News List

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

June 2023

Maldives and Sri Lanka Emphasize Implementation of Bilateral Agreements in Fourth Joint Commission

The Fourth Session of the Maldives-Sri Lanka Joint Commission emphasized further expanding bilateral cooperation in various areas, including trade and investment, tourism, and health. It also urged implementation of existing agreements and decided to set up working groups. The meeting also agreed to facilitate trade and investments in Maldives.

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Tags: Maldives, Sri Lanka

January 2023

Maldives President, India External Affairs Minister Launch Hanimaadhoo International Airport Project

India External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar called on Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during his visit to Maldives. They jointly participated in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Hanimaadhoo international airport project.

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Tags: Maldives, India, Transport, Airports

October 2022

Foreign Secretaries of Maldives and India Hold Official Discussions

Mr. Ahmed Latheef, Foreign Secretary of the Government of Maldives, and Mr. Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Foreign Secretary of India, conducted official discussions and noted the successful economic cooperation between India and Maldives, and the progress of projects being implemented under Indian grant assistance and line of credit scheme.

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Tags: India, Maldives, Infrastructure

September 2022

ADB Grant to Boost Maldives’ Booster and Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccination Program

A $10 million grant from the Asian Development Bank’s Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility will help Maldives scale up the continuity of its vaccination program, the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The grant, Maldives: Responsive COVID-19 Vaccination for Recovery Project, under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility, was committed on 27 September 2022

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Tags: ADB, Maldives, Health, COVID-19

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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Tags: Maldives, Airports, India, Connectivity

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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Tags: India, Maldives, Tourism, Connectivity

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

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

December 2021

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Meets with Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih held bilateral talks on 23 December 2021 at the President’s Office in Malé, Maldives. They discussed matters of mutual interest and emphasized the importance of signing a Preferential Trade Agreement.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Maldives, Trade, Trade Facilitation

November 2021

Bangladesh and Maldives Hold First Bilateral Consultation, Agree to Promote Maritime Connectivity

The first bilateral consultation between Bangladesh and Maldives acknowledged the excellent relations between the two countries and discussed cooperation, with emphasis on deepening linkages by concluding several bilateral instruments, including agreements on trade and connectivity, and tourism for enhancing people to people to contact.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Maldives, Connectivity

June 2021

Bangladesh Eyes Resort and Leisure Wear Exports to Maldives

Bangladesh is looking to produce resort wear and leisure apparel for Maldives. Mr. Faruque Hassan, President of BGMEA discussed the potential of tapping this Maldives market with Mr. Shiruzimath Sameer, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Maldives.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Maldives, Trade Facilitation

April 2021

Foreign Ministers of India and Maldives Review Bilateral Cooperation

Mr. Abdulla Shahid, Foreign Minister of the Government of Maldives, met with Mr. S Jaishankar, Foreign Minister of the Government of India, on 16 April 2021, as part of his two-day visit to India. The two foreign ministers reviewed the status of ongoing projects in Maldives backed by India. India supports around $2 billion worth of projects in Maldives, including ports, roads, bridges, water and sanitation, and socio-economic development projects.

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Tags: India, Maldives, Transport, Connectivity

March 2021

Maldives President Ibrahim Solih on Key Visit to Bangladesh

Bilateral cooperation between the Governments of Bangladesh and the Maldives received a boost with the signing of four MoUs, including a joint commission for comprehensive cooperation and bilateral foreign office consultations.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Maldives, Trade, Shipping, Connectivity

October 2020

ADB Endorses New 5-Year Partnership Strategy for Maldives

The Asian Development Bank has endorsed a new 5-year country partnership strategy for Maldives to support the country’s path to development. The strategy, which covers the period 2020–2024, will support Maldives in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also help ADB continue gender mainstreaming in its operations in the country.

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Tags: ADB, Maldives

September 2020

India-Maldives Direct Cargo Ferry Service Launched

Mr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Shipping of the Government of India, and Ms. Aishath Nahula, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Maldives, led the online ceremony for the launch of the direct cargo ferry service between India and Maldives. The ferry service aims to provide a cost effective, direct, and alternate means of transportation of goods between India and Maldives.

