News List

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

Year:
May 2017

ADB Blog: 6 Ways Asian Economic Cooperation is Changing the Region

Economic transformations have accelerated regional cooperation and integration in Asia. In this ADB blog post, Mr. Cuong Minh Nguyen, Principal Regional Integration Specialist, Southeast Asia Department, ADB, discusses six paradigm shifts that are reshaping economic prospects in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and other parts of the region. It also highlights the need for governments to work together to build a socially inclusive, environmentally friendly, and economically sustainable region.

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Tags: ASEAN, SAARC, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Energy, Regional Cooperation

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

Connectivity Needed for BIMSTEC to Succeed

The BIMSTEC region hosts 21% of the world’s population and holds great potential for trade. Experts at the Conference on Facilitating Connectivity in Bay of Bengal Region held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, stressed the importance of regional connectivity for BIMSTEC to succeed and to facilitate economic growth among BIMSTEC member countries.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, ASEAN, SAARC, Regional Cooperation, Cooperation, Bangladesh

March 2017

Three Common Standards for SAARC Finalized

Three common standards—Biscuits Specification, Refined Sugar Specification, and Code of Hygienic Practice for Dairy Industry—for the SAARC region were approved at the South Asian Regional Standards Organization's (SARSO) Fifth Governing Body Meeting. These common standards will help reduce SAARC intra-regional trade costs. According to SARSO Director General, Dr. Syed Humayun Kabir, member countries' national standardization bodies will be in charge of their implementation.

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Tags: SAARC, SARSO, Bangladesh, Standards Harmonization

December 2016

Commentary: Bhutan and Nepal: Two "Least Developed Nations" that Could Change Face of Asia

Least Developed Countries (LDCs) comprise around 880 million people yet account for less than 2% of the world gross domestic product. South Asian countries can accelerate economic development and graduate from the LDC category by working with each other. The economic future of their people could change radically through collaboration between the countries and lift millions of people out of poverty.

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Tags: Bhutan, Nepal, BBIN, Connectivity, Energy, SAARC, Sri Lanka, Trade, UNCTAD

December 2016

India Ministry of Power Issues Guidelines on Cross-Border Trade of Electricity

India's Ministry of Power has issued Guidelines on Cross-Border Trade of Electricity, with the aim of facilitating cross-border trade of electricity between India and its neighboring countries; promoting transparency, consistency and predictability in regulatory approaches across jurisdictions and minimizing perceptions of regulatory risk; and developing reliable grid operation and transmission of electricity across borders.

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Tags: India, Energy, Hydropower, SAARC, 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

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.

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

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

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

SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation Endorsed by Nepal Parliament

The Parliament of Nepal has endorsed the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation, enabling the 8 SAARC member countries to conduct cross-border electricity trade. Under the Agreement, SAARC member states have agreed to provide non-discriminatory access to the regional transmission grids.

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Tags: Energy, Nepal, SAARC

August 2016

Nepal Energy Ministry Advances Preparation for Nepal-Bangladesh Energy Cooperation

Preparations to sign a power trade agreement between the Governments of Nepal and Bangladesh are underway, with the Energy Ministry of Nepal finalizing a draft memorandum of understanding on Nepal-Bangladesh energy cooperation. The draft outlines protocols for conducting energy trade between the two countries, in line with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Nepal, Energy, SAARC

August 2016

Commentary: Is Regional Product Standard at All Feasible?

Absence of a harmonized system of standards among South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) members is one reason for the increase of technical barriers to trade, giving rise to non-tariff barriers that hamper SAARC intra-regional trade. A commentary by Mr. Wasi Ahmed, a former senior trade diplomat, discusses the growing recognition of importance of harmonized regional standards within SAARC.

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Tags: SAARC, Trade, Regional Cooperation, Standards Harmonization, Bangladesh, India

July 2016

India Improving Relations with SAARC States

The Indian Prime Minister is prioritizing stronger relations with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries. Deputy High Commissioner of India JP Singh said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking steps to improve trade relations with SAARC member states, citing the liberalization of India’s visa regime for the business community.

