News List

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

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

October 2018

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka Finalize Coastal Shipping Deal to Cut Transshipment Cost

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have finalized a coastal shipping agreement that would cut transshipment costs and reduce travel time between Chittagong, Bangladesh, and Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bilateral Agreement, Bilateral Trade, Sri Lanka

May 2018

Ministerial Meeting of LLDCs Emphasize Need to Address Trade and Transport Issues

The 9th Annual Ministerial Meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) on Trade and Transport was held to discussed key issues in transport, transit cooperation, trade, and trade facilitation among LLDCs. Bhutan and Nepal sent delegations to the Meeting. They highlighted initiatives being taken to connect their countries to the global market, including bilateral agreements in the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal subregion and the SASEC Trade Facilitation Program.

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Tags: Trade, Trade Facilitation, Sustainable Development Goals, Cooperation, Connectivity, Bilateral Agreement, Bilateral Trade, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, SASEC, India, Transport, Ports, Customs, Roads, Single Window

May 2018

Myanmar Seeks to Increase Export Volume to Nepal

The Governments of Myanmar and Nepal are planning to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to boost their economic ties and increase trade. According to Myanmar Vice President U Myint Swe, Myanmar is seeking to increase its export volume to Nepal. Demand for imported beans and pulses from Myanmar is on the rise in Nepal.

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Tags: Myanmar, Nepal, Bilateral Trade

February 2018

Bangladesh and India Focus on Deepening Bilateral Trade in Commerce Secretary-level Talk

Bangladesh and India held a Commerce Secretary-level meeting on 7-8 February 2018 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The discussions focused on issues concerning bilateral trade and economic relations, including infrastructure upgrading at border trading points; expansion of border haats (markets); identification and resolution of non-tariff issues affecting bilateral trade; regional connectivity under the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement; and ease of investment.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Bilateral Trade

October 2017

Bangladesh-India Business Meeting Emphasizes Bilateral Trade Potential

The Bangladesh-India Business Meeting emphasized the immense prospects for bilateral investment and growth between Bangladesh and India. Mr. Tofail Ahmed, Commerce Minister, Bangladesh, urged India to take steps to reduce the trade deficit through removal of non-tariff and para-tariff barriers, improvement in facilities, mutual recognition of certificates and standards, and better connectivity.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Bilateral Trade

July 2017

Commentary: Bangladesh – A Market for Sri Lankan Investors

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are working to increase their trade volume and diversify their products to promote more mutually-beneficial trade. This commentary by Mr. Amila Muthukutti, Sri Lankan economist and business writer, discusses market opportunities in Bangladesh for Sri Lankan investors, and highlights how a Free Trade Agreement will pave the way for strong trade relations.

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Free Trade Agreement, Bilateral Trade

November 2016

Bangladesh to Improve Ease of Doing Business to Attract More Indian Investors

In a meeting with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr. Kazi M. Azul Islam, Chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, promised CII delegates that Bangladesh will work toward improving the country’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ to encourage more investors from India. Bangladesh has set a five-year target to improve its ease of doing business.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Ease of Doing Business, Investment, Energy, Infrastructure, Bilateral Trade

October 2016

New India-Bhutan Trade, Commerce, and Transit Agreement Approved by Indian Cabinet

A new Agreement on Trade, Commerce, and Transit between India and Bhutan, enabling a free trade regime between the two countries, and providing for duty-free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries, has been approved by the Cabinet of India, in a meeting chaired by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Tags: Bhutan, India, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Bilateral Trade

August 2016

Connectivity with Bangladesh Integral to India’s Act East Policy

India is upbeat on India-Bangladesh bilateral relations, particularly on connectivity and bilateral trade. Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, High Commissioner of lndia to Bangladesh, emphasized at a Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry meeting, that Bangladesh is integral to India’s Act East Policy and noted the many efforts to link the two countries.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Rail, Bilateral Trade, Transport

June 2016

India to Roll Out Agartala-Akhaura Broad Gauge Railway Service

The 15-kilometer broad gauge rail service from Agartala, India to Akhaura, Bangladesh is set to be inaugurated in June 2016. Funded by the Government of India, the railway project will reduce the 1,650-km distance between Agartala and Kolkata to 550 km and is foreseen to boost bilateral trade and business between the two neighboring countries.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Rail, Bilateral Trade, Transport

March 2016

Thailand Proposes FTA with Sri Lanka

Thailand is proposing a Free Trade Agreement with Sri Lanka, according to Thailand Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak. The two countries have signed 3 memorandums of understanding and letters of intent to triple their bilateral trade by 2020, bringing it from $500 million to $1.5 million in 5 years.

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Tags: Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bilateral Trade, Free Trade Agreement

November 2015

Bhutan and Sri Lanka Hold First Annual Bilateral Consultation

The first annual bilateral consultation between the Government of Bhutan and the Government of Sri Lanka, held on 16 November 2015 in Colombo, discussed cooperation in regional and multilateral forums, and air connectivity. Membership of regional organizations and frameworks, including SAARC and BIMSTEC, was emphasized by the two countries as one way to strengthen links and enhance trade and economic cooperation.

