News List

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

August 2018

Sri Lankan Investors Eye Expanding Bangladesh Investment

A Sri Lanka-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry business delegation held a meeting with the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority to discuss bilateral trade and investment expansion between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan businessmen expressed desire to take advantage of Bangladesh's business-friendly environment. According to Mr. Aminul, Sri Lankan entrepreneurs are interested to invest in LPG wholesaling, the financial sector, information technology, and port logistics.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Investment, Bilateral Agreement, ICT, Ports

October 2017

SASEC Program Upgrades to Mobile-Friendly Website with Improved Security

The new-look SASEC website is fully mobile-friendly and automatically adjusts to fit the screen you are using — computer, tablet, or mobile phone—making it a convenient choice for staying in touch with regional cooperation throughout South Asia. SASEC has also updated to HTTPS for enhanced cybersecurity and user privacy.

Read More

Tags: SASEC, ICT, Regional Cooperation, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Maldives

August 2017

The Future of e-Governance in South Asia

SASEC conceptualized the Information Highway Project to assist cooperation in the region and realize SASEC's goals of social and trade development. The project is being implemented in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal with the aim of making ICT more accessible to remote communities in these countries. It is expected to help SASEC countries increase their productivity and participate fully in the global information economy.

Read More


August 2017

Bangladesh to Export Bandwidth to Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam

Bangladesh plans to export 102.5 gigabit per second of bandwidth to its neighbors, Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Negotiations are ongoing to enable 2.5 Gb per second of bandwidth export to Bhutan through India’s Power Grid Corporation of India Limited's fiber optic cable.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, ICT, Trade

April 2017

Bangladesh Wants to Be South Asia’s Transport Hub

Bangladesh has the potential to become a transport hub for India, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Myamar, according to Mr. AMA Muhith, Finance Minister, Bangladesh. Turning Bangladesh into a regional and transshipment hub would enhance economic cooperation and result in collective economic growth for the countries, Mr. Muhith said at the SASEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi, India.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Economic Corridor Development, Energy, ICT, India, Nepal, Maldives, Myanmar, SASEC, South Asia, Sri Lanka, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Regional Cooperation

March 2017

Commentary: Boosting Trade Facilitation in Services

A fast-rising information technology-enabled services (ITES) is opening global opportunities for the millions of Indian college graduates that enter the workforce every year. In this article, Mr. Pritam Banergee, Senior Director for Corporate Public Policy (South Asia), Deutsche Post DHL, discusses the need for India’s government and businesses to focus on trade policy reform that ensure markets remain open for the ITES sector.

Read More

Tags: ICT, India, Employment, Jobs, Services, South Asia, Tariffs, Technology, Trade Facilitation, Trade Facilitation Agreement, Trade Policy, WTO, Authorized Economic Operators

March 2017

BIMSTEC Roundtable Stresses Need to Resolve Border-Related Trade Barriers

The Eighth BIMSTEC Roundtable Meeting tackled “Rewriting the Rulebook of Regional Connectivity,” emphasizing the need to resolve border-related trade barriers through coordination of government policies across Asia, including Customs procedures and clearance of goods, to unlock the vibrancy of the Asian Highway and reduce the cost of doing business.

Read More

Tags: BIMSTEC, Trade, Customs, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, ICT, Nepal, Transport, Ease of Doing Business

February 2017

Speech: Advancing Global Trade and the Role of the WTO

The outlook for trade growth has weakened and we are seeing an uncertain period in the global economy. In this speech delivered before the Confederation of Indian Industry, World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo asserts that instead of raising barriers, the opening up of trade will ensure more opportunities for more people.

Read More

Tags: Connectivity, Development, India, ICT, Employment, Services, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO

December 2016

Regional Workshop Highlights Achievements of the SASEC Information Highway Project

A Regional Workshop on the SASEC Research and Training Network was held to assess the results and achievements of the SASEC Information Highway Project. The Meeting reviewed project implementation, discussed knowledge products, and summarized project benefits to rural communities. It also proposed ways to facilitate sustainable ICT cooperation among the four countries.