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Tags: India, SAARC, Trade, Business, Visa

July 2016

Three Member Countries Designate Areas for SAARC Industrial Parks

Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), have stepped up their support for the proposed SAARC Industrial Parks by allocating lands for the planned initiative. Designated areas include Chittagong, Bangladesh; Gujarat, India; and Faisalabad City, Pakistan.

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Tags: SAARC, Trade, Private Sector, Bangladesh, India

June 2016

India Commerce Minister Calls on Bureau to Internationalize Standards

India Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, emphasized the need for the Bureau of Indian Standards to internationalize its standards to promote "zero defect" and global standards for made in India products. She called for an end to days of differential standards, and urged the Bureau to increase coordination with concerned ministries to streamline standards for locally made and imported items. 

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Tags: India, Trade Facilitation, Technical Barriers to Trade, SAARC

June 2016

Bhutan Standards Bureau Obtains Accreditation to Certify 3 Goods for Export

The Bhutan Standards Bureau received accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies, India to certify three products, including grade 43 ordinary Portland cement, bitumen emulsion, and thermomechanically treated reinforcement bars, for export. This reduces technical barriers to trade, facilitating free movement for these three types of products across Bhutanese borders.

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Tags: Bhutan, Standards Harmonization, SAARC, Trade Facilitation

June 2016

Nepal PM Stresses Importance of South Asia Regional Cooperation

Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. KP Sharma Oli emphasized the importance of enhancing regional cooperation in South Asia, at the June 2016 SAARC Cabinet Secretaries Meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal, where member states gathered to discuss good governance and how to resolve governance issues in the region.

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Tags: Nepal, SAARC, Governance, Regional Cooperation

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

May 2016

SARSO Conducts Workshop on Harmonizing Standards in Bhutan

A workshop on harmonizing standards in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region was held by the South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) in Bhutan. Mr. Tashi Wangchuk, Deputy Director, SARSO, emphasized the importance of Bhutan Standards Bureau's technical committees participating in SARSO's Sectoral Technical Committees.

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Tags: SARSO, Bhutan, Standards Harmonization, Trade Facilitation, SAARC

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.

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

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

March 2016

SAARC Member Countries Urged to Work Together to Achieve Goal of SAEU

India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called for further consolidation of the South Asian Free Trade Area and the South Asian Trade in Services Agreement to achieve the goal of a South Asian Economic Union, in her address at the 37th SAARC Council of Ministers' Meeting. She said SAARC member countries must work together to harness their economic complementarities and create an environment conducive to rapid growth.

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Tags: SAARC, SAFTA, SAEU, South Asian Economic Union, India, Trade Facilitation

March 2016

India Pursues SAARC-wide Initiatives to Promote Goal of Greater Connectivity and Integration

India Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar discussed initiatives being pursued by India in line with its 'neighborhood first' policy, in his address at the 42nd Standing Committee Meeting of SAARC. He also emphasized the need to implement the South Asia Economic Union, and sign the SAARC Motor Vehicles Agreement and SAARC Railways Agreement.

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Tags: India, South Asian Economic Union, SAARC, Transport, Energy

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

February 2016

SAARC Energy Regulators to Harmonize Regulations to Boost Electricity Trade

The Second Meeting of the SAARC Energy Regulators agreed to address regulatory barriers through a Regional Regulatory Body, which will work toward harmonizing legal, policy, and regulatory frameworks to promote wider availability of electricity and boost cross-border trade in the region.

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Tags: SAARC, Energy, Trade, Sri Lanka

January 2016

Proposed SAARC Meeting to Discuss Regional Transport Agreements

A proposed meeting of SAARC Transport Ministers in Kathmandu, Nepal aims to discuss the SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement and SAARC Regional Railway Agreement, ahead of the 19th SAARC Summit to be held in the latter part of 2016 in Pakistan. The proposed regional transit agreements aim to promote transport connectivity in the region, and to enhance regional economic cooperation and integration.

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Tags: SAARC, Transport, Trade Facilitation, BBIN, Nepal

January 2016

SARSO Agrees Standards on 6 Products

A set of regionally agreed standards for 6 products, including sugar and cotton, in South Asia has been finalized by the South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO), in response to the need to ease regional trade by harmonizing standards on key goods. SARSO aims to complete issuing formal notifications on these 6 products by March, to will allow goods marked 'compliant' to SARSO's standard and testing regulations to be exported to any SAARC county without need for laboratory testing.