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Tags: Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bilateral Trade, Connectivity, Transport

June 2015

Modi’s Dhaka Visit Promises to Strengthen Bilateral Relations

Several agreements were signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka, Bangladesh on 6-7 June 2015. The agreements included a $2 billion line of credit, as well as others in the areas of trade, connectivity, and cooperation in power supply. The two-day visit further strengthened bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Bilateral Trade

May 2015

India-Bhutan Bilateral Trade and Transit Meeting

The India-Bhutan Bilateral Trade and Transit Meeting was held in Thimphu, Bhutan from 25-27 May 2015 to create a trade value chain between India and Bhutan and remove bottlenecks impeding trade flows. Such trade and transit talks are held regularly between the two countries and strengthen bilateral trade cooperation. The meeting resolved some pending issues from the January 2014 meeting.

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Tags: Bhutan, Bilateral Trade, India

February 2015

Bangladesh-India Business Council by April 2015

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has proposed a joint business council for Bangladesh and India to meet by April 2015 to address existing disputes in bilateral trade and business. The proposal followed discussions with business leaders during a 3-day visit to Sonargaon, Bangladesh.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Bilateral Trade

February 2015

India-Sri Lanka Bilateral Talks to Deepen Economic Ties

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent visit to India after assuming office last month allows both countries to adopt a fresh approach to bilateral ties. New leadership in both New Delhi and Colombo has the potential for economic cooperation in development, commerce, and trade. According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is proud to be a trade partner of Sri Lanka and plans to take bilateral relations to a new level.

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Tags: India, Sri Lanka, Bilateral Trade

February 2015

Bangladesh-Nepal Expo 2015 Showcases Potential Areas of Trade

The first Bangladesh-Nepal Expo 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal attracted about 100 private businesses and more than 10,000 visitors. Enterprises from Bangladesh showcased the wide variety of products Nepal’s business community can source from Bangladesh. The fair opened potential areas of trade and encouraged entrepreneurs from both countries to create business linkages with each other.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Nepal, Bilateral Trade, Trade

December 2014

Bilateral Talks Between Bangladesh and Bhutan

Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay has agreed with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to close trade gaps by exporting more goods and expanding the list of products free of tax and duty enjoyed by both countries. Bhutan’s total trade volume with Bangladesh is worth about US$ 25.6 million. Bangladesh is the only country in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation region in which Bhutan has a trade surplus.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bilateral Trade

October 2014

US-Maldives: First Bilateral Trade Talks

The Governments of the Maldives and the Unites States of America held their first bilateral discussion since signing the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in 2009, to discuss engagement procedures, labor, intellectual property, and the investment climate. Minister of Economic Development Mr. Mohamed Saeed announced the Maldives’ plan to lessen economic reliance on tourism, including changes to the investment climate through Special Economic Zones Act.

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Tags: Maldives, Bilateral Trade, United States

September 2014

Japan Assists Sri Lanka to Become Regional Hub

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent visit to Sri Lanka recognized the country’s promise as a future regional hub. As maritime and agro-based nations, both Japan and Sri Lanka have advantages in developing bilateral trade. Japan will extend its technologies and skills to Sri Lanka, improve infrastructure, and reduce power shortages in the country. Sri Lanka will provide maritime access to huge markets and ensure freedom and safety of navigation in the region.

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Tags: Sri Lanka, Bilateral Trade, Regional Cooperation

August 2014

Bangladesh to Open Sea Ports to Neighbors

Following a meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of an India-Bangladesh business conclave on 24 August 2014, Tripura Industries and Commerce Minister Tapan Chakraborty said that Bangladesh will allow neighboring countries to use Ashuganj and Chittagong sea ports for multi-modal transport. This move is expected to further enhance economic integration among South Asian countries.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bilateral Trade, India, Connectivity, Transport

August 2014

Bangladesh Finance Minister Bullish about Relations with India

Bangladesh Finance Minister Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith told reporters that good relations between Bangladesh and India are beneficial to both countries. Prior to the press interview, Finance Minister Muhith met with visiting Asian Development Bank Vice President Mr. Bindu Lohani to discuss further enhancing connectivity between Bangladesh and India.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bilateral Trade, India, Transport

July 2014

Sri Lanka-Bangladesh Trade Crosses $100 Million for the First Time

As Sri Lanka-Bangladesh trade crosses the $100 million mark for the first time, Bangladesh seeks to set up an investment promotion mechanism to increase trade volumes and improve bilateral trade. The Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) incorporates investment fundamentals for Bangladesh investors looking at Sri Lanka as a future trade partner.

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Tags: Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bilateral Trade

April 2012

Historic Deal Between India and Pakistan

Issues resolved surrounding trade grievances mutual recognition and customs agreements are expected to facilitate bilateral trade between the two countries.

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Tags: Bilateral Trade, Customs, India, South Asia, Trade, Trade Facilitation