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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World Investment Report 2018

In India, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows dropped from $44 billion in 2016 to $40 billion in 2017. Across South Asia, FDI inflows are predicted to stagnate or decline marginally in 2018. The global trend in FDI flows demonstrates the need for open, transparent, and non-discriminatory investment policies to maintain an environment conducive for investment. New types of industrial policies are emerging to respond to opportunities and challenges brought about by a new industrial revolution. This report examines investment policy tools available in the new environment.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Year: 2018

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Tags: Connectivity, FDI, Global Value Chains, India, Investment, Policy, Sustainable Development Goals, South Asia, UNCTAD

BIMSTEC and Japan: Exploring Prospects for Renewed Cooperation

The Bay of Bengal region is rising as an economic and strategic hub, with the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) playing a key role in promoting growth and development in the region. BIMSTEC is also being seen as a potential driver of integration between South Asia and Southeast Asia. Given Japan's relationship with BIMSTEC nations, this brief makes a case for deeper engagement between Japan and BIMSTEC. The benefits could include cooperation in infrastructure, connectivity, and energy projects. A free trade agreement between the two entities would also be mutually beneficial.

Author: Vindu Mai Chotani

Year: 2018

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Tags: ASEAN, Bangladesh, Bhutan, BIMSTEC, Connectivity, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Free Trade Agreements

Updating and Enhancement of the BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistics Study

This study profiles the transport and logistics environment in Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) member countries. It also identifies transport-related strategies for achieving trade development goals in the region and suggests an institutional framework for implementing those strategies.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2018

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Connectivity, Infrastructure

Strategy 2030: Achieving a Prosperous, Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Asia and the Pacific

Under its new long-term strategy, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) continues its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty while bringing focus to a vision of a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia-Pacific. ADB’s key operational priorities include the fostering of regional cooperation and integration, covering its support for enhancing connectivity and competitiveness, promoting regional public goods, and strengthening the financial sector cooperation. ADB also aims to strengthen subregional initiatives, such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2018

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Tags: ADB, Energy, Regional Cooperation, SASEC, Regional Integration, Connectivity

Constructing the Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index: A Panel Approach

This paper uses a panel-based analysis to construct an Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index (ARCII) to better track the progress of economic integration in the region. The index shows that trade and investment and movement of people are the main drivers of regional integration in Asia and the Pacific from 2006 to 2016. Asia comes second to the European Union in progress on regional integration.

Author: Cyn-Young Park and Racquel Claveria

Year: 2018

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Tags: ADB, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, Trade, Connectivity

BIMSTEC: Rediscovering Old Routes to Connectivity

This brief considers how Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) stands to gain by leveraging existing transport connectivity projects in the region. It looks at how initiatives, including those under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program and other groups, build connectivity through standards harmonization, multimodal integration, and development of national single windows.

Author: K. Yhome

Year: 2017

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Connectivity, Energy, Regional Cooperation, Single Window, Standards Harmonization, Transport

Asian Economic Integration Report 2017

The 2017 Asian Economic Integration Report introduces the Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index (ARCII), a composite index constructed from 26 socioeconomic indicators grouped into six dimensions: (i) trade and investment, (ii) money and finance, (iii) regional value chains, (iv) infrastructure and connectivity, (v) movement of people, and (vi) institutional and social integration. It helps capture the diversity of regional cooperation and integration, allowing Asian economies to keep track of their progress in regional integration. Within the region, ARCII shows RCI is highest in East Asia and Southeast Asia, but remains low in South Asia and Central Asia owing to gaps in infrastructure and connectivity. It is also low in the Pacific due to weak institutional and social integration. In subregional cooperation, SASEC comes third to the ASEAN and GMS. The publication highlights that regional integration can be improved through institutional and social dimensions, including efforts to remove national barriers to regional integration, adopt regional standards, and institutionalize regional frameworks, and narrowing gaps in regional connectivity and infrastructure.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2017