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Tags: Standards Harmonization, Trade Facilitation, SAARC, SARSO, 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

October 2015

Conference in Dhaka Stresses Importance of SAARC Energy Cooperation

A 2-day international conference on energy organized by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies emphasized the need for regional and subregional cooperation to fulfill growing energy needs in South Asia and promote energy security. Former Power Secretary of India, Mr. RV Shahi, underscored how recent efforts in energy cooperation have already started yielding results in the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal subregion.

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Tags: Energy, SAARC, BBIN

September 2015

Taskforces to Promote SAARC Connectivity and Trade

Taskforces in energy cooperation, trade facilitation, trade infrastructure, foreign direct investment, and people-to-people contact will be formed to promote connectivity and trade in the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region. The taskforces will examine key areas for regional cooperation in greater depth.

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Tags: SAARC, Private Sector, Regional Cooperation

September 2015

ADB Study Quantifies How Cross-Border Power Trading can Benefit South Asia

An ADB study has measured the economic and reliability benefits of cross-border electricity trading for countries in South Asia. Findings reveal that power trading in South Asia can not only serve the region's growing demand for energy but also save the region billions of dollars. Recommendations include a market-driven process for cross-border power trading implemented under a regulatory framework across the region.

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Tags: Energy, SAARC, Regional Cooperation

September 2015

Commentary: Regional Cooperation and Integration through SAEU?

ADB supports efforts of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to boost regional cooperation and integration through the idea of a South Asian Economic Union (SAEU). Read an analysis on the SAEU.

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Tags: SAEU, SAARC, Regional Integration

September 2015

SAARC Expresses Need for Regional Standard and Certification System

Representatives from South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries expressed the need for a regional standard and certification system in Thimphu, Bhutan to create opportunities for farmers and exploit market potential in the region. Bhutan will soon export organically grown products to neighboring SAARC countries.

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Tags: Bhutan, Regional Standard, SAARC

August 2015

7th SAARC Finance Ministers Meeting in Kathmandu

Finance Ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Program met in Kathmandu, Nepal on 20 August 2015 to discuss closer economic and financial cooperation in the region, emphasizing faster trade liberalization and investment in connectivity. This would help strengthen unification in the region, promote inter-country investment, and remove non-tariff barriers among member countries.

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Tags: Economic cooperation, Nepal, SAARC

July 2015

SAARC Cross-border Infrastructure Boost from India's Capital Contribution to the SDF

The Government of India has cleared utilization of India's capital contribution to the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) for its Infrastructure and Economic Windows, to address infrastructure bottlenecks and promote growth in the SAARC region. This approval will help boost projects that will increase intra-SAARC trade and maximize the region's growth potential.

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Tags: SAARC, Trade, Transport

June 2015

SAARC-ADB Meeting on SAARC Stat Web Portal

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized a Meeting on the SAARC Statistical Organization (SAARC Stat) Web Portal in Kathmandu, Nepal on 29-30 June 2015 which facilitated a discussion between officials from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and former consultants of the SAARC Stat Web Portal concerning its timely and effective management. The SAARC Stat Web Portal aims to provide up-to-date and accurate statistical data and indica

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Tags: SAARC, Economy, Trade

June 2015

$4.4 Billion Pledged to Nepal for Reconstruction

Nepal's SAARC neighbors, friendly countries and development partners have pledged a total of $4.4 billion in the International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction to help the country in its rebuilding and reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the recent devastating earthquake. India pledged aid amounting to $1 billion. The Asian Development Bank also announced its readiness to provide up to $400 million in further assistance, bringing its total pledge to $600 million.

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Tags: Nepal, Disaster Risk Management, SAARC

June 2015

BBIN MVA Says “Together We Can”

Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay remarked on the strong commitment shown by the transport ministers of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal in facilitating transport and increasing regional integration between the four countries, during a meeting held on the sidelines of the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Transport Ministers Meeting on Regional Road Connectivity in Thimphu, Bhutan. The Prime Minister said the signed Motor Vehicles Agreement sends a strong message to SAARC and addresse

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Tags: BBIN, Transport, SAARC

May 2015

BBIN to sign Motor Vehicles Agreement on 15 June

In a move toward subregional cooperation, transport ministers of four South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal – will meet in Thimphu, Bhutan on 15 June 2015 to sign the Motor Vehicles Agreement. This will allow seamless movement of vehicles through their borders, similar to European Union countries.

