News List

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

June 2021

Bangladesh Highway Awaits e-Operation

The Bangladesh Roads and Highways Department is set to incorporate an electronic road operation system to the SASEC Road Connectivity Project II, which is currently under construction. The Tangail-Rangpur Highway project will be the first to be operated electronically using the IT-based intelligence surveillance system to facilitate traffic flow and road safety.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Road, SASEC

May 2021

Commentary: The Post-pandemic Era Can Be a New Era for Asia's Roads, Too

Roads in Asia and the Pacific have been essential for the transport of supplies and services, frontline workers, food, and now vaccines. It is time to revive these vital arteries to prepare for economic recovery. This commentary appears on the Asia Development Blog.

Read More

Tags: COVID-19, Road, South Asia

May 2021

Bangladesh Opens First Tender for SASEC Dhaka-Sylhet Highway Expansion

Work on the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Dhaka-Sylhet Corridor Road Development Project is set to begin, with the Roads and Highways Department opening the first tender for road widening work on the highway. The invitation for bids was sent out on 29 April 2021 for the 35-kilometer section of the highway from Dhaka to Narsingdi.

Read More

Tags: ADB, SASEC, Transport, Bangladesh, Road, Trade

April 2021

Bangladesh Minister Pushing for Start of Chittagong-Cox's Bazar Road Work

Mr. Obaidul Quader, Road Transport and Bridges Minister, Bangladesh, is pushing to begin work to upgrade the Chittagong-Cox's Bazar Highway. The road, one of the busiest in Bangladesh, will be widened to four-lanes to ease traffic along the route and improve subregional connectivity.

Read More

Tags: Road, Economic Corridor Development, Transport, Bangladesh

February 2021

Bangladesh ECNEC Approves SASEC Dhaka-Sylhet Corridor Project

The Bangladesh Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved on 16 February 2021 the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Dhaka-Sylhet Corridor Road Development project. The project will improve road connectivity and increase trade with neighboring countries. ECNEC gave the approval during a virtual meeting presided over by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Read More

Tags: ADB, SASEC, Transport, Bangladesh, Road, Trade

January 2021

Sixth Meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission Highlights Progress in Cross-border Connectivity

The Sixth Meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission highlighted the need to facilitate cross border movement of people and goods. They remarked on how the newly inaugurated integrated check post at Birgunj and Biratnagar have promoted seamless movement of people and trade between the two countries. They also welcomed the completion of the first passenger railway line between India and Nepal from Jaynagar to Kurtha.

Read More

Tags: India, Nepal, Rail, Road

August 2020

SASEC Road and Rail Projects in Bangladesh Scheduled for 2021-2023

ADB has a redesigned financing plan to help Bangladesh recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the Country Operations Business Plan for 2021 to 2023, ADB's financing priorities in Bangladesh have been adjusted to include more than $11 billion in policy-based loans for social protection, economic recovery, and health programs. The plan includes support for SASEC road corridors, rail projects, and trade facilitation programs.

Read More

Tags: ADB, SASEC, Transport, Road, Rail, Trade Facilitation

July 2020

SASEC Projects in Bangladesh Slowed by Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has slowed the implementation of Asian Development Bank-funded projects in Bangladesh, including the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Project-1 and 2 and the SASEC Chattogram-Cox's Bazar Railway Project. As the country proceeds to lift lockdown restrictions, implementing agencies are preparing plans for the full resumption of work on construction sites.

Read More

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

July 2020

SASEC Road Reaches 75% Completion in Bangladesh

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Road Connectivity Project Road Connectivity Project, which will connect Bangladesh with regional and international transport networks, is 75.48% completed. The Government of Bangladesh is also upgrading the Elenga-Hatikumrul highway to include four lanes with service lanes on both sides.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Transport, Road, SASEC

June 2020

Agreement for Preparatory Facility to Improve Bangladesh’s Transport Connectivity Inked

The Government of Bangladesh and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed the agreement for the Transport Connectivity Improvement Preparatory Facility. This project readiness financing (PRF), worth $57.23 million, will support the preparation of priority transport projects in Bangladesh.

Read More

Tags: Transport, Bangladesh, Road, Rail, Transit Facilitation

March 2020

Bangladesh Signs Deal for SASEC Dhaka-Northwest Road Corridor

The Government of Bangladesh and the Asian Development Bank signed on 15 March 2020 a $400 million loan agreement to upgrade the Dhaka-Northwest international road corridor. The project, under the Second South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Dhaka-Northwest Corridor Road Project, helps connect Bangladesh with Bhutan, India, and Nepal.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, SASEC, Transport, Road

January 2019

Bangladesh Signs Deal for Elenga–Hatikumrul–Rangpur Highway under SASEC Program

The Government of Bangladesh has signed an agreement with a Bandgladesh-China joint venture to upgrade 190 kilometers of the Elenga–Hatikumrul–Rangpur section of the Dhaka-Northwest Corridor, under the SASEC program.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Road, SASEC, Transport

