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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2017 Development Effectiveness Review

This report serves as the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) tool for monitoring and strengthening its progress. In South Asia, ADB’s $1.3 billion commitment to regional cooperation and integration (RCI) were spread across South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program’s priority areas: transport, energy, trade facilitation, and economic corridor development. Project preparation work will expand the $5 billion pipeline for RCI in the subregion with 26 projects planned for approval. SASEC finance ministers endorsed a joint vision of regional cooperation and connectivity. Myanmar’s addition to SASEC improved cooperation prospects between South and Southeast Asian subregions.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2018

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Tags: ADB, Myanmar, SASEC, Transport, Economic Corridor Development

Trade Facilitation and Innovation: Evidence from South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Countries

This paper looks at trade and its effects on innovation. Its analysis of firm-level data from Bangladesh, India, and Nepal shows that shorter trade times add competitive pressure from world markets and induces firms to innovate, hence associated with introduction of new products and new management systems. The results suggest that policies that improve trade facilitation would support long-term growth in South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation countries.

Author: Ben Shepherd, Utsav Kumar, and Roselle Dime

Year: 2018

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, SASEC, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO

ADB Annual Report 2017

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) 2017 Annual Report details ADB’s operations, activities, and financial results over the year. In South Asia, finance ministers from South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) member countries launched the SASEC Vision, which sets a long-term strategy for inclusive growth for the region. ADB also signed seven SASEC projects worth a combined $1.33 billion, bringing SASEC’s cumulative investment portfolio to $10.72 billion. ADB helped form SASEC working groups for cross-border trade and supported economic corridors in Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka to facilitate trade and investment in South Asia.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2018

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Regional Cooperation, SASEC, South Asia

Charting a Roadmap to Regional Integration with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

This report provides a roadmap for regional policy frameworks on trade facilitation to boost intraregional trade. It gives suggestions on how small and medium-sized enterprises could increase their participation in regional value chains and help deepen regional integration. It also shows how the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) partnership strengthens intraregional trade by improving trade facilitation efficiency in terms of strengthening standards, improving cross-border facilities, easing transport, and institution and capacity building.

Author: International Trade Centre

Year: 2017

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Tags: Regional Integration, SASEC, SME, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO

Review of Developments in Transport in Asia and the Pacific 2017

This issue of the Review of Development in Transport in Asia and the Pacific looks at how transport development helps achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also discusses emerging trends that are making transport systems cleaner, safer, and more affordable, and examines how projects including the SASEC Road Connectivity Project in Bangladesh facilitate regional transport operational connectivity.

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

Year: 2017

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Tags: Bangladesh, SASEC, Sustainable Development Goals, 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

Regional Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific: Implementation of the Operational Plan for Regional Cooperation and Integration, 2016–2020─Corporate Progress Report 2017

Regional cooperation and integration (RCI) is a valuable means for attaining national development goals. This report reviews ADB’s progress in implementing its Operational Plan for Regional Cooperation and Integration, 2016–2020, and identifies areas for improvement. It takes a close look at progress in connectivity, competitiveness, and regional public goods and collective action through projects such as the Nepal: SASEC Customs Reform and Modernization for Trade Facilitation Program.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2017

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Tags: Nepal, Energy, Trade, Customs, Myanmar, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, SASEC, Trade Facilitation

Enhancing Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific

This report examines challenges and opportunities that underpin regional cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific. It gives recommendations on how to lay the foundations for market integration, seamless connectivity, and financial cooperation, and address shared vulnerabilities. It also looks at how cooperation in South Asia in such areas as energy and infrastructure financing could be enhanced to help address poverty and other issues.

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

Year: 2017

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, SAARC, SASEC, UNESCAP, South Asia

Nepal Energy Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map

To improve energy security and stimulate economic growth in the face of an unprecedented energy crisis, Nepal is accelerating the development of its hydropower sector. This report examines the performance of Nepal’s energy sector amid development constraints, and highlights government development plans and strategy. It assesses the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB’s) future support strategy, which sees Nepal’s energy sector as a key driver of inclusive economic growth.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2017

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Tags: Energy, Nepal, SASEC, ADB, Hydropower

Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific: Promoting Connectivity for Inclusive Development

Aid for Trade (AfT) is essential to promoting growth and tradability of services, and is a major catalyst for inclusive economic and structural information. This report looks at how trade performance in Asia and the Pacific is evolving, and highlights emerging trends in AfT. The report looks at cooperation projects in the energy sector, and shows how South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) projects fund cross-border electricity transmission, power trade, energy efficiency, capacity building, and renewable sources of energy. The report also examines the impact of AfT on trade in services and the rise of e-commerce.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2017