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, Trade Facilitation, Connectivity, SASEC, GMS

Asian Development Bank and Bhutan: Fact Sheet

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on Bhutan, as well as information on ADB operations and contact details. Since 1982, ADB has supported Bhutan through projects in energy, finance, and trade facilitation, and transport. ADB has approved loans totaling $498.81 million, grants of $222.4 million, and $73.48 million in technical assistance for Bhutan. ADB support reflects strong emphasis on green energy production, transport connectivity, and urban infrastructure projects. To make growth more inclusive, ADB will help Bhutan through projects focusing on cross-border connectivity, skills development, and agriculture.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2017

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Tags: ADB, Bhutan, Energy, Connectivity, Transport, Agriculture, Roads

Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing Asia-Pacific

This report explores five long-term trends in the Asia-Pacific region that will shape approaches to poverty alleviation and the prospects for achieving prosperity: regional economic cooperation and integration; rural–urban transitions; demographic changes; ICT access and connectivity; and demand for natural resources. It examines the changing development context in South Asian and other economies. It also looks at opportunities created by regional cooperation and integration that intend to bring about shared economic benefits.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme

Year: 2017

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Tags: ADB, Connectivity, ICT, Regional Cooperation, Sustainability, UNESCAP, UNDP, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Development of East Coast Economic Corridor and Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor

The East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC)—India’s first coastal corridor—is an integrated economic development initiative that is expected to help pursue industrialization and integrate domestic companies into the global value chains of Southeast Asia and East Asia. Its development will start with Vizag–Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC), which covers about 800 kilometers and includes several ports and major industrial centers. This paper discusses strategies to consider when trying to improve shipping and air connectivity in the ECEC and Vizag–Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC). It stresses the importance of infrastructure development and regulatory reforms that facilitate increased connectivity.

Author: Pritam Banerjee

Year: 2017

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Tags: Bangladesh, Connectivity, Economic Corridor, India, Infrastructure, Regional Integration, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Development

Connecting Bangladesh: Economic Corridor Network

Economic corridors anchored on transport connectivity could significantly boost Bangladesh's economic growth. This paper presents a new set of corridors for Bangladesh – a nine-corridor comprehensive integrated multimodal economic corridor network that will enhance Bangladesh’s role as land bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia, and between South Asia and northern Asia. These proposed corridors are designed to sustain robust economic growth over the long term by improving regional connectivity, transit, and integration, alongside trade facilitation measures.

Author: Mohuiddin Alamgir

Year: 2016

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Tags: Economic Corridor, Bangladesh, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Connectivity, Transport, Trade Facilitation

Regional Integration in South Asia: Essays in Honour of Dr. M. Rahmatullah

Building efficient transport linkages within and across countries in South Asia is crucial to development of production networks and value chains, and promotion of trade and investment. This collection of essays honors Dr. M. Rahmatullah, who championed the cause of multimodal connectivity in South Asia for seamless movement of goods across Asia, and dreamt of building an integrated South Asia through corridors and gateways to be connected with pan-Asian transport networks. A valuable resource for policymakers, academics, and practitioners working on issues of South Asian regional integration, this book looks at progress made on facilitating trade and enhancing connectivity in the region, assesses policy priorities, implementation imperatives, and emerging challenges to South Asian trade and integration, and gives recommendations on further strengthening South Asian integration.

Author: Prabir De and Mustafizur Rahmant

Year: 2016

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Tags: Transport, Trade, Trade Facilitation, Connectivity, South Asia, South Asian Economic Union

Asia-Europe Connectivity Vision 2025: Challenges and Opportunities

The 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit held in Mongolia in 2016 saw ASEM member countries renew their commitments for deepened engagement between Asia and Europe. This report on the Summit provides ideas for an ASEM roadmap for connectivity, recognizing the need for sustainability and scalability. The report draws lessons from efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to bring together peoples, goods, services, and capital. ASEM, an intergovernmental forum for dialogue and cooperation, comprises 53 member countries, including India and Bangladesh.