October 2018

New SASEC Highway Project in Nepal to Strengthen Regional Connectivity, Growth, and Trade

A new project to improve Nepal’s East-West Highway is set to strengthen regional connectivity, promote growth and trade, and improve road safety. An 87-kilometer section of the East-West Highway, also known as the Mahendra Highway, will be widened to four lanes and will be improved to include a center median, service lanes in populated areas, and a drainage system.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Nepal, Regional Cooperation, Road, SASEC, Trade, Transport

September 2018

SASEC Elevated Highway to Improve Connectivity and Trade in Sri Lanka

A toll highway to be built in central Colombo will ease traffic congestion, improve connectivity, and facilitate trade logistics in Sri Lanka. The Asian Development Bank has approved a $300 million loan to help in the construction of about 5.3 kilometers of the highway, under the SASEC Port Access Elevated Highway Project.

Read More

Tags: ADB, SASEC, Sri Lanka, Connectivity, Trade, Road, Transport

August 2018

Commentary: Uncorking the Logistic Competencies of India's Northeastern Regions

The author highlights how fast-paced infrastructure development could help unlock competencies of India’s northeast region. With the Government of India's focus on promoting the northeastern region as a key trade gateway, projects such as the 1,400 kilometer India-Myanmar-Thailand highway and the SASEC Road Connectivity project, promises to boost the country's trade and commerce, and enhance India’s logistics capabilities.

Read More

Tags: India, Myanmar, Thailand, SASEC, Road, Logistics

May 2018

Bangladesh Executive Committee of the National Economic Council Approves SASEC Road Project

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council of the Government of Bangladesh approved revisions to the project to upgrade the Joydevpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga Road into a four-lane highway. Revisions include extension of deadline and increase in funding. The Asian Development Bank will provide financing support through the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) road connectivity project.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, ADB, SASEC, Transport, Road, Trade, Regional Cooperation

April 2018

India Highway Authority Signs Agreement for International Highway Project

The National Highways Authority of India signed on 11 April 2018 an agreement to widen the Yagyi-Kalewa section of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway. Construction is also underway for the Imphal-Kangchup-Tamenglong road under the SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program. These projects will improve the flow of vehicular traffic and enhance trade, health services, and tourism in India, Myanmar, and Thailand.

Read More

Tags: India, Myanmar, Thailand, SASEC, Transport, Road

November 2017

ADB Holds Regional Cooperation Week; SASEC Team Recognized

ADB held a Regional Cooperation and Integration (RCI) Week to asses strategic RCI themes and initiatives in Asia and the Pacific and to define ADB implementation of its RCI Operational Plan. ADB also presented RCI Best Performers Awards, recognizing the SASEC Program for the SASEC Vision: Powering Asia in the 21st Century, and for leading the SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program Multitranche Financing Facility Project.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Connectivity, Regional Cooperation, Road, SASEC, Transport

October 2017

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Northern Bypass in Phuentsholing, Bhutan

A groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of the Northern Bypass construction in Phuentsholing, Bhutan, which includes the 2.7-kilometer bypass road and 120-meter bridge over Omchhu. The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank under the SASEC Program to improve Bhutan's regional connectivity, and open up access to better economic opportunities and social services.

Read More

Tags: Bhutan, Connectivity, Road, Bridge, Transport

October 2017

ADB to Help Upgrade the Dhaka-Northwest International Trade Corridor

The Asian Development Bank has approved $1.2 billion financing support for the second phase upgrade of the Dhaka-Northwest international trade corridor, the second busiest artery in Bangladesh. Upgrading this corridor will improve access to the Burimari Land Port, which links Bangladesh to Bhutan through India, potentially increasing trade.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, India, Road, Transport

October 2017

Bangladesh, India Finance Ministers Sign Third LoC, Note Good Relations

Mr. Abul Maal A. Muhith, Finance Minister, Bangladesh, and Mr. Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister, India, signed the Third Line of Credit (LoC) from India to Bangladesh worth $4.5 billion, to be used for implementation of projects in connectivity. Mr. Jaitley lauded the outstanding relations between the two neighbors after a meeting with Mr. Muhith.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, India, Connectivity, Energy, Rail, Shipping, Road, Ports

July 2017

SASEC Road Connectivity to Open Opportunities for MSMEs

India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval for a $253,406,409 project to be implemented by the state-run National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation. The project, part of the SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program, will upgrade and widen 65 kilometers of the Imphal-Moreh section of National Highway 39 in northeastern India.

Read More

Tags: India, Road, SASEC, Small and Medium Enterprises, Transport

June 2017

Electronic Cargo Tracking System to Improve India-Nepal Cargo Traffic and Security

An electronic tracking system will soon ease traffic-in-transit for cargo traveling by road and rail from Kolkata to four major Customs points of Nepal, including the Raxaul route. Mr. Sandeep Kumar, Customs Commissioner, India, and Mr. Rabi Shanker Sainju, Commerce Ministry Joint Secretary, Nepal, signed a memorandum of intent to pilot the tracking system for a trial period of at least 90 days in late 2017.