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Tags: India, Maldives

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

June 2018

SASEC Countries to Gain by Improving Transport Times

By investing in infrastructure that improves connectivity and reduces transport times to key markets, South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation countries could reap major benefits, a new Asian Development Bank study says.

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Tags: SASEC, ADB, Trade, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, World Bank

January 2018

Women Entrepreneurs Look to SAARC Markets

South Asian Women Development Forum (SAWDF) will promote products by women entrepreneurs in markets in SAARC countries. A Women Entrepreneur International Trade and Technology Hub will be developed in Visakhapatnam, India, with ADB assistance. The Hub will serve as a one-stop platform for women entrepreneurs and provide training on international trade and business.

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

November 2017

Amending India’s Electricity Act Could Enhance Trade with SAARC Countries

An Asian Development Bank report suggests that a shift in India’s electricity policy could help address the acute electricity shortages faced by SAARC countries, which affects socioeconomic development as well as business operations. Policy amendments could help facilitate cross-border power trade among SAARC countries and give communities better access to electricity.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Energy, India, Maldives, Nepal, SAARC, Sri Lanka, Trade

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.

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

October 2017

SAARC Nations Can Achieve Sustainable Development Goals Together

Ms. Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker, Lok Sabha, India, said South Asian countries need to present a collective front to help the world achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Speaking at the Conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians, Ms. Majahan stressed the importance of interaction among the parliaments of SAARC countries and said that national parliaments should focus on the SDGs.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, SAARC, Sri Lanka, Sustainable Development Goals

May 2017

Regional Cooperation Initiatives to Bolster Greater Male Region Development

Mr. Wencai Zhang, Vice President, Asian Development Bank (ADB), encouraged the active participation of Maldives in regional cooperation programs, in his two-day visit to Male, Maldives. ADB plans to increase support for Maldives in 2018-2019 through its indicative investment program that focuses on developing the Greater Male region, and also includes the SASEC National Window Project.

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, Maldives, Trade Facilitation, Single Window, ADB

May 2017

SAARC Finance Ministers Meet in Yokohama, Japan

Finance ministers and senior officials of member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka met on 5 May at Yokohama, Japan, at the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) 50th Annual General Meeting.

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Central Asia, Climate Change, Energy, India, Maldives, Nepal, Policy, Regional Cooperation, SAARC, SASEC, Sri Lanka, Trade, Transport

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.

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

March 2017

SASEC Program Is Now on Facebook

SASEC is now on Facebook, connecting followers to the most up-to-date news on regional cooperation in South Asia, SASEC events, project information, and publications that are all featured daily on To follow SASEC on Facebook, simply click here; then click “Like” at the top of the Facebook page.

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Tags: SASEC, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Regional Cooperation, Trade, Economic cooperation

December 2016

4th Regional Customs Enforcement Meeting

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence under the Central Board of Excise and Customs organized the 4th Regional Customs Enforcement Meeting in New Delhi, India, as part of its Founding Day celebrations. The Heads of Customs Enforcement from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Mauritius and Maldives were invited to participate in the said Meeting, which discussed issues of mutual concern, noted the need to share information and activate channels of coordination.

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Tags: Customs, Trade Facilitation, South Asia, Regional Cooperation, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Trade

December 2016

Ferry Services between Colombo and Tuticorin Being Planned

The Colombo Shipping Corporation is planning to re-establish ferry linkages under public-private partnership. A SAARC Meeting of Experts from India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, recommended resumption of ferry services between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. 

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Tags: ADB, India, Maldives, Public-Private Partnership, Regional Cooperation, SAARC, Sri Lanka, Transport

November 2016

Online Alert System for SPS/TBT Notifications Launched

EPing, an online alert system for updates on the latest information on regulatory requirements for international trade, was launched by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Trade Organization, and the International Trade Centre. The system enables access to WTO member notifications on TBT and SPS measures, and facilitates dialogue among the public and private sector in the early stages of potential trade issues.