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Tags: Trade, Energy, SASEC, Aid for Trade, ADB

Trade Facilitation and Better Connectivity for an Inclusive Asia and Pacific

This report investigates the evolution of trade costs, examines trade facilitation and paperless trade implementation, and highlights key initiatives in South Asia, including efforts by members of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC). The SASEC Trade Facilitation and Transport Working Group agreed to expand assistance to trade facilitation through technical assistance to support more efficient, transparent, secure, and service-oriented processing of cross-border trade across South Asia. Through 2025, the SASEC connectivity agenda will be better aligned with the frameworks of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation. To help establish a trade and transport facilitation monitoring mechanism, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal conducted studies that reviewed trade and transport procedures, analyzed bottlenecks, and gave recommendations on trade and transport facilitation.

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

Year: 2017

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, BIMSTEC, Maldives, Nepal, SAARC, India, Myanmar, SASEC, South Asia, Sri Lanka, Trade Facilitation, Transport, UNESCAP

Trade Facilitation for a More Inclusive and Connected Asia and Pacific Region: Progress and Way Forward

This report gives an overview of assessments from the 2017 global survey on trade facilitation and paperless trade in Asia and the Pacific. It looks at the implementation of trade facilitation and paperless trade measures in 44 countries in Asia and the Pacific, including how the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework promotes development by deepening regional cooperation. The Framework covers national and subregional projects in Customs harmonization, improving cross-border facilities, and transport facilitation. The Framework also supports regulatory reforms and the development of the National Single Window Customs management system in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, and Nepal.

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

Year: 2017

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, BIMSTEC, Maldives, Nepal, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, SAARC, SASEC, Standards Harmonization, Trade Facilitation, Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO, UNESCAP

Myanmar’s Engagement in Regional Integration: Status and Way Forward (AWP No. 169)

Myanmar strategic position connects Asia’s three big markets—Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, and India. Since 2011, Myanmar has laid down economic reforms that are unlocking the country’s potential. This working paper discusses Myanmar’s participation in regional partnerships, such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation, which it joined in 2017. It argues that such partnerships are essential in building Myanmar’s infrastructure and speeding up its growth.

Author: Prabir De

Year: 2017

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Tags: ADB, ASEAN, India, Myanmar, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, SASEC, UNESCAP

Together We Deliver: 50 Stories of ADB's Partnerships in Asia and the Pacific

This special edition of Together We Deliver tells 50 stories that highlight the importance of good partnerships in Asia and the Pacific in meeting complex development challenges. In South Asia, ADB has supported infrastructure development and social programs, helping lift people out of poverty in a diverse, rapidly urbanizing subregion. The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Roads Improvement Project, for instance, is set to widen 160 kilometers of Nepal’s East–West Highway, which connects Nepal to India. The improved roads will provide faster and better access to social services and economic opportunities, and will facilitate national and regional integration.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2017

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Tags: ADB, Economic Corridor Development, India, Nepal, Regional Integration, Roads, SASEC, South Asia, Transport

Asian Development Bank and Bangladesh: Fact Sheet

This Asian Development Bank (ADB) Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on Bangladesh, as well as concise information on ADB's operations in Bangladesh and contact information. ADB supports Bangladesh’s efforts to generate inclusive and sustainable growth, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. ADB has provided Bangladesh with $18.3 billion for 269 loans, $252.4 million for 422 technical assistance projects, and $787.10 million for 35 grants. ADB supports projects contributing to regional connectivity to foster development along economic corridors and co-finances the SASEC Railway Connectivity: Akhaura-Laksam Double Track Project.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2017

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, Economic Cooperation, Energy, Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainability, SASEC

Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism: Baseline Study in Bangladesh

This report synthesizes the business process analysis conducted on the export of plastic kitchenware and tableware from Bangladesh to Bhutan through Burimari land port, and the import of lentils from Nepal to Bangladesh through Banglabandha land port, as well as studies on trade corridors and border crossings in Bangladesh, to quantify current trade and transport facilitation in Bangladesh through a set of indicators. Findings of the study reveal bottlenecks to trade, including costly one-time procedures for a new trader, numerous documents and copies required to complete export and import processes, and low speed along the trade corridors. This report includes specific short-term and long-term policies to improve Bangladesh’s trade and transport facilitation.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2017

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Transport, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, SASEC

