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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Maritime Cooperation in SASEC: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

Most South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) countries rely on maritime transport for international trade. Stronger maritime relations are crucial to achieve the economic growth potential for the subregion. This report looks at how countries can strengthen international trade by improving maritime cooperation among the SASEC countries, comprised of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It gives an overview of the SASEC maritime sector and identifies collaboration initiatives that could address key challenges.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2019

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Tags: Transport, Trade Facilitation, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2019 Update: Fostering Growth and Inclusion in Asia's Cities

Growth in developing Asia remains strong despite the slowing down of international trade and a weakening of investments. In South Asia, growth momentum has slowed, with growth forecasts lowered to 6.2% for 2019 and retained at 6.7% for 2020. Growth in India has softened but is expected to bounce back to 7.2% in 2020. Bangladesh and Nepal performed better than projected. Bhutan’s growth slowed to 5.3% in fiscal year (FY) 2019 due to a decline in hydroelectric generation. Growth projection for FY2020 is retained at 6.0%. In Sri Lanka, growth forecast has been lowered for 2019 and 2020. Forecasts for Maldives is retained as tourist arrivals increased in the first half of 2019. In Southeast Asia, growth projections for Myanmar has been retained.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2019

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

Services for Trade Competitiveness: Country and Regional Assessments of Services Trade

This book applies methodologies for assessing competitiveness of countries’ services sector. It examines the types of barriers to services in the regulatory environment and identifies the policy implications. It aims to guide policymakers in the area of services in international trade. The chapter on diversifying Nepal’s economy assesses the country’s trade potential in services. Using the Services Trade Competitiveness Diagnostic toolkit, it identifies policy measures that can help Nepal identify strategies for greater integration in the global marketplace.

Author: Claire Hollweg and Sebastian Saez, eds.

Year: 2019

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Tags: Energy, Nepal, Services, Trade, WB

ASYCUDA Programme: Compendium of Case Studies 2019

Through customs automation and reform projects, the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) Programme contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and production of trade-related statistics. This compendium includes details of achievements and benefits reported by countries—including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka—after implementing ASYCUDA systems. The information suggests ASYCUDA is not just a technical assistance program but also a development program.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Year: 2019

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Tags: Sustainable Development Goals, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Trade

Global Economic Prospects, June 2019

South Asia enjoyed solid economic activity in 2018 with gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 7% owing to strong domestic demand. Risks to the outlook include possible re-escalation of political uncertainties, financial sector weaknesses due to nonperforming assets, and fiscal challenges amid elections in several countries.

Author: World Bank Group

Year: 2019

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Tags: WB, South Asia, Trade

World Investment Report 2019

This report monitors global and regional foreign direct investment trends and national and international investment policy developments. Foreign direct investments (FDI) in South Asia grew by 4% in 2018 to $54 billion, with India accounting for $42 billion. International cooperation in the development of special economic zones (SEZs) has been increasing. In developing countries, many SEZs are built through bilateral partnerships or as part of development cooperation programs. In South Asia, the number of SEZs is set to increase substantially. India has 200 new zones in the pipeline, while Bangladesh has 60, and Nepal 12.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Year: 2019

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, FDI, Investment, South Asia, UNCTAD

Potential Exports and Nontariff Barriers to Trade: Nepal National Study

This report highlights sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade and identifies Nepal products with the potential to gain market share in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. It also examines how nontariff barriers to trade can be overcome by upgrading quality standards and laboratory equipment and strengthening accrediting and assessment bodies.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2019

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Tags: Nepal, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Non-Tariff Measures

Basic Statistics 2019

Basic Statistics presents select economic, environmental, and social indicators used to track progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals. It includes indicators for 46 development indicators for 46 economies in the Asia and Pacific region, including those for the seven SASEC countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2019

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Trade, Sustainable Development Goals, Energy

Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2019: Ambitions beyond Growth

The Asia-Pacific region needs an estimated $1.5 trillion per year to end poverty and hunger, provide basic health care, quality education, enabling infrastructure, and clean energy for all, and for climate action and living in harmony with nature. Available public and private resources make these ambitions affordable for most countries in the region. However, development partnerships and regional cooperation are needed for all countries to achieve these “ambitions beyond growth.”

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

Year: 2019

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Tags: Sustainable Development Goals, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Trade, Energy

Internationalisation of Micro and Small Enterprises through E-Commerce: Assessing the Impact of De Minimis

This report identifies the challenges faced by micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in India, Kenya, and Viet Nam in adopting e-commerce platforms for selling in domestic and international markets. De minimis refers to the minimum value of goods, below which no duties and taxes are collected and streamlined border clearance is provided. This report finds that expanding the scope of de minimis to cover local taxes along with customs duties would maximize benefits for MSEs by addressing constraints MSEs face in trading across borders.