Author: Anita Prakash, editor

Year: 2016

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Tags: ASEAN, India, Bangladesh, Connectivity

Celebrating the Third Decade and Beyond: New Challenges to ASEAN-India Economic Partnership

The relationship between ASEAN and India is set to deepen as ASEAN and India step up their collaboration across a range of economic and strategic issues, including trade and connectivity, culture, people-to-people links, trans-national terrorism, and maritime security. This book seeks to review the past and suggest ways to further strengthen economic partnership between ASEAN countries and India. It primarily deals with the economic integration issues between ASEAN and India, and assesses policy priorities, effectiveness, implementation imperatives and challenges. The book tries to capture essential features of cross-cutting issues and attempts to draw policy implications.

Author: KW Publishers

Year: 2016

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Tags: ASEAN, India, Connectivity

Towards a Sustainable Future: Energy Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific

Despite the benefits of energy connectivity, energy trade in Asia and the Pacific has remained far below its potential. This publication takes a detailed and engaging look at how smart region-wide energy connectivity could greatly improve energy supply and address the environmental impacts of energy. It maps existing energy connectivity in the region, examines ongoing initiatives, and suggests regional action plans that could lead Asia and the rest of the world to a sustainable future.

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

Year: 2016

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Tags: Asia-Pacific, Energy, Environment, Sustainability, Connectivity, UNESCAP

Emerging North-East India: Economically and Socially Inclusive Development Strategies

This report highlights opportunities that can be explored in India's North East region, including tourism, energy, and infrastructure, to enable the North East to develop economically, while contributing to India's development as a whole. It takes stock of recent initiatives, including the 'Look East' Policy and the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) subregional grouping, and identifies areas for improvement to propel inclusive growth. Harnessing the region's full potential would require upgrading the region's infrastructure. Significant investments are needed, since lack of connectivity and inadequate infrastructure present developmental bottlenecks, contributing to the slow pace of growth in the North East. The report presents policy recommendations and suggested actions, and a forecast for India for 2021-2022.

Author: KPMG India and FICCI

Year: 2015

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Tags: India, BBIN, Connectivity, Transport, Trade Facilitation

Maldives: Overcoming the Challenges of a Small Island State – Country Diagnostic Study

The Maldives has propelled itself to middle-income status despite the geographic constraints and challenges of a small-island state. It has one of the lowest poverty rates in South Asia, although wide regional disparities in poverty rates and high-income inequality continue to be a concern. Growth – primarily driven by the tourism sector – has also been vulnerable to external shocks. As the Maldives moves toward a more sustainable and inclusive growth strategy, transport infrastructure is critical to help address the country’s connectivity issue and reduce the cost of doing business. This report identifies the critical constraints to inclusive growth in the Maldives and provides policy recommendations to sustain economic growth and hasten poverty reduction.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2015

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Tags: Maldives, Small Island Developing States, Transport, Connectivity, Policy, Poverty Reduction, South Asia, Tourism

SAARC: The Way Ahead

This Observer Research Foundation Issue Brief examines the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation as a regional grouping that is almost three decades old. It discusses trade arrangements such as the South Asian Preferential Trading Arrangement aimed towards a higher level of intraregional trade liberalization and economic cooperation, including the South Asia Free Trade Area for reduction of Customs duties on traded goods. The paper further studies areas of energy, connectivity, foreign direct investment, trade in services and subregional cooperation. The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program is offered as one of the steps in the direction of having a viable option for subregional cooperation.

Author: Jayshree Sengupta

Year: 2015

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, SAARC, Trade, Connectivity, Energy, FDI, Investment, Free Trade Agreements, Services, South Asia

Connecting South Asia and South East Asia

This book analyzes how closer regional connectivity and economic integration between South Asia and Southeast Asia can benefit both subregions. It aims to build a broad case for increased connectivity between the two regions and identify specific projects that have high potential to fulfill this objective. This joint study focuses on both “hard” infrastructure and associated “soft” infrastructure, including tariffs and non-tariff barriers, trade and transport facilitation, energy trading, and infrastructure investment and financing. It further provides a canvas for considering strategic cross-border infrastructure investments and policy reforms.

