Line to Broad Gauge

Bangladesh Railways plans to convert the Dhaka-Chattogram railway line from meter gauge to broad gauge by 2027 with financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). ADB has given primary assurance to finance the project, according to the Business Standard.

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August 2022

India Promotes Development of Multimodal Logistics Parks to Increase Efficiency

The National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML), Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) of the Government of India signed a trilateral agreement that will work toward ramping up the development of India’s multimodal logistics parks.

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August 2022

Maldives' Hanimaadhoo International Airport Redevelopment Project Awarded to Indian Firm

Maldives’ Hanimaadhoo International Airport will be redeveloped by JMC Projects Limited of India. According to Maldives’ Economic Ministry, the project was awarded to JMC for $136.6 million.

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August 2022

Bangladesh and Nepal Officials Emphasize Increasing Energy, Trade, Tourism Collaboration

Officials of the Governments of Bangladesh and Nepal attended a luncheon hosted by Mr. Md Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Government of Bangladesh. The event emphasized increasing collaboration between Bangladesh and Nepal in sectors such as hydropower, tourism, connectivity, trade, and people-to-people linkages.

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August 2022

Bangladesh Offers Nepal Use of Chittagong and Mongla Ports

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated her offer of access to Bangladesh’s Chittagong and Mongla seaports and Syedpur airport to the people of Nepal during a courtesy call by a Nepal parliamentary delegation.

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August 2022

India and Maldives Laud Growth in People-to-People Linkages

Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s visit to India highlighted the growth in people-to-people ties between India and Maldives. India has become the top source for Maldives' tourism market. According to the press release, implementation of visa-free travel, improved air connectivity, exchange programs, and promoting cultural and economic linkages helped boost tourism.

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July 2022

Bhutan Sees Rise in Cross-border Electricity Trade in 2020

Research on the impact of cross-border energy trade in Bhutan noted that the country’s electricity exports in 2020 increased due to the guaranteed market for Bhutan’s excess electricity under the power purchase agreements (PPA) between Bhutan and India. Bhutan’s energy sector also noted improved hydrology in the same year.

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Tags: Bhutan, India, Energy

July 2022

Assam Chief Minister Highlights Potential of India's Northeastern Region to Boost Trade and Commerce with ASEAN and BBN Countries

Improved connectivity between India and nations of Southeast Asia has hugely benefitted the country’s northeastern region, according to Mr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Assam. India's northeastern region can play a pivotal role in strengthening Indo-ASEAN and Indo-BBN relationship as a gateway.

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July 2022

Planned Trial Runs Set to Help Smoothen Transshipment of Cargo to India’s Northeastern Region via Bangladesh

The Governments of Bangladesh and India are preparing to conduct comprehensive trial runs for the transshipment of cargo to India's northeastern regions via Bangladesh’s Chattogram and Mongla ports. The planned trial runs aim to iron out issues and align the immigration and customs arrangements in both countries.

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Tags: India, Bangladesh, Trade Facilitation, Transport

July 2022

Maersk Completes First India-Bangladesh Freight via Inland Waterway Transit

Maersk, a global container shipping line and vessel operator, successfully completed its first India-Bangladesh inland waterway freight of containerized cargo. The company transported 50 container TEUs (twenty feet equivalent units) of beverages from Kolkata, India, to a river port near Dhaka, Bangladesh, using India’s National Waterways 1.

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July 2022

Bhutan, India Discuss Future of Energy Cooperation

Bhutan’s Minister for Economic Affairs Loknath Sharma met with ministers from relevant agencies in India. The meeting focused on hydropower cooperation between the two countries and the future of their hydropower cooperation. The meeting also agreed to work toward the closure of the Kholongchhu Hydroelectric Project Limited joint venture company.

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Tags: Bhutan, India, Energy

July 2022

Business Conclave Emphasizes Siliguri’s Potential as Subregion’s Logistics Hub

The potential of the Siliguri corridor and its surroundings to be developed as a logistics hub for India’s northeastern region, and Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, was emphasized by the CII at Logi Connect 2022. Developing Siliguri as a logistic hub would facilitate movement of goods to other states of India and its neighboring countries.

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Tags: Logistics, Act East Policy, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Transit, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal

July 2022

Bangladesh to Invest in Nepal Hydropower Project

Bangladesh aims to invest in Nepal’s Sunkoshi III hydropower project, according to Bangladesh's Ambassador to Nepal, Mr. Salahuddin Noman Chowdhury. The planned project will have a capacity of 683 megawatts and will be established in Lubughat, Khadadevi.

