Publications List

Comprehensive listing of books, reports, and research on regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in South Asia and relevant global RCI publications, including publications on transport, trade facilitation, energy, and economic corridors in the SASEC region.

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Trade and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Trade and services are instrumental in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. While openness to trade improves economic growth prospects, sound trade policy and efforts to reduce the costs of trade are necessary to bridge the link between trade growth and poverty reduction. For low income countries, there is still great scope to leverage trade for development, and pursue better access to a products and services to improve welfare, which can significantly contribute to economic development. In keeping with the post-2015 development agenda, this paper recommends sustained efforts by governments to reduce trade costs, support policy reforms to improve services trade, and focus on trade cost reduction and services trade facilitation.

Author: Bernard Hoekman

Year: 2017

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Services, Sustainable Development, Poverty Reduction, ADB

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South Asia Economic Focus, Fall 2018: Budget Crunch

Amid a turbulent international environment, South Asia is expected to remain the fastest-growing region in the world. Growth in Bangladesh will be driven by consumption and public investment. In Bhutan, growth is expected to accelerate with the commissioning of two major hydropower projects. Growth in India firms up prompted by the adoption of the Goods and Services Tax and the recapitalization of banks. Maldives is projected to grow strongly based on dynamism in construction and tourism. Economic activity in Nepal is set to grow over the medium term while Sri Lanka’s economic growth will recover following 2017’s weather disruptions. The report highlights how growth performance is anchored on domestic consumption rather than private investment or exports.

Author: World Bank

Year: 2018

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Boating Towards Inclusivity: Facilitating Short Haul Cross-border Trade between Dhubri (Assam, India) and Chilmari (Kurigram, Bangladesh) through Waterways

India and Bangladesh use inland waterways to trade goods, mainly through three routes. The most active route is a portion of Protocol Route 1 between Kolkata, India, and Narayanganj, Bangladesh. This paper by Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International explores how cross-border trade may be expanded along the stretch between Dhubri, India, and Chilmari, Bangladesh. Opening the route to small mechanized boats would offer livelihood opportunities to boat pilots, boat builders, vendors, small traders. Farmers will also have access to new markets across the border. The study highlights the need for an inclusive developmental approach that encourages cooperation in trade and connectivity and benefits marginalized communities.

Author: Saurabh Kumar, Susan Mathew, and Veena Vidyadharan

Year: 2018

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A Glass Half Full: The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia

This report takes an in-depth look at trade in South Asia and examines barriers that have held back trade in the subregion. It examines tariffs and para-tariffs, real and perceived non-tariff barriers, connectivity costs, and the broader trust deficit and outlines concrete steps for tapping trade potential through deeper integration. It offers policy recommendations that could help push key areas of trade that would be beneficial to all countries in the subregion.

Author: Sanjay Kathuria

Year: 2018

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Trade Profiles 2018

This report presents key indicators on trade in goods and services, highlighting the major exports and imports for each economy as well as their main trading partners. It gives a snapshot of the importance of trade in the economy and gives information on total trade flows. The report includes trade profiles for 197 economies, including Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, and Nepal, and covers data on trade per capita, world ranking in exports and imports, and trade in commercial services. It also covers data on patent, trademark, and industrial design applications for each country. India ranks 8th in exports of commercial services, while Bangladesh ranks 49th in imports of merchandise. Sri Lanka ranks 69th in exports of commercial services.

Author: World Trade Organization

Year: 2018

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Road Map for the National Single Window in Maldives

This publication outlines key steps to launching Maldives’ national single window (NSW) platform. An archipelago, Maldives’ geographic dispersion contributes to logistics and border control challenges. An NSW on a digital platform will allow all trade stakeholders to submit and access information on importing and exporting goods in a single place. It will streamline international trade procedures, minimize the time, effort, and resources needed to conduct trade, while helping the government maintain requisite controls. With current bottlenecks to trade in Maldives leading to some of the highest import and export costs in the South Asian subregion, leveraging on information and communications technology will help the country overcome physical and logistical barriers to trade, and significantly improve efficiency. More efficient trade procedures can lower the costs of imports, exports, and goods, and help drive economic growth.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2018

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Tags: Maldives, National Single Window

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