Author: CUTS International

Year: 2019

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Tags: India, Trade, Small and Medium Enterprise

Asian Development Outlook 2019 Supplement: Outlook Steady Even as Trade Tensions Persist

South Asia continues to be the fastest growing subregion. Growth outlook for the subregion is forecast to remain robust, with growth projected at 6.6% in 2019 and 6.7% in 2020. India is projected to grow by 7.0% in 2019 and 7.2% in 2020. Bangladesh growth accelerated to 8.1% in FY2019 with faster growth in industry and services. GDP growth in Sri Lanka and Nepal surpassed Asian Development Outlook 2019 (ADO 2019) forecasts, according to preliminary official estimates. Tourism performed well in Bhutan and Maldives on rising arrivals and revenue.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2019

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Tags: ADB, South Asia, Trade, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tourism

For the Greater Common Good: Addressing Infrastructural Inadequacies in India for Improved Regional Connectivity

Both soft and hard infrastructure are needed to successfully implement the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) and other connectivity initiatives. This field survey report identifies infrastructural gaps in India and suggests possible remedies to help improve flow of goods among the BBIN economies.

Author: CUTS International

Year: 2019

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Tags: BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Transport, Trade Facilitation

The Good Earth: Landlocked Bhutan Identifies Infrastructural Obstacles to Improved Regional Connectivity

Developing Bhutan’s road connectivity and infrastructure could help the country take full advantage of its economic potential. According to this policy brief, optimizing Bhutan’s infrastructure would improve people’s livelihood and reduce poverty. This brief outlines issues related to physical infrastructure and offers suggestions to hurdle development obstacles.

Author: CUTS International

Year: 2019

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Tags: Bhutan, Regional Connectivity, Transport

Connecting Corridors beyond Borders: Enabling Seamless Connectivity in the BBIN Subregion

Trade connectivity is expected to bring economic growth and prosperity and reduce poverty in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN). It will strengthen the economies of landlocked Bhutan and Nepal and give BBIN countries greater access to global markets for exports and imports. The Motor Vehicles Agreement will promote containerization of multimodal cargo movement, which will help reduce trade costs. This study identifies eight trade corridors in the BBIN countries and provides details on existing infrastructure, time-cost-distance analysis, and projected sociopolitical impact.

Author: CUTS International

Year: 2019

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Tags: BBIN, BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement, Transport, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal

Impact Evaluation of Energy Interventions: A Review of the Evidence

Impact evaluations in the energy sector has so far focused on rural electrification and improved cookstoves. However, most investments have been in power generation and transmission. This energy sector impact evaluation report assesses what has been produced against what might be possible. It summarizes outcomes of 85 impact evaluations of energy interventions in developing countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. It looks at evidence gaps and proposes future directions for impact evaluations in the energy sector.

Author: David A. Raitzer, Nina Blöndal, and Jasmin Sibal

Year: 2019

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Tags: Energy, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India

2018 Development Effectiveness Review

This report looks at the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) performance in achieving the goals set out in ADB’s Strategy 2020. In its South Asia operations, ADB supported the linking of countries through transport connectivity. ADB has committed $180 million to rehabilitate the Kanchanpur–Kamala section of the East–West Highway in Nepal to promote safety and transport connectivity. It is also committed to a $150 million project through the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Road Connectivity Investment Program to upgrade a section of the Asian Highway connecting Manipur, India, to Myanmar and construct an international bridge between India and Nepal.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2019

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Tags: ADB, India, Jobs, Myanmar, Nepal, SASEC, Transport, Road

Impact Evaluation of Transport Interventions: A Review of the Evidence

Development of transport is integral to the development of economic corridors, regional economic integration, and trade. This publication reviews the impact of 91 transport interventions in developing countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. It summarizes the project outcomes, identifies evidence gaps, and presents proposals for future directions.