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Technical Barriers to Trade, Sanitary and Phytosanitary, Trade, WTO, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

October 2016

Power Trade to Help South Asian Countries Save $9 Billion Annually, Reduce Emissions

South Asian countries should engage more in regional energy trade and joint management of resources. By doing so, they could save over $9 billion annually and reduce carbon emissions by 8%. And since energy drives development, energy cooperation and trade is expected to translate to improved standards of living and poverty reduction.

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Tags: Energy, Hydropower, South Asia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

October 2016

Maldives-Thailand Joint Trade Committee Agree to Expand Bilateral Trade and Investment

The Second Meeting of Maldives-Thailand Joint Trade Committee agreed to increase bilateral trade and investment between the two countries, and pursue cooperation in tourism, fishing, labor, and health. The Government of Maldives also agreed to lift tariffs on imported goods from Thailand.

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Tags: Maldives, Thailand, Trade

September 2016

SASEC Countries Gear Up for Greater Economic Cooperation

The six member countries of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program have launched the SASEC Operational Plan for 2016-2025. The plan expands the program’s focus beyond intraregional cooperation to deepening linkages with Southeast and East Asia, and widens the scope of transport, trade facilitation, and energy cooperation to include economic corridor development as a priority initiative. The plan also lists more than 200 potential regional projects for South Asia.

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Tags: ADB, SASEC, Economic corridor, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

September 2016

13th SAARC Trade Fair Held in Thimphu

The 13th SAARC trade fair was held in Thimphu, Bhutan, to promote intra-regional trade and investment among SAARC countries. In his opening address, Mr. Lekey Dorji, Bhutan Economic Affairs Minister, underscored the importance of fostering business links among companies in the region to accelerate economic growth and improve people's well-being.

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Tags: SAARC, Trade, South Asia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka

September 2016

Maldives Invites Sri Lankan Firms to Invest in Projects

The Government of Maldives invited Sri Lankan businesses to invest in the archipelago, and bid for projects in airport development, housing, hospitals and renewable energy. Maldivian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Zahiya Zareer emphasized the need for Maldives and Sri Lanka to build more commercial ties.

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Tags: Maldives, Sri Lanka, Airports, Renewable Energy

September 2016

SAARC Ministers Push for Economic Union

Finance Ministers from the eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states are pushing for the formation of a South Asian Economic Union (SAEU) to ensure larger inflow of investments, higher trade volumes, and energy generation. The ministers highlighted the need to fast-track the formation of the SAEU to help boost the inflow of investments and trade volumes.

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Tags: SAEU, SAARC, Trade, Energy, Trade Facilitation, Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal

August 2016

SAARC Finance Ministers Meeting Focuses on Trade, Taxation

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Finance Ministers’ Meeting focused on improving trade relations among member nations. Discussions revolved around economic issues, Customs unions, avoidance of double taxation, improving connectivity, increasing trade volume, and developing supply chain linkages.

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Tags: SAARC, India, Trade, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Connectivity, Customs, SASEC, Trade

August 2016

Editorial: Basin-wide River Management for South Asia’s Prosperity

River management provides opportunities to release regenerative capacities of the people and environment of basin-wide areas. The following article suggests South Asian countries cooperate to fulfill a promise of greater sustainability. Cooperation in water resource management can serve as a catalyst for broader regional cooperation, economic integration, and development.

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Tags: BBIN, Rivers, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Transport

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

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

July 2016

Commentary: 800 Million Reasons

Mr. Hun Kim, Director General, South Asia Department, ADB, describes how partnership of 6 South Asian countries through the ADB-supported South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program is helping propel economic growth in South Asia, amidst an uncertain regional and global economic climate, by working to increase trade volumes to reduce the number of impoverished people in the region.

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, South Asia, Energy, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

July 2016

Blog: Is South Asia ready for a Regional Motor Vehicles Agreement?

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) signed a landmark Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) meant to allow smooth passage of goods and passenger vehicles in each other’s territories. In this blog post, Sanjay Kathuria, Lead Economist and Coordinator, South Asia Regional Integration, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank, asks if South Asia is truly ready for such a regional agreement.

