The Connectivity Agenda
This article appeared in the special issue of My Republica published on the occasion of the 18th SAARC Summit. Mr. Ronald Antonio Q. Butiong, Unit head of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), traces the blueprints of SASEC projects to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Regional Multimodal Transport Study (2006) and SAARC Regional Energy Trade Study (2010); two studies supported by ADB and endorsed by SAARC member states. Highlighting the SASEC focus to promote economic cooperation in the subregion by developing cross-border connectivity and facilitating intra-regional trade in South Asia through its priority sectors—energy, transport, and trade facilitation—Mr. Butiong explains how ADB is providing assistance to sections of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal along SAARC corridors through SASEC. Featuring a brief discussion of key SASEC projects and technical assistance (since 2001, 33 projects implemented, worth over US$6 billion) alongside institution and capacity-building support, the article shows how the SASEC connectivity agenda is part of achieving SAARC development objectives.
Author: Ronald Antonio Q. Butiong
Tags: SAARC, Energy, Transport, Trade Facilitation