News List

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

Year:
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

May 2018

Bangladesh Approves Installation of Substation for Importing 500 MW from Tripura, India

Bangladesh’s Executive Committee of the National Economic Council has approved a project to install a high-voltage direct-current back-to-back substation at Comilla in Bangladesh for importing 500 megawatts of electricity from Tripura, India.

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Energy, India, SASEC, Trade, Rail, Transport

May 2018

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

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

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

May 2018

Case Study: Removing Roadblocks to Trade

This case study reviews how the Subregional Transport Facilitation Project removed roadblocks to Nepal's trade. The project, approved in 4 November 2004 and completed in 21 September 2010, made flow of import and export goods to Nepal easier, faster, and smoother. Learn how the project lowered the cost of capital for cargo in Nepal by 12% annually, making the country better connected to the subregional economy.

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Tags: Transport, SASEC, ADB, Nepal, Customs

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.

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

April 2018

Railway Transit for Cargo Bound for Biratnagar, Nepal via Jogbani, India

The Government of India launched the test phase for railway movement of goods entering Nepal via the Biratnagar check post. The Container Corporation of India began carrying freight bound for Jogbani in Bihar, the nearest rail station to Biratnagar, on 25 April 2018. This development follows implementation of the electronic cargo tracking system.

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Tags: Rail, India, Nepal, Electronic Cargo Tracking System, SASEC

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.

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

March 2018

Watch: Foster Cooperation between SAARC and SASEC -SAARC SG

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Secretary General Amjad Hussain Sial met with ADB President Takehiko Nakao to discuss ways to increase cooperation between SAARC and ADB. Mr. Sial noted the prospects for better cooperation between SAARC and SASEC.

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, SAARC, ADB, SASEC, South Asia

February 2018

Governments of Nepal and India Prepare to Launch the ECTS Pilot Program

The Governments of Nepal and India are preparing to launch the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) as soon as possible. It received the green light from Nepal's Council of Ministers in January 2018. The planned pilot will run for three months, covering cargo entering Nepal by rail in Birgunj and by road in Biratnagar and Bhairawa. ADB is supporting the piloting of the project through the SASEC Program.

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Tags: Nepal, ADB, SASEC, India, Transit Facilitation, Electronic Cargo Tracking System

January 2018

Greetings from SASEC

The SASEC Secretariat wishes peace, prosperity, and joy to all this 2018.

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Tags: SASEC

December 2017

SASEC Investment Grows to $10.74 billion

The SASEC Program ended 2017 on a high note, having launched the SASEC Vision, welcomed Myanmar as a full member of SASEC, invested almost $1 billion in three new projects during the year, and seen total program investment rise to $10.74 billion for 49 loan/grant projects. The SASEC Vision paved the way in 2017 for strengthened partnership and economic cooperation between the countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia, by leveraging opportunities and synergies found in natural resources.

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Tags: SASEC, Myanmar, Trade Facilitation, Energy, Economic Corridor Development

December 2017

SASEC Project to Increase Capacity of Nepal Transmission Lines

An ADB-funded project is upgrading power lines and substations in 49 locations in Nepal to enhance the country’s electricity distribution system. The $191 million SASEC Power System Expansion Project aims to increase the load-bearing capacity of transmission lines in Nepal.

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Tags: ADB, SASEC, Energy, Nepal

November 2017

Commentary: Not Yet Custom-Made

Trading across borders, a key component of a country's ease of doing business, can be quantified through a time release study (TRS). This commentary discusses the outcomes of a TRS conducted at the Jawaharlal Nehru Custom House (JNCH), which identified practices that will allow India to achieve the average release time of 72 hours, and proposed recommendations that the Customs department can lead going forward.

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Tags: SASEC

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.

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

November 2017

Speech: Accelerating RCI in Asia and the Pacific for Economic Growth, Shared Prosperity, and Sustainability

In his keynote address at the ADB Regional Cooperation and Integration Week, ADB President Takehiko Nakao stated that regional cooperation is critical to securing Asia’s economic future. He noted ADB’s continued commitment to support regional cooperation as a means to reduce inequality and overcome infrastructure gaps, and cited specific SASEC projects as effective examples. The ADB Regional Cooperation and Integration Week was held on 27-29 November 2017, in Manila, Philippines.