ADB Annual Report 2016

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) 2016 Annual Report provides a complete picture of ADB’s performance in the reporting year. In 2016, South Asia sustained its rapid economic growth, expanding by 6.6% despite global headwinds. ADB approved $4.4 billion in loans and grants covering 30 projects in South Asia. ADB also supported the development of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Vision, which articulates the region’s potential as an integrated entity. SASEC countries adopted the partnership’s first comprehensive and long-term Operational Plan covering 2016-2025, defining strategic objectives and operational priorities. The Operational Plan identifies over 200 potential projects requiring more than $120 billion in development assistance over the next five years.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2017

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Tags: ADB, SASEC, South Asia

SASEC Powering Asia in the 21st Century

SASEC Powering Asia in the 21st Century defines the SASEC Vision, framing the SASEC partnership in the larger context of the subregion’s collective growth and development by articulating shared aspirations of the SASEC countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka), and setting the path to achieve these through regional collaboration. The SASEC Vision lays out a subregional transformative opportunity by leveraging natural resources, promoting industry linkages for the development of regional value chains, and expanding the region’s trade and commerce through the development of subregional gateways and hubs.

Author: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

Year: 2017

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Tags: SASEC, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Energy

Asian Economic Integration Report 2016: What Drives Foreign Direct Investment in Asia and the Pacific?

The 2016 Asian Economic Integration Report reviews regional economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific, amidst the rising global uncertainty following the United Kingdom’s referendum on leaving the European Union and the U.S. election, slower-than-expected global economic recovery, and ongoing economic restructuring in the People’s Republic of China and growth moderation. Asia faces heightened uncertainty–trade growth decelerated in 2015, falling to 2.3% in 2015; subregional trade linkages continue to strengthen, but inter-subregional trade linkages weakened; and non-tariff measures have become major obstacles to trade. In South Asia, SASEC cooperation has improved access to key markets in smaller economies, reduced real trade costs and behind-the-border barriers to stimulate investment; and enabled cross-border power exchanges to ensure power supply affordability, reliability, and overall grid stability. However, the SASEC agenda needs to be framed within wider integration processes taking place in Asia in the next decade to enhance economic linkages, and harness the full potential of Asian integration.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2016

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Tags: ADB, ASEAN, Asia-Pacific, Development, FDI, Free Trade Agreements, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, SASEC, Trade Facilitation, UNCTAD, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

SARSO News: Vol. 2 No. 3

The South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) newsletter features updates on SARSO events and activities. This issue highlights SARSO efforts to strengthen international relations, through its participation in the 39th International Organization for Standardization (ISO) meeting in Beijing, China, and related activities. The issue also features a meeting with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), where ADB briefed SARSO on the progress of diagnostic studies in South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) member countries.

Author: South Asian Regional Standards Organization

Year: 2016

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Tags: SARSO, ADB, SASEC

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Operational Plan 2016-2025

The SASEC Operational Plan 2016–2025 embodies the strategic objectives and operational priorities of the SASEC Program for the next decade. It expands the SASEC Program's focus beyond intraregional cooperation to developing links with Southeast and East Asia, thus widening the scope of transport, trade facilitation, and energy cooperation. Economic and industrial corridor development, which will arise from improved connectivity, has been introduced as a priority initiative. SASEC 2025 is supported by a list of potential projects to be implemented in the subregion during 2016-2025, that will advance the SASEC goals of multi-modal connectivity, energy security and the growth of regional energy markets, and increased intra- and inter-regional trade.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2016

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Tags: SASEC, ADB, Trade Facilitation, Economic Corridor, Transport, Myanmar

Regional Organizations Cooperation Mechanism for Trade Facilitation (ROC-TF) Newsletter: Issue X, August 2016

This issue highlights the framework agreement on cross-border paperless trade facilitation adopted by the United Nations Regional Commission for Asia-Pacific, which will facilitate the exchange of electronic trade data and documents between participating United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) member states, and the 2016 Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade forum. The latterencourages the private sector to mobilize expertise in support of trade facilitation reforms to develop effective trade facilitation solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. The Newsletter also features SASEC-supported initiatives, including the launch of the new Maldives Customs Service training module on Customs valuation, as well as data collection for establishing the Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring baseline in Bhutan. The ROC-TF newsletter is a biannual publication featuring updates, publications and forthcoming activities of regional and international organizations working on trade facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Asian Development Bank, the World Customs Organization, and UNESCAP.