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Tags: BBIN, Transport, SAARC

April 2015

South Asia Economic Union Publication Announced at ADB

A Seminar on South Asia Economic Union was conducted at the Asian Development Bank Headquarters on 9 April 2015. This South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) study was adopted at the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal in November 2014 and identified the need for closer regional economic integration among SAARC member countries.

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Tags: SAARC, SAEU, Regional Integration

March 2015

Building Bonds within SAARC through the SASEC Program

An article published by the South Asia Monitor traces the inclusion of subregional cooperation within the SAARC Charter, and also reviews how SASEC is improving cross-border connectivity among its member countries and strengthening regional economic cooperation.

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Tags: SAARC, BBIN-GQ, India, Economic cooperation

March 2015

Nepal International Trade Fair Highlights 19 Export Products

The fourth Nepal International Trade Fair, held 12-16 March 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal, highlighted Nepal's 19 priority export products identified by the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy. Business enterprises from other SAARC countries—Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Pakistan—also joined. A total of 340 stalls exhibited different goods for 5 days, drawing 125,000 visitors, and recorded sales worth over $1.9 million.

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Tags: Nepal, Trade, SAARC, Hydropower

March 2015

SAARC to Finalize Standards Harmonization

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries are finalizing mutually acceptable standards in five sectors: food and agricultural products, jute, textile and leather, building materials, chemicals and chemical products, and electrical and electronic products. These sectors have significant trade interest for member countries.

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Tags: SAARC, Trade Facilitation, Standards Harmonization

March 2015

Indian Energy Exchange Plans to Trade with Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal

New Delhi has facilitated an integrated power grid for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states to begin cross-border trading on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX). The IEX, an automated power-trading exchange, plans to trade 120MW with Bhutan, and 50MW each with Bangladesh and Nepal. This four-nation power trading will hasten the implementation of the SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation signed in Kathmandu last year.

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Tags: India, Energy, SAARC

March 2015

India Announces Foreign Aid to Neighbors

India announced more grant aid to developing countries during the unveiling of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's full year budget for 2015-2016 on 28 February 2015. 84% of the total aid amount has been allocated to India’s fellow members in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The majority of this grant financing will go toward various development assistance projects already being implemented.

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Tags: India, Grants, SAARC

February 2015

New Lease to Subregional Cooperation in South Asia

Mr. Saurabh Kaushik, research intern for the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, examines the trend toward subregional cooperation in South Asia. He traces the reasons for lack of significant outcomes of subregional groupings in the region, and discusses the “silver linings” on the horizon, including projects being supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the SASEC program.

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Tags: SAARC, BIMSTEC, IBM-SRC, Trade

December 2014

Advisory Committee Evaluates SAARC Summit

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nepal formed an advisory committee on 27 March 2014 to give suggestions in preparation for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit and play a proactive role in the SAARC process, particularly in implementing decisions related to regional integration. On 9 December 2014, the committee evaluated and received feedback on the SAARC Summit, concluding unanimously that the 18th SAARC Summit was a success.

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Tags: Nepal, SAARC, Regional Cooperation

December 2014

SAARC's 30th Charter Day Celebrated

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) marked its 30th Charter Day at the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu, Nepal on 8 December 2014. SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa hosted a reception attended by Nepali Vice President Paramananda Jha as chief guest along with dignitaries, high-ranking government officials, and representatives of civil society, business community, and media.

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Tags: SAARC, Regional Cooperation, Nepal

November 2014

SAARC Leaders Adopt 36-Point Kathmandu Declaration

The 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit concluded on 27 November 2014, adopting the 36-point Kathmandu Declaration, which emphasized enhanced infrastructure connectivity, creation of free trade, implementation of trade facilitation measures, and SAARC project implementation, among others. The Summit launched regional and sub-regional development projects in the agreed areas of cooperation and connectivity.

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Tags: SAARC, Energy, Regional Cooperation

November 2014

SAARC Development Bank Proposed during 18th SAARC Summit

Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) has recommended the establishment of a South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Development Bank that would prioritize financing of regional infrastructure projects among SAARC member nations.