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Tags: ADB, ASEAN, Economic Corridor Development, Energy, Myanmar, Regional Cooperation, SASEC, Transport, World Bank, WTO

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

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.

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Tags: SASEC, ICT

August 2017

Bangladesh to Improve Four Land Ports Crucial to Trade with India

The Government of Bangladesh will develop four land ports as part of its initiatives to increase trade and commerce with India. Around $85.2 million was approved by Bangladesh's Executive National Economic Council to improve the Sheola, Bhomra, and Ramgarh land ports. Another project will be undertaken to modernize security at Benapole land port.

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Ports, SASEC, Trade

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.

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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.

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

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

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Vision: Powering Asia in the 21st Century

SASEC Powering Asia in the 21st Century defines the SASEC Vision, setting the SASEC partnership on a path to help transform the subregion into Asia's powerhouse in the 21st century. The Vision steps up cooperation among SASEC member countries, guiding them how to transform transport corridors into industrial and economic corridors, and promoting sustainable economic growth by generating synergies among SASEC member countries.

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Tags: SASEC, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Energy

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 www.sasec.asia. 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

February 2017

Myanmar Joins SASEC

The SASEC Secretariat is happy to announce that the Government of Myanmar has joined the SASEC partnership as a full member on 21 February 2017.

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Tags: Myanmar, SASEC

January 2017

Greetings from SASEC

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program wishes everyone peace, prosperity, and good health.

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Tags: SASEC

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.

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

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.

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

December 2016

ADB Strategic Climate Fund Boosts the Nepal SASEC Power System Expansion Project Fund

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an additional $20 million for the SASEC Power System Expansion Project in Nepal, to be provided by the ADB Strategic Climate Fund. This additional financing will support installation of utility-scale solar photovoltaic systems by 2018. The Government of Nepal is also providing complementary funding of $24.5 million.

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Tags: Energy, Nepal, Trade, Hydropower, ADB, SASEC, Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, Solar Energy, India

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.

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

December 2016

SASEC Roads Improvement Project to Boost Nepal's Transport Connectivity and Export Competitiveness

The Asian Development Bank has approved a loan for $187 million to Nepal for the SASEC Roads Improvement Project, which will upgrade transport connectivity and bring transformational gains by making social services more accessible, opening up previously untapped economic opportunities, and supporting trade between Nepal and India.

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Tags: SASEC, Transport, Nepal, Connectivity, ADB, Services, Trade

November 2016

Sri Lanka Ports Authority, ADB Engage Firm to Develop Master Plan

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the Asian Development Bank has engaged the Maritime and Transport Business Solution company to develop a National Ports Master Plan to further strengthen Sri Lanka's port sector.

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Tags: ADB, Sri Lanka, SASEC, Ports

September 2016

ADB to Fund India’s First Coastal Industrial Corridor

ADB has approved a multitranche financing facility and grant of $500 million for the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor Development Program to develop India’s first coastal industrial corridor, with the Government of India also contributing $215 million in funding. The Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor is a key section of India’s planned East Coast Economic Corridor. 

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Tags: ADB, Economic corridor, Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor, India, SASEC, SASEC Operational Plan

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

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

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

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

Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka Look Into Setting up Trade Portals

Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka have expressed interest in adopting best practices of the Indian Trade Portal in setting up their own trade portals to promote international trade. Trade portals to be set up by Bhutan and Nepal will also be useful for cargo being routed through India, and will contribute to the common documentation system needed to implement the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement.

