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.

Selected Publication

Unlocking the Potential of Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in South Asia

At a modest 6% of total trade, intraregional trade in South Asia stands at less than one third of its full potential. Trade barriers and inadequate infrastructure have cost South Asia over US $54 billion per year in lost export opportunities. With 309 million people living on less than $1.90 a day—the largest concentration of poverty in the world—South Asia should urgently pursue broad-based regional economic cooperation that could enable effective responses to the subregion’s developmental challenges. This report examines the state of economic integration in South Asia and identifies potential areas for further strengthening subregional linkages. It provides recommendations on policy actions to increase market integration, improve connectivity, boost investment in infrastructure development, and tackle shared vulnerabilities and risks. It calls for the consolidation and upgrading of existing trade and investment cooperation initiatives into a South Asia Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Year: 2017

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Investment, Regional Cooperation, SAARC, South Asia, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Trade, UNESCAP, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka

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Asian Development Outlook 2018 Supplement: The Outlook Firms as Trade Conflict Pauses

Growth forecasts for developing Asia stand at 5.8% in 2019. South Asia is still the fastest-growing subregion in developing Asia, while 2019 forecasts are revised down marginally at 7.1%. Bangladesh maintains its growth momentum with the expansion of exports and remittances. Growth in Bhutan has moderated while tourist arrivals grew strongly in Maldives. India exports are increasing along with the country’s industrial and agricultural output. GDP in Sri Lanka grew by 3.7% amid revived private consumption. In Nepal, exports surged by 16.1% while remittances grew to a record $2.1 billion.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2018

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

World Trade Report 2018: The Future of World Trade

The report looks at international trade and analyzes how digital technologies will reduce trade costs. It examines the internet of things, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing and blockchain, and speculates how these things will affect global trade in the next 15 years. It looks at indicators on South Asia and other regions to help evaluate each region’s preparedness for the digital age.

Author: World Trade Organization

Year: 2018

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Tags: South Asia, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO

Investment Climate Improvement in East Coast Economic Corridor of India: Regulatory, Institutional, and Policy Reforms Support to Tamil Nadu

This paper summarizes a study that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) undertook upon the request of the Government of Tamil Nadu, India. The state sought to become a preferred investment destination with an investor-friendly business climate. The study identified policy, institutional, and process reforms to improve the ease of doing business in Tamil Nadu, including institutional and regulatory reforms needed for the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) development. The study resulted in the implementation of an online single window mechanism that simplified and sped up processes for transparent and time-bound clearances for investors.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2018

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Tags: ADB, Ease of Doing Business, Economic Corridor Development, India, Single Window

Asian Economic Integration Report 2018

This report tracks the progress of regional cooperation and integration in Asia. It shows how intraregional trade grew in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. In South Asia, the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) has been focused on building multimodal connectivity to facilitate trade as one of its priorities. Its operational plan is being reviewed to better reflect regional project priorities in the region. SASEC is also studying how Myanmar, its newest member, is to be integrated as a vital link between South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. The chapter "Toward Optimal Provision of Regional Public Goods in Asia and the Pacific" looks at how collective action among countries can help find solutions for such transnational challenges as infrastructure connectivity, environmental degradation, and transnational health threats.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2018

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Tags: ADB, Regional Cooperation, SASEC, Trade Facilitation

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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