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July 2022

Commentary: More Power to You

Regional forums such as South Asia Forum for Infrastructure Regulation, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, and South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation bring together stakeholders and more local or regional institutions are needed to gain optimal benefit from regional cooperation. This commentary appears on the Dhaka Tribune.

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July 2022

Siliguri-Kathmandu Bus Service Resumes

Mr. Firhad Hakim, state transport minister of West Bengal, India, inaugurated the Siliguri (India)- Kakarbhitta (Nepal)-Kathmandu (Nepal) bus service. A private bus operator and the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) re-opened the bus route after closing operations for two years.

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July 2022

Andhra Pradesh Industrial Corridors to Attract Rs 1 Lakh Crore Investment

The three industrial corridors of Andhra Pradesh, the Chennai - Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC), Visakhapatnam - Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) and Hyderabad - Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (HBIC), to be implemented with financial assistance from ADB and the National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust of India, is set to attract more than Rs 1 lakh crore (around $12.56 billion) investments and generate employment for 5.5 lakh (550,000) people by 2040.

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Tags: Economic corridor, Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor, Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor, Hyderabad-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor

June 2022

$1.03 Billion Boost for Bangladesh and Nepal’s Regional Trade

The Governments of Bangladesh and Nepal will receive a $1.03 billion boost in financing—$753.45 million for Bangladesh and $275 million for Nepal—to improve key barriers to regional trade. The financing was approved by the World Bank for the project Accelerating Transport and Trade Connectivity in Eastern South Asia (ACCESS) Program Phase 1.

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June 2022

Government of Bangladesh Opens Padma Bridge

The Government of Bangladesh unveiled the Padma Bridge, its largest infrastructure project. The bridge cost an estimated $3.6 billion financed from domestic funding. The 6.15 kilometer Padma Bridge will connect Dhaka to the country’s southern regions, and the southwestern districts of Bangladesh to the country’s northern and eastern parts.

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June 2022

Bhutan and Nepal Prepare to Sign the Bilateral Trade Agreement

The Governments of Bhutan and Nepal are expediting the process to sign the bilateral trade agreement. The press release noted that the two countries hope to sign the agreement in three months. The trade agreement aims to promote and strengthen trade and commerce.

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June 2022

Commentary: India, Bangladesh Look at Harnessing New Opportunities in Waterway Development to Aid Faster, Cheaper Mode of Transport

Highlighting new opportunities in waterways between India and Bangladesh, the Government of India has said that waterway transport is faster, cheaper, and environment-friendly.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Transport, Inland waterways

June 2022

ADB, Bangladesh Sign $143 Million Trade Facilitation Project

ADB and the Government of Bangladesh have signed a loan agreement to improve cross-border trade in Bangladesh. The $143-million policy-based loan aims to improve the volume, efficiency, predictability, and security of cross-border trade in Bangladesh.

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Trade Facilitation

June 2022

Commentary: Land Ports in Connectivity, Trade, Growth

Bangladesh is undertaking projects to strengthen interregional connectivity, such as ADB-supported South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) initiatives on cross-border connectivity. These SASEC initiatives, through regional and national SASEC transport projects, will develop infrastructure and systems that will improve cross-border connectivity and boost intraregional trade.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Inland waterways, Transport

June 2022

BIMSTEC Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

BIMSTE celebrated its 25th Anniversary on 6 June 2022. Mr. A.K. Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, speaking virtually as the Chief Guest, expressed hope that connectivity in the region would one day lead to visa-free mobility and free mobility of goods and services, and technology and capital.

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June 2022

Nepal Exports 364 MW of Electricity to India

Nepal now sells a total of 364 megawatts (MW) of electricity to India through the Indian Energy Exchange Limited (IEX). Nepal started exporting an additional 144 MW of electricity to India generated by the Kaligandaki hydropower plant on 5 June 2022.

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Tags: Nepal, India, Energy

June 2022

India Sets Up National Food Laboratory in Bihar

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) inaugurated the new National Food Laboratory (NFL) in Raxaul, Bihar, on 5 June 2022. The facility is equipped with advanced technology and infrastructure, capable of testing food samples exported from both India and Nepal.