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Tags: Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Trade Portal, Trade Facilitation, SASEC, Customs, Trade

May 2016

Proposed SASEC Road Project to Improve Bangladesh Transport Network

A proposed SASEC road upgrade project in Bangladesh will improve the country’s transport system and enhance trade and investment in the region, according to Mr. Obaidul Quader of the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges

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Tags: SASEC, Transport, Bangladesh

April 2016

SASEC Program Upgrades Mobile App

Version 2.0 of the SASEC Program Mobile App is now available for download. With improved user interface and layout, updated offline data, faster caching, and smaller app size, the updated SASEC Program Mobile App is lighter, quicker, and more user friendly.

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Tags: Knowledge Product, SASEC, Trade Facilitation, Energy, Transport

December 2015

Greetings from SASEC

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program wishes everyone a happy and peaceful new year.

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Tags: SASEC

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.

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

July 2014

WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility Support LDCs and Developing Countries

A Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility was launched by the WTO on 22 July 2014, further ensuring that least developed countries and developing countries will receive necessary assistance in implementing the trade facilitation agreement.

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Tags: WTO, Trade Facilitation, Poverty Reduction, ADB, SASEC, Trade Facilitation Agreement, LDC, WCO, UNESCAP

June 2014

SASEC Energy Projects in Nepal Increase Clean Energy Use

Nepal’s Alternative Energy Promotion Centre has installed its first wind-solar hybrid system in Dhaubadi village of Nawalparasi district, with Asian Development Bank support. The clean energy approach of this successful pilot project, already providing energy services to 46 rural households, can be replicated under a proposed SASEC power system expansion project.

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Tags: Energy, Nepal, Poverty Reduction, ADB, SASEC

May 2014

Launch of $1.5 Million Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction Technical Assistance for Trade Facilitation in Nepal

Mr. Madhu Kumar Marasini, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Finance represented the Government of Nepal at the official launch of activities under a $1.5 million technical assistance project financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, on 21 May 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The capacity development technical assistance will support trade facilitation initiatives being carried out under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Trade Facilitation Program.

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Nepal, SASEC, ADB, WCO, Poverty Reduction, Customs

November 2012

ADB Assisting South Asia to Reduce Trade Barriers

ADB is providing $48 million to help goods move more smoothly in and out of Bangladesh Bhutan and Nepal.

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Customs, Nepal, SASEC, South Asia, Trade, Trade Facilitation

November 2012

SASEC Holds National Workshop on Revised Kyoto Convention

ADB's South Asia Regional Cooperation Divison and the World Customs Organization organized a workshop held in Thimpu Bhutan from 26-28 November to help prepare Bhutans accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention.

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Tags: Bhutan, Customs, Environment, SASEC, South Asia, Sustainability, Trade, Trade Facilitation

November 2012

SASEC Energy Officials Endorse Feasibility Studies for Transmission Investments

The SASEC energy working group agreed to conduct feasibility studies for three new priority large-scale cross-border transmission projects worth over $3 billion at a meeting on 9 November 2012 in Thimphu Bhutan.

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Tags: Bhutan, Energy, Investment, SASEC, South Asia

November 2012

SASEC Trade Facilitation and Transport Working Group Reviews $4 Billion Portfolio

Trade facilitation and transport officials of SASEC countries reviewed planned priority sub-regional projects totaling over $4 billion over the next three years.

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Tags: Bhutan, SASEC, Trade Facilitation, Transport

October 2012

Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2012

ADB in cooperation with UNESCAP organized the Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF) held on 30-31 October 2012.

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Tags: ADB, Asia-Pacific, Development, Regional Cooperation, SASEC, South Asia, Sri Lanka, Trade Facilitation, UNESCAP

October 2012

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Transmission Utility Forum

Many countries in the South Asia region face the challenges of energy shortages as they gear up for higher economic growth.

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Tags: Energy, Regional Cooperation, SASEC, South Asia, Sri Lanka

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.

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

March 2012

SASEC Trade Facilitation and Transport Working Group Meeting in Kolkata

Following the SASEC Trade Facilitation and Transport Working Group (TFTW) Meeting in Bangkok in October 2011 the TFTWG met again in Kolkata on 5 March 2012 and agreed on a list of investment and technical assistance projects.

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Tags: India, Investment, SASEC, Thailand, Trade Facilitation, Transport