Read More

Tags: Electronic Cargo Tracking System, ADB, SASEC, Nepal, India, BBIN, Customs, Road, Rail, Transport

February 2017

Commentary: India Infrastructure: Connecting Bihar

The Ganges flows through the middle of Bihar, India, physically dividing it into north and south. Enhanced connectivity can improve lives and livelihoods, especially if the infrastructure is climate-sensitive. Ms. Saleha Waseem, Operations Communications Specialist at the Asian Development Bank’s South Asia Regional Department, shows how improving transport links would make a huge difference to millions of people.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Agriculture, Bangladesh, Connectivity, Development, Economic corridor, Regional Cooperation, India, Nepal, Road, Services, Transport

January 2017

India to Sign Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods

India is set to join the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR), or International Road Transport Convention in its bid to establish seamless trade connectivity with Southeast Asia and Eurasian countries. Through the TIR Convention, India could access Eurasia via the International North-South Transport Corridor. TIR would also give India an advantage in trade with fellow signatories of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Connectivity, Customs, Economic corridor, Harmonization, Motor Vehicles Agreement, Road, Roads, Trade Facilitation, Trade, Transport, BBIN

December 2016

SASEC Mini Dry Port Project to Help Ease Traffic in Phuentsholing, Bhutan

Two of three South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation project components are seeing progress in Bhutan. A planned mini dry port project aims to provide cargo and other commercial vehicles a route that avoids traffic jams in the border town of Phuentsholing. A 2.66-kilometer bypass will also be built to connect Bau Bazaar in Jaigon and the Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Bhutan, Transport, Customs, Road, SASEC, South Asia

December 2016

India-Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Motor Car Rally Highlights IMT Connectivity

An India-Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Motor Car Rally, beginning in New Delhi, India and culminating in Bangkok, Thailand, has highlighted potential benefits of intra-regional connectivity and integration, and sensitized stakeholders on the all-weather road that will make travel from New Delhi to Bangkok by road possible.

Read More

Tags: India, Myanmar, Thailand, IMT-MVA, Transport, Road

November 2016

Conference Highlights Deepening Economic Integration, Boosting Connectivity in South Asia

Nepal Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat urged conclusion of the SAARC Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment to deepen economic integration among South Asian countries, and emphasized the need to improve connectivity in the region at the inauguration of the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the South Asian Network of Economic Research.

Read More

Tags: SAARC, Transport, Rail, Road, Investment, Investments, Nepal

June 2016

ADB Earmarks $4.1 Billion for Bangladesh, Including $300 Million for SASEC Road Connectivity

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has earmarked $4.10 billion for Bangladesh for the 2016-2019 period, subject to project readiness. This includes $50 million for the proposed SASEC Road Connectivity Project-II and $200 million for the Chittagong-Cox's Bazar railway project. The ADB is also allotting $300 million for power generation and $194 million for rural infrastructure maintenance.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Road, Transport

June 2016

India to Begin Work on Bihar New Ganga Bridge Project

India is set to begin work on the Bihar New Ganga Bridge Project, which is expected to become the longest river bridge in India at 9.8 kilometers (km). The road bridge spanning the Ganges River will improve transport connectivity between north and south Bihar, India, and enhance the existing road corridors between India and Nepal. ADB is providing $500 million for the project and $900,000 in technical assistance to improve bridge operation and management.

Read More

Tags: India, Nepal, Transport, Road, Bridge

June 2016

Bangladesh Set to Upgrade 1,752 Kilometers of Roads

Bangladesh has adopted a multi-dimensional plan to upgrade 1,752 kilometers of highways to four lanes. The Government of Bangladesh is already implementing the 69-kilometer Joydebpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga four-lane project under the SASEC Road Connectivity Project.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Road, Transport

June 2016

Bangladesh Seeks to Upgrade Jessore-Benapole Highway

The Government of Bangladesh has completed its feasibility study and detailed design for a planned 38-km Jessore-Benapole highway upgrade. It is set to inject more than $42 million to fund the Indo-Bangladesh transport corridor improvement to facilitate trade and connectivity. The Jessore-Benapole highway is central to several regional connectivity initiatives, including the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement and SAARC highway corridors.

Read More

Tags: Bangladesh, Road, Transport

July 2015

Asian Highway Section to be Operational in 2016

The Asian Highway -- and part of the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway -- will connect Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand, via Mandalay and Yangon in Myanmar. The road will be linked further to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. The IMT Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) will help seamless movement of cargo and passenger across borders, including private vehicles.

Read More

Tags: IMT-MVA, Road, Transport

March 2012

Dhaka-Chittagong Expressway Public-Private Partnership Design Project

Road transport is the primary mode of land transportation in Bangladesh responsible for 70% of passengers and 60% of freight.

Read More

Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Public-Private Partnership, Road, Transport