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

Year: 2016

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, ICT, Maldives, Customs, SASEC, Customs Valuation, Bhutan

ADB Annual Report 2015

The Asian Development Bank's (ADB) 2015 Annual Report provides a complete picture of ADB’s performance in the reporting year. In 2015, South Asia became the fastest-growing regional economy in Asia and the Pacific, and ADB's assistance to the region approached $3.80 billion in combined loans and grants for 22 projects and $37.26 million in grants for technical assistance. Through the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program, ADB also continued to drive tighter integration in the region, enhancing cooperation and boosting connectivity with initiatives including helping finalize the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal and India-Myanmar-Thailand Motor Vehicle Agreements, Bangladesh-India power grid upgradation, preparation of high-priority transport projects in Bangladesh, and analytical studies for India's East Coast Economic Corridor.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2016

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Tags: ADB, SASEC, BBIN, Energy, Transport

How Much Could South Asia Benefit from Regional Electricity Cooperation and Trade?

This paper assesses the potential economic benefits of cross-border electricity cooperation and trade in South Asia from 2015 to 2040. It focuses on the possibilities of unlimited power flow across borders in response to regional demands and investment in generation and transmission to cost-effectively meet those demands. The study quantifies the potential economic benefits that South Asia could reap if the countries engage with full regional electricity trade and cooperation. Among South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation countries, Bhutan and Nepal have the potential to cost-effectively supply electricity from hydroelectric resources in excess of their own demands; Bangladesh and India are likely to become more dependent on higher-cost coal as well as natural gas to generate electricity. The countries of the South Asia region also have non-coincident demand peaks across the year, implying gains from trade.

Author: The World Bank

Year: 2015

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Tags: Energy, South Asia, Trade, Bangladesh, India, SASEC

Developing Economic Corridors in South Asia

This book describes key conditions for transforming transport corridors into economic corridors and establishes the rationale for developing economic corridors, and the related benefits from production value chains along those corridors. It further emphasizes the significant potential of economic corridors in South Asia, particularly those being developed under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program. The chapters highlight the impact of trade barriers on bilateral trade and present case studies on trade facilitation in South Asia. Countries in the subregion would benefit by working closely to exploit the full economic potential of economic corridors.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2014

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Tags: Economic Corridor, South Asia, Trade Facilitation, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, ADB, SASEC, Bilateral Trade, Transport

Regional Transit Agreement in South Asia: An Empirical Investigation

This discussion paper published by the South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment assesses the potential gains of a sub-regional transit arrangement and the removal of other border-trade barriers, particularly the eastern South Asia sub-region (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal). It also discusses the link between transit and trade flows, provides profiles of intra-regional transit trade and current transit arrangements in South Asia, and identifies efficient regional transit corridors using linear programming or the Data Envelopment Analysis model.

Author: Prabir De and Arvind Kumar

Year: 2014

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Tags: South Asia, Trade, Transport, Economics, Economic Corridor, SASEC, SAARC, UNESCAP, Customs, Harmonisation, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka

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

Industrialization and Global Value Chain Participation: An Examination of Constraints Faced by the Private Sector in Nepal

This paper examines the constraints behind and beyond Nepal's borders that hinder its full participation in global value chains (GVC). Basing the analysis on recent and relevant publications, key economic data, and interviews with policymakers and stakeholders, the authors explain how weak and uncertain industrial policy has led to de-industrialization. They also looked at the effects of inadequate infrastructure, energy shortage, and inefficient transit. Failures in coordination, shallow regional integration and non-tariff barriers also bar further growth of Nepal's industrial development and GVC participation. The authors recommend necessary domestic reforms for behind-the-border constraints, and subregional partnerships—facilitated through the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation program—for beyond-the-border challenges.

Author: Yurendra Basnett and Posh Raj Pandey

Year: 2014

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Tags: Infrastructure, Private Sector, Nepal, Global Value Chains, Industrialization, Infrastructure, Energy, Transport, Regional Integration, SASEC

SASEC Website Brochure

This promotional brochure for the SASEC website features the web portal as a one-stop shop for information on SASEC activities, events, projects, and knowledge materials. The SASEC website seeks to build a dynamic discussion platform and repository of data on regional cooperation.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2014

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Tags: SASEC, Knowledge Product, ICT, ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, South Asia, Transport, Trade Facilitation, Energy

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

SASEC Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework 2014-2018

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework 2014-2018 builds on the momentum of member countries over recent years in forging ahead with many significant improvements to facilitate, and ultimately increase, trade in the subregion and with the rest of the world. It supports the mission of the SASEC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy “to promote the prosperity of the subregion by facilitating the efficient movement of trade across the borders”, and focuses on five priority areas: customs modernization and harmonization; standards and conformity assessment strengthening; cross-border facilities improvement; through-transport facilitation; and institution and capacity building.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2014