Read More

Tags: ICT, SASEC, ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal

December 2016

SASEC Portfolio Tops $9 billion

The SASEC project portfolio has surpassed the $9 billion mark with the December 2016 approval of Nepal’s SASEC Roads Improvement Project, worth $256.5 million. There are now 44 SASEC investment projects worth a cumulative $9.13 billion. During 2016, seven projects have been approved for a total of $2.37 billion.

Read More

Tags: SASEC, Trade Facilitation, Energy, Transport, Roads, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, ICT, Rail, Economic corridor, Connectivity

November 2016

Conference Promotes Paperless Trade Implementation in Sri Lanka

A conference held by the Sri Lanka Press Institute highlighted how enabling paperless trade will improve Sri Lanka's business competitiveness, and help the country achieve its ambition of becoming a regional logistics hub by enhancing its international trade processes.

Read More

Tags: Sri Lanka, Trade, Trade Facilitation, ICT

July 2016

SASEC Investment Projects Top $7.7 Billion

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) investment projects increased to a cumulative $7.66 billion in the areas of transport, energy, trade facilitation, and ICT with the recent approval of India’s Bihar New Ganga Bridge Project. To date, 40 SASEC-supported projects are helping member countries strengthen regional connectivity infrastructure, promote economic growth, and foster regional cooperation. In addition, there are now 71 technical assistance projects worth $66.14 mi

Read More

Tags: SASEC, Energy, Trade Facilitation, Transport, South Asia, ADB, ICT, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Economic Corridor Development

June 2016

ADB Blog: Why We Should Be Happy When SASEC Customs Officials Talk More

Meetings between Customs officials from SASEC member countries reaps benefits for the SASEC subregion and beyond, providing a platform for officers to decide the next steps in improving cross-border coordination and cooperation to resolve bottlenecks for trade at the borders. An Asian Development Bank (ADB) blog post by Ms. Rose McKenzie, Senior Regional Cooperation Specialist, Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination, South Asia Regional Department, ADB, is shared.

Read More

Tags: Customs, Trade Facilitation, Regional Cooperation, ICT, BBIN, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal

May 2016

ADB, SDF Sign Pact to Co-finance Development Projects

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Development Fund (SAARC SDF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a memorandum of understanding to undertake development projects in the South Asian region.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Transport, SAARC, ICT, Trade, Bhutan, India, Nepal

May 2016

India, Myanmar Push for Stronger Economic Ties

The India-Myanmar Business Conclave met recently as part of a push for stronger economic ties between the two countries. At a conference on 18-20 May in Yangon, Myanmar, business leaders discussed partnerships as well as opportunities for future cooperation. Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry of India, spoke on forging partnerships, highlighting India’s opening of 96.4% of tariff lines at zero duty for Myanmar.

Read More

Tags: Myanmar, India, Trade, Energy, ICT

March 2016

Integrated Declaration to Streamline Processing of Import Clearances at Indian Customs

India's Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is implementing an 'Integrated Declaration,' under its Single Window Project to facilitate more efficient processing of Customs clearance for imports and exports, and promote ease of doing business in the country. The electronic Integrated Declaration offers a single point where import traders can lodge information required by Customs and the Partner Government Agencies, replacing 9 separate forms previously required.

Read More

Tags: India, Trade Facilitation, ICT, WCO

March 2016

ICT and Energy Cooperation Take Bangladesh-India Relations to New Heights

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the inauguration of an additional 100 megawatt electricity supply from India's Tripura state to Bangladesh's Comilla state, and the leasing of 10 GBPS of internet bandwidth from Bangladesh to India's Agartala state on 23 March 2016. Both Prime Ministers lauded Bangladesh-India cooperation.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, India, ICT, Energy, BBIN

March 2016

LPAI Foundation Day Reaffirms India's Commitment to Boosting Land Borders

The Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) commemorated its 4th Foundation Day, headed by Mr. Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs who launched the LPAI logo and website. In his address, Mr. Rijiju reaffirmed the Government's commitment to enhance land borders that will increase trade with neighboring countries. He remarked on the need to explore new trade routes, particularly in the North East region.