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Tags: South Asia, Transport, Trade Facilitation, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

June 2016

Interactive SASEC Corridor Map on Website

The interactive SASEC Corridor Map on the SASEC Program website and SASEC Mobile App is your gateway to SASEC projects. View projects by sector—energy, transport, trade facilitation, and ICT—or by corridor using the interactive map, to learn how the SASEC program is helping promote regional prosperity in South Asia. The map also includes project information and links to SASEC project pages.

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Tags: SASEC, Economic corridor, Energy, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives

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.

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

June 2016

SAARC CCI and SAARC Development Fund to Co-finance Projects

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Development Fund (SDF) and SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry have pledged to collaborate and co-finance projects under the SDF's social, economic and infrastructure windows to promote regional connectivity across the SAARC region.

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Tags: SAARC CCI, SAARC, Regional Cooperation, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Trade, Transport

April 2016

Commentary: Political Economy of Regional Integration: Where Do We Stand in South Asia?

Dr. Selim Reihan notes that drivers of political economy can impact the region's integration agenda. In this essay, Dr. Raihan highlights the importance of exploring the political economy of regional integration to generate a better assessment of the factors driving and constraining regional integration, and create broader awareness among stakeholders to stimulate a more realistic and effective regional policy design and processes.

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Tags: Economic corridor, Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, SAARC, SAFTA, Services, South Asia, Infrastructure, Trade Facilitation, Transport

February 2016

SAARC-ADB First Training Programme of Nodal Points on Updating SAARCSTAT Web Portal

The SAARC-ADB First Training Programme of Nodal Points on Updating SAARCSTAT Web Portal was organised by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The Training focused on updating national data available on the SAARCSTAT Web Portal to enhance usability, and equipped representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka with knowledge and capacity to upload and update their information on the website.

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Tags: SAARC, Trade, Economic cooperation, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

December 2015

Celebrating 30 Years of SAARC

On 8 December 1985, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Charter was signed by Heads of State/Government of SAARC Member States during the First SAARC Summit held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. SAARC promotes welfare economics, collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia, and accelerated socio-cultural development in the South Asia region.

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Tags: SAARC, Regional Cooperation, South Asia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka

December 2015

Commentary: South Asia Could Be Linchpin for Regional Integration

South Asia is set to play a strategic role in Asian integration. This commentary by Mr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Advisor in the Asian Development Bank’s Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, shares how linking emerging South Asia with the more developed member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations will transform regional economies through development of regional connectivity, and create a huge regional market of 2-3 billion people.

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Tags: South Asia, Economic corridor, Development, ASEAN, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Tourism, manufacturing, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal

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

Maldives – Ready for Special Economic Zones?

President Abdulla Yameen ratified the Special Economic Zones Act on 1 September 2014 to stimulate economic growth in Maldives and transform the economy through diversification, less stringent regulations, and tax concessions that would attract foreign investors into the country. This would make the economy less dependent on tourism and more open to infrastructure development.

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Tags: Maldives, Special Economic Zone, Infrastructure

May 2014

SASEC Integration Indicators Updated

Data for Integration Indicators in the SASEC subregion have been updated to reflect trade figures from the Maldives and Sri Lanka, SASEC's newest members. Their inclusion boosts SASEC's intra-regional trade indicators and highlights the growing importance of regional trade. Data values for January-August 2013 were added.

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Tags: Trade, Regional Integration, Maldives, Sri Lanka

May 2014

The Maldives and Sri Lanka Join SASEC Program

Nodal officials of the founding SASEC member countries — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal — endorsed inclusion of the Maldives and Sri Lanka as new members at the SASEC Nodal Officials’ Meeting 2014 in Astana on May 3.

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, Sri Lanka, Maldives

June 2012

SAARC Working Group on Reduction in the Sensitive Lists under SAFTA Phase III

The SAARC Working Group noted that under Phase II all member states had already reduced their respective Sensitive Lists by a minimum of 20%. Bhutan India and Maldives had made substantial reductions in their lists which in fact were significantly more than the previously mandated reduction level.

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Tags: Bhutan, Free Trade Agreement, India, Maldives, SAARC, SAFTA, South Asia, Trade