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Tags: SASEC, Trade Facilitation, Regional Cooperation, Transport, Trade, Customs, Standards, Harmonisation, Regional Integration, ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Asia

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

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

Energy Security, Sustainability, and Affordability in Asia and the Pacific

Energy security, sustainability, and affordability from 2010 to 2035 for Asian Development Bank’s Asia and Pacific members are calculated in this working paper, including potential benefits of integrating energy systems regionally. Based on business-as-usual and alternative scenarios, outlook on SASEC member countries by 2035 include (i) dramatic improvement in Bhutan's energy efficiency, (ii) slight decrease in Bangladesh's energy intensity—although carbon dioxide will increase in its primary energy mix, as dependence on fossil fuels rise, and (iii) decrease in energy self-sufficiency of SASEC member countries by 2035, but improved energy affordability. Since renewable energy sources and importation of energy may be capital-intensive, requiring additional tariff support, regional cooperation can enhance affordability and energy security—with Bhutan and Nepal standing to benefit greatly from energy integration in South Asia.

Author: Norberto Fueyo, Antonio Gómez, and César Dopazo

Year: 2014

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Tags: Energy, Bhutan, Nepal, Sustainability, Asia-Pacific, ADB, Regional Integration, SASEC, South Asia, Bangladesh, Sustainability, Renewables, Tariff, Regional Cooperation

Policies to Enhance Trade Facilitation in South Asia and Southeast Asia

This Asian Development Bank Institute publication identifies the state of play of trade facilitation and provides an overview of intra- and inter-regional trade in South and Southeast Asia. It highlights key challenges and bottlenecks to effective trade facilitation, ranging from the lack of expert human resources such as information technology specialists in small landlocked countries (Bhutan and Nepal), to the high border transaction costs and severe congestion faced at border crossing points, and the lack of effective dialogue on bilateral enhancement of trade facilitation. Regional initiatives such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program aim to address these challenges through customs modernization and harmonization, automation, and the use of international best practices in border procedures.

Author: Anthony Bayley

Year: 2014

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Tags: South Asia, Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy, Southeast Asia, ADB, ICT, Bhutan, Nepal, SASEC, Customs

Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation

This paper reports survey findings on progress in implementing various trade facilitation and paperless trade measures made by 29 countries in Asia and the Pacific, including six SASEC member countries. Factors considered include pre-arrival clearance, post-clearance audit, National Single Window, and authorized operator programmes. The survey reveals that while countries have prioritized automation and paperless trade at the regional level, there is an urgent need for regional arrangements that will facilitate cross-border exchange of trade-related electronic documents and information to enable smoother trade facilitation.

Author: Tengfei Wang and Yann Duval

Year: 2014

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Regional Cooperation, Trade, Asia-Pacific, SASEC, Single Window, UNESCAP, Customs, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

SASEC Overview Brochure

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program brings together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal to strengthen connectivity, promote economic growth through trade, and help unleash the tremendous potential of this strategically vital area of South Asia.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2013

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, South Asia, Regional Integration, SASEC

ARIC Information Pack: October 2013

The ARIC Information Pack compiles news and events on regional cooperation & integration (RCI) that corresponds to ADB's four RCI pillars: cross-border infrastructure, trade and investment, money and finance, and regional public goods. A special feature on the implications of the US recovery to Asian exports also appears in this issue.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2013

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, ADB, SASEC

South Asia- Intra Regional Cooperation: The Way Forward

This study aims to showcase the benefits of regional integration and recommends strategies for overcoming the many hurdles.

Author: Shahid Kardar

Year: 2011

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Tags: Policy, Economic Cooperation, Regional Integration, Development, SAARC, Non-Tariff Measures, Trade Facilitation, SAFTA, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, BIMSTEC, Myanmar, SASEC, Energy

RCI Digest 2011 Special Feature (October to December) Volume No.1- Issue No.5

ADB supports RCI in South Asia in four ways: (i) subregionally through the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program, (ii) regionally through the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), (iii) interregionally through the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), and (iv) through collaboration with networks of regional policy research institutes.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2011

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, South Asia, SASEC, BIMSTEC, Policy, ASEAN

SASEC ICT Development Master Plan

This report represents the first comprehensive multilateral ICT development plan. Its primary objective is to create a framework that will support the already existing ICT plans of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal and help these SASEC countries collaborate more effectively with each other.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2006

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Tags: ICT, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, SASEC, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal

Returned 41 publications