Read More

Tags: ICT, Trade Facilitation, India

March 2016

Bangladesh Trade Portal Enhances Predictability and Transparency in the Country's Trade

The Government of Bangladesh has launched the Bangladesh Trade Portal, a one-stop shop for information on conducting trade with Bangladesh. The website offers useful information on exporting goods from, and importing commercial goods into Bangladesh, to promote the country's trade sector. Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the portal marks a milestone for business and traders.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Trade, Trade Facilitation, ICT

December 2015

SASEC Information Highway to Enable Bangladesh to Export Bandwidth in BBIN Region

The SASEC Information Highway Project will enable Bangladesh to export at least 50 gbps of bandwidth to Bhutan, northeast India, and Nepal, said an official from Bangladesh's ICT Division. An initial 10 gbps will initially be imported to India's northeast, which could bring in earnings of around $1.23 million a year. The Indian states of Assam and Meghalaya, and Bhutan, have also expressed interest to import bandwidth.

Read More

Tags: ICT, Bangladesh, Bhutan

October 2015

E-Permit for Indian Visitors to Bhutan under Consideration

A meeting between Bhutan Tourism Board officials and India's State Tourism Secretary Ajit Ranjan Bardhan discussed ways to improve links between Bhutan and India, including introducing an online entry permit system for Indian visitors and easing immigration checks. Bhutan agreed to consider providing online permits by 2016, said Secretary Bardhan.

Read More

Tags: ICT, India, Bhutan, Tourism

August 2015

Sri Lanka Customs to be Fully Automated in 2016

Sri Lanka is in the final stages of its Customs automation process to ensure trade facilitation. Customs operations will be electronically processed and computer-based for a paperless environment that allows more interaction between trade and Customs. Automation equipment orders have been placed and delivered to Sri Lanka -- and the system is expected to be fully operational by March 2016.

Read More

Tags: Customs, ICT, Sri Lanka

July 2015

India’s North Eastern States Receive Internet Gateway at Agartala via Bangladesh

India’s Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad laid the foundation stone on 13 July 2015 to link Agartala, India in the Tripura border area with International Gateway Service at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This will strengthen telecommunications services and improve Internet connectivity in the landlocked North Eastern states of India.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, ICT, India

April 2015

Bangladesh Exports Bandwidth to India

The Cabinet of Bangladesh approved a 3-year agreement to export 10 gigabytes to India’s northeastern states on lease and commercial basis. State-owned entity Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) signed the “Agreement Between BSNL and BSCCL for Leasing of International Bandwidth for Internet at Akhaura (Zero Point)”.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, India, ICT

August 2014

'Regional Connectivity for Shared Prosperity': UNESCAP's Roadmap to An Inclusive Future

Economic dynamism in the Asia-Pacific region has been driven primarily by individual economies, yet to ensure sustainable growth in the future, countries must integrate and cooperate to share prosperity, according to the 2014edition of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific.

Read More

Tags: Regional Cooperation, Poverty Reduction, UNESCAP, Asia-Pacific, Energy, Connectivity, ICT, LDC, SASEC, Trade, Transport

May 2012

SASEC Nodal Officials Meeting

The Nodal Officials of the SASEC Program met at the sidelines of the 45th ADB Annual Meeting in Manila on 3 May 2012.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Energy, ICT, Regional Cooperation, SASEC, South Asia, Trade Facilitation, Transport

April 2012

SASEC Countries Sign Bilateral Interconnection Agreements

During the Bilateral Interconnection Agreement Meeting held on 25-27 April 2012 in Manila major telecommunication providers from SASEC countries signed agreements for the direct peering and exchange of internet traffic through high speed fiber-optic links to be built under the Information Highway.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, ICT, Nepal, Regional Integration