Bordering on Happiness: An Assessment of Socio-Economic Impacts of Bangladesh-India Border Haats
This study on the border "haats" (market) between Bangladesh and India sought to understand and examine their impact on poverty alleviation. It considers different stakeholders, including vendors, vendees, transporters, laborers, officials, opinion leaders, villagers and residents on both sides of the border, from the four operational border haats between the two countries. It also compares the different trade performances of the four haats and discusses opportunities in each. Participation rate is also tackled, where the impact of transportation options or lack thereof on the regularity of attendance is discussed. The study has found that areas with border haats have formalized many informal trade. These have generated income and employment, benefiting local people positively and improving standards of living. They have also enhanced trade opportunities by offering vendors access to new markets, as well as a source of products they can resell in their own countries. Furthermore, border haats have promoted improved cross-border relations and security, and people-to-people connectivity. The study recommends further policy improvements to border haats, such as encouraging more women participation and upgrading common infrastructure that makes people-to-people connectivity more conducive.
Author: CUTS International
Tags: Border Haats, India, Bangladesh