Author: Asian Development Bank Institute and Asian Development Bank

Year: 2015

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Tags: South Asia, Southeast Asia, Connectivity, Economic Corridor, Transport, Trade Facilitation, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka

Trans-Pacific Partnership versus Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership: Control of Membership and Agenda Setting

This ADB Working Paper argues that the formation of regional integration frameworks can be best understood as a dominant state’s attempt to create its own regional framework where it can exercise some exclusive influence. It explores the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). It also analyzes the strategies of key players such as ASEAN, Korea, India, Japan, USA and China. India is part of the RCEP negotiating process and sees increased presence in Southeast and East Asian markets, closer relations with ASEAN, and increased connectivity with North Asia and Oceana as benefits from involvement in RCEP.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2014

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Tags: Regional Integration, India, Connectivity, ADB, Regional Cooperation, ASEAN

Bridging Transport, ICT, and Energy Infrastructure Gaps for Seamless Regional Connectivity

This publication is a contribution by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific to deliberations at the Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) in Vienna, Austria, 3-5 November 2014. It shows regional connectivity as an unfinished agenda and bridging infrastructure gaps as a complex challenge for LLDCs. While physical infrastructure is a priority, this report argues that deeper regional integration – through regionally cohesive and terrestrial networks – is key to effectively linking Asian LLDCs to the region’s infrastructure networks.

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

Year: 2014

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Tags: Transport, ICT, Energy, UNESCAP, SASEC, Connectivity, Infrastructure, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Trade, Trade Facilitation, Policy, Trade Policy

SASEC Brochure

This promotional brochure is a concise introduction to the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program, highlighting the main areas of regional cooperation and activity. It includes facts and figures about SASEC projects in transport, trade facilitation, energy, and ICT.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2014

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Tags: SASEC, Trade Facilitation, Regional Cooperation, ICT, ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Energy, Transport, Connectivity

A Connectivity-Driven Development Strategy for Nepal: From a Landlocked to a Land-Linked State

Transforming Nepal from a landlocked into a land-linked state, the authors argue, could be key to unlocking the country's much-awaited growth. With its strategic location between India and the People's Republic of China, a connectivity-driven development strategy could energize Nepal's lackluster post-conflict economic performance. Further, Nepal implements a multi-track approach to promoting regional cooperation and integration in connectivity with its neighbors, reinforced through participation in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, and South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation. By identifying ten priority projects that could further boost Nepal's connectivity, the paper also discusses how strengthening Nepal's transport, energy, and trade links could benefit the region. However, the authors also warn against “internal threats” to Nepal's development—corruption and the country's difficult political situation.

Author: Pradumna B. Rana and Binod Karmacharya

Year: 2014

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Tags: Nepal, Economic Corridor, Regional Trade, Connectivity, Development, Economic Growth, SASEC, India, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, SAARC, BIMSTEC, Transport, Energy, Trade

Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2014

This 2014 edition of UNESCAP's flagship publication emphasizes the importance of furthering regional connectivity in Asia-Pacific—a region which, despite significant reductions in poverty levels, is now witnessing rising income inequality, both within and between countries. It calls for driving the region's growth by exploiting the interdependence and synergies of five elements: trade and transport connectivity, ICT networks, energy connectivity, people-to-people networks, and promotion of knowledge-based economies, and advocates approaching connectivity as a regional public good.