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Tags: SAARC, Infrastructure, SAFTA

November 2014

Toward a South Asian Economic Union for the Region's Development

Representatives of the eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation member countries, including ministers and strategic experts, gathered on 5-7 November 2014 for the 7th South Asia Economic Summit to discuss an economic roadmap for greater integration of the South Asia region.

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Tags: South Asian Economic Union, SAARC, Economy

October 2014

SAARC Member Countries Officially Invited to 18th SAARC Summit

Nepal Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey paid official state visits to Heads of State and member country governments of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) – comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka – to personally submit Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala's invitation letters for the 18th SAARC Summit.

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Tags: SAARC, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration

September 2014

Regional Energy Trade Workshop Held at ADB

The Asian Development Bank held a Regional Energy Trade Workshop at its headquarters in Manila, Philippines on September 8-9, 2014. Mr. Bindu Lohani, ADB Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, delivered the welcoming remarks.

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Tags: Energy, ADB, SAARC, Regional Cooperation

September 2014

Single Permit System Proposed for SAARC Road Transport

A single permit system facilitating easy movement of goods and people through road transport within the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region may soon be a possibility, as SAARC member states consider this proposal during a meeting of SAARC officials in Rajasthan, India.

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Tags: Transport, SAARC, Connectivity

August 2014

Eighth Meeting of SAARC Energy Working Group

The Eighth Meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Energy Working Group was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 25-26 August 2014 to discuss regional energy cooperation in South Asia. The meeting requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide technical assistance in the conduct of a regional transmission master plan study, including a detailed scenario on regional power transmission interconnections.

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Tags: SAARC, Energy, Regional Cooperation

July 2014

July 2014

Policies to Enhance Trade Facilitation in South Asia and Southeast Asia

This Asian Development Bank Institute publication identifies the state of play of trade facilitation and provides an overview of intra- and inter-regional trade in South and Southeast Asia. Key challenges and bottlenecks to effective trade facilitation range from the lack of expert human resources, high border transaction costs, and the lack of effective dialogue on bilateral enhancement of trade facilitation.

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, GMS, SAARC

July 2014

SAARC Workshop on Cross-Border Power Trade

Key energy sector policy makers, regulators and other stakeholders from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries gathered on 26-27 June 2014, in Kathmandu, Nepal for the SAARC Energy Centre (SEC) Workshop on Harmonizing Regulations and Policies for Cross Border Power Trade, Risk Sharing and Financial Settlement Issues.

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Tags: Energy, SAARC, Regional Cooperation

May 2014

$762 Million for Road and ‘Last-Mile’ Connectivity in Northeastern India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a multitranche financing facility of $500 million for the SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program (SRCIP) in March 2014, which aims to increase domestic and regional trade through North Bengal and Northeastern Region (NB-NER) of India. The overall investment program will rehabilitate and upgrade about 500 kilometers (km) of regional connectivity roads, including both national highways and state roads.

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Tags: Transport, India, SAARC

February 2014

SAARC Development Fund Brainstorming Workshop for Evolving Strategic Plan

The South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Development Fund met on 12-14 February 2014 in New Delhi, India to brainstorm on its evolving strategic plan. It reviewed the purpose, methodology, and sustainability of social window activities; explored fund-raising opportunities and loan instruments; and prioritized projects for funding.

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Tags: SAARC, Regional Cooperation, Connectivity

June 2012

SAARC Statistical Workshop

SAARC Secretariat to conduct a study for the development of a web-based user-protected interface and the institution of a designated Statistics Cell.

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Tags: Bhutan, Economic cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, SAARC

June 2012

SAARC and ADB Workshop

A SAARC-ADB workshop held at the SAARC Secretariat Kathmandu on 21-22 June finalized the drafts of three studies.

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Tags: ADB, Economic cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, Nepal, SAARC, Services, Trade

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

May 2012

SAARC Finance Ministers Meet in Manila

SAARC Finance Ministers met at an informal meeting in Manila on 3 May 2012 on the sidelines of the 45th ADB Annual Meeting.

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Tags: Economic cooperation, Regional Cooperation, ADB, Regional Integration, SAARC, South Asia, Trade