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Tags: India, Nepal, Trade Facilitation

June 2022

Bangladesh Opens More Ports for Bhutan's Use

The Government of Bangladesh and the Government of Bhutan met to discuss the Agreement on the Movement of Traffic (Goods) in Transit that will allow Bhutan's goods to pass through Bangladesh, and the amendment of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the MoU on the Use of Inland Waterways between Bangladesh and Bhutan.

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June 2022

Bangladesh ECNEC Approves the SASEC Integrated Trade Facilitation Sector Development Program

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved the SASEC Integrated Trade Facilitation Sector Development Project: Bangladesh Land Port Authority (BLPA) Part with Tk 2.17 billion (around $23.47 million) and SASEC Integrated Trade Facilitation Sector Development Project with Tk 3.13 billion (around $33.85 million).

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Tags: Bangladesh, SASEC, Trade Facilitation

June 2022

Mitali Express Commences Operations and Links Northern West Bengal to Dhaka

Railway ministers of India and Bangladesh virtually flagged off the Mitali Express on 1 June 2022. The Railway Ministry of India underscored that Mitali Express will boost both countries’ tourism by connecting Bangladesh with northern West Bengal and the northeastern region of India.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Rail, Transport

May 2022

Passenger Train Services between Bangladesh and India Resume Operation

Two passenger train service between Bangladesh and India resumed operations on 29 May 2022. The Maitree Express travels between Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Kolkata, India. The Bandhan Express runs between Khulna, Bangladesh, and Kolkata.

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May 2022

NADI Conclave Highlights Transformative Potential of India's Northeastern Region's Increased Connectivity

Mr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of the Government of India, highlighted in his inaugural address at the Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence (NADI) Asian Confluence River Conclave 2022 the importance of connectivity. He underscored that the coming together of the “Act East” and the “Neighborhood First” policies have an enormous impact extending beyond South Asia.

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Tags: India, BBIN, Act East Policy, Neighborhood First Policy, Myanmar, Connectivity, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Energy

May 2022

CBIC to Allow Import of Bangladesh Goods via Returning Rail Cargo

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) of India has released guidelines allowing import of Bangladesh goods onboard sealed containers that are returning to India by rail after delivering export goods to Bangladesh.

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Tags: India, Rail, Bangladesh, Electronic Cargo Tracking System, Trade Facilitation

May 2022

Prime Minister Inaugurates Nepal's Second International Airport

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepal inaugurated the Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA), Nepal’s second international airport. The opening will contribute to the country's overall development and long-term prosperity, according to Mr. Deuba. ADB supported the Government of Nepal to build and upgrade the GBIA through the Asia Tourism Infrastructure Development Project.

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Tags: ADB, Nepal, Airports, Air Transport

May 2022

India Assures Nepal of Hydropower Development Support

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertook an official visit to Lumbini, Nepal. Their bilateral meeting discussed further strengthening cooperation in various sectors, including energy. An agreement for the development of the Arun 4 hydropower project was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Modi and Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. They also discussed air connectivity, with Nepal requesting for additional air routes.

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May 2022

ADB VP Meets Bangladesh PM, Visits SASEC Chattogram–Cox's Bazar Railway Project

ADB Vice-President Shixin Chen visited the SASEC Chattogram–Cox's Bazar Railway Project and other ADB-assisted projects during a six-day visit to Bangladesh. Mr. Chen was in Dhaka to meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during which he reaffirmed ADB's commitment to supporting rapid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tags: Bangladesh, ADB, SASEC, Energy, Rail Transport

May 2022

Bhutan, Thailand Agree to Negotiate a Bilateral Trade Agreement

The Governments of Bhutan and Thailand have agreed to sign a bilateral trade agreement during the fourth Joint Trade Committee Meeting. They also agreed to enhance total bilateral trade to $120 million by 2025, and renew the existing MoU on tourism and handicraft cooperation.

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Tags: Bhutan, Thailand, Trade, Agriculture

May 2022

Nepal Energy Officials, Sri Lanka Hydropower Companies Discuss Potential Hydropower Investment

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Nepal and the Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka jointly organized a webinar among the Nepal Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MOEWRI) and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), and around 30 hydropower companies from Sri Lanka.

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Tags: Nepal, Sri Lanka, Energy, Investment

May 2022

Nepal Plans New Transmission Line for Cross-border Energy Trade along Postal Highway

The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is preparing a proposal to construct a 400-kilovolt transmission line along the Postal Highway. The proposed transmission line could be an alternative to the 400kV transmission line being built along the East-West Highway.

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Tags: Nepal, Energy, India, BBIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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