Author: UNESCAP

Year: 2014

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Tags: Economic Integration, Regional Cooperation, Poverty Reduction, Asia-Pacific, Connectivity, Energy, ICT, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Trade, Transport, UNESCAP

Economic Implications of Deeper South Asian–Southeast Asian Integration: A CGE Approach

High tariff and non-tariff barriers, and costly transport links and inefficient trade facilitation measures continue to hamper the growth of trade between South Asia and Southeast Asia. This paper explores whether potential gains from improved connectivity—via Myanmar as inter-regional bridge—justify a high level of investment. Using an advanced computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, reduction of inter-regional tariffs, decreasing of non-tariff barriers by 50%, and cutting down of trade costs between South Asia and Southeast Asia by 15% yields a prediction of 8.9% rise in welfare in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and an increase of 6.4% in gross domestic product by 2030.

Author: Ganeshan Wignaraja, Peter Morgan, Michael Plummer, and Fan Zhai

Year: 2014

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Tags: Transport, Trade Facilitation, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Regional Integration, Tariff, Trade, Connectivity, Investment, Myanmar, GDP

Nepal: Development Effectiveness Brief 2014

Nepal has the potential to achieve more inclusive growth and can largely benefit from regional cooperation and integration with its developing neighbors. It is also benefiting from South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation, a flagship ADB-supported program that promotes economic cooperation and integration in areas of trade facilitation (custom modernization and transport connectivity), power development, trade, and tourism development. This brief further explores ADB’s contribution to inclusive development and poverty reduction, energy, and transport. Exporting energy when surplus is available is one way of meeting seasonal demand by subregional cooperation and power trade. Transport infrastructure is also another key ingredient to equitable, inclusive growth that can address challenges such as lack of market access, inadequate roads, and poor connectivity.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2014

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Tags: Nepal, Regional Cooperation, South Asia, ADB, Connectivity, Energy, Roads, SASEC, Trade, Transport

The Role of Sri Lanka in Enhancing Connectivity between South Asia and Southeast Asia

As Sri Lanka rebuilds at the end of a 30-year conflict, its progress in improving physical infrastructure—including the Colombo port expansion and other programs for new expressways and road connectivity—has been significant. Yet, the country has seen a sharp decline in its overall exports-to-gross domestic product ratio. How Sri Lanka can benefit from greater connectivity with its neighbors in South Asia and Southeast Asia is discussed in this paper. Trade policies geared towards enhancing regional integration efforts could boost Sri Lanka's economy. Additionally, to lessen the challenges of financing and sustaining implementation of planned infrastructure development efforts, Sri Lanka could also implement a more stringent institutional and regulatory environment encouraging more private sector participation.

Author: Dushni Weerakoon and Nipuni Perera

Year: 2014

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Tags: Trade Policy, Trade Facilitation, Sri Lanka, Connectivity, South Asia, Southeast Asia, ADB, Transport, Regional Integration

SAARC Biz: The Inevitability of South Asia

SAARC Biz is a monthly publication of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry and features a report on the 'Inevitability of South Asia'. While the term 'South Asia' is commonly accepted, it argues that regionalism is far from being implemented on the ground. For instance, SAARC was accepted as a concept of cross-border regionalism but was hobbled due to budget constraints and restrictive mandates. Connectivity across national frontiers is needed to jump-start regionalism and improve lives in the most deprived parts of the Subcontinent.

Author: SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Year: 2014

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Tags: South Asia, Regional Cooperation, SAARC, Industrialization, Regional Integration, Poverty Reduction, Gender, Least Developed Countries, Connectivity, Agriculture, Bangladesh, Youth, India, Environment, Investment, Tourism, Renewables

Infrastructure for a Seamless Asia

The study reviews regional infrastructure being enhanced through regional cooperation in Asia and examines major issues and challenges. It suggests a framework for pan-Asian infrastructure cooperation, anchored on a long-term vision of creating a seamless Asia that will not only enhance the region's competitiveness and extend its global reach, but also help reduce poverty and promote greater environmental sustainability.

Author: Asian Development Bank / Asian Development Bank Institute

Year: 2009

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, Transport, Trade Facilitation, Connectivity, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Asian Highway, Trans-Asian Railway Network, Energy, Myanmar

Returned 29 publications