Author: David A. Raitzer, Nina Blöndal, and Jasmin Sibal

Year: 2019

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Tags: Bangladesh, Regional Connectivity, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Rail, Road, Transport

Renewable Capacity Statistics 2019

This report provides renewable energy statistics for 2009–2018. It includes figures on total renewable energy capacity installed and connected by energy source (hydropower, wind energy, solar energy, etc.). It gives figures for capacity per region and per country, including those for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Author: International Renewable Energy Agency

Year: 2019

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Tags: Renewable Energy, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal

A Bridge Across for Ever: Bridging Infrastructural Gaps in Bangladesh for Improved Regional Connectivity

The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement aims to strengthen connectivity and economic cooperation among the BBIN countries. It could create jobs and increase trade in South Asia and could lead to lower prices for consumers. This policy brief looks at transport corridors and identifies infrastructure gaps that need to be bridged to improve the flow of goods to and from Bangladesh.

Author: CUTS International

Year: 2019

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, BBIN, BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement, Regional Connectivity, Transport

Exports to Jobs: Boosting the Gains from Trade in South Asia

South Asia’s economy has grown while significantly reducing poverty. Yet concerns persist regarding growing joblessness and poor job quality. This report shows how increasing exports per worker could result in higher wages for skilled workers, while less-skilled and rural workers could benefit from new jobs. To spread benefits from higher exports, policies are needed to raise skills and get women and youth into better jobs.

Author: Erhan Artuc, Gladys Lopez-Acevedo, Raymond Robertson, and Daniel Samaan

Year: 2019

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Tags: South Asia, Jobs, Trade

In Search of Harmony: Strengthening Connectivity Among the BBIN Countries

This report is a part of CUTS International’s series of field surveys to understand the economic scenario and its impact on cross-border trade in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) subregion. The report identifies procedural issues that affect trade and suggests remedial measures to help increase the speed of connectivity and create and enabling environment for the implementation of the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement.

Author: CUTS International

Year: 2019

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Tags: BBIN, Bangladesh, Bhutan, BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement, India, Nepal, Transport

United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Infrastructural Impediments to Better Connectivity in South Asia

The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) aims to integrate the region through smooth movement of passenger and commercial vehicles across the BBIN countries. This survey presents a first-hand perspective on infrastructure in the region. This paper lays out impediments to trade and suggests a way forward to create an enabling environment for the motor vehicles agreement to succeed.

Author: CUTS International

Year: 2019

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Tags: Bangladesh, BBIN, Bhutan, India, Nepal, BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement, Transport

ADB Annual Report 2018

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) supports cross-border infrastructure to help foster regional cooperation and integration. It is transforming transport corridors into economic corridors, allowing South Asian countries to participate in regional and global value chains and promote agriculture trade. In 2018, ADB committed $150 million to upgrade sections of South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) road corridors in India and Nepal. The investments aim to improve connectivity between Manipur (in India) and Myanmar; build an India–Nepal international bridge; and improve the safety of Nepal’s East–West Highway. ADB also approved a technical assistance project to build institutional capacity and improve expertise of trade facilitation officials in SASEC member countries.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2019

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Tags: Economic Corridor Development, ADB, Energy, India, Nepal, SASEC, Trade Facilitation

Potential Exports and Nontariff Barriers to Trade: Sri Lanka National Study

How can Sri Lanka address nontariff barriers (NTBs) that hinder growth of its trade with Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, and Nepal? The study examined the impact of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT)-related nontariff measures enforced by SASEC countries to Sri Lanka’s exports with maximum potential, conducted a national diagnostic audit of the SPS and TBT infrastructure, and identified current SPS and TBT infrastructure capacity constraints. It considered options and opportunities to deal with the identified NTBs, including recommendations to improve Sri Lanka’s SPS–TBT infrastructure, and enhancing efficiency of SPS–TBT-related processes. Findings of the study could help formulate policies, laws, and institutions to address SPS–TBT-related NTBs and promote intraregional trade, as well as provide considerations for bilateral Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Additionally, the study provides traders with a comprehensive coverage of available export opportunities in Sri Lanka, and barriers they could encounter.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2019

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Tags: Sri Lanka, Trade, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Non-Tariff Measures

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2019: Strengthening Disaster Resilience

Developing Asia is projected to grow at 5.7% in 2019 and 5.6% in 2020. South Asia is projected to bounce back in 2019 and 2020 from the previous year’s slowdown. India’s growth is expected to pick up to 7.2% in 2019 (from 7.0% in the previous year) on recovery in agriculture and strong domestic demand. Bangladesh is projected to grow by 8.0% in 2019. Bhutan is expecting modest growth while the outlook for Maldives is for growth to moderate. Nepal should expect stable growth in 2019 while Sri Lanka is projected to recover moderately. Inflation in South Asia is projected to rise to 4.7% in 2019. Growth should pick up in Myanmar in Southeast Asia.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2019

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Tags: ADB, South Asia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Potential Exports and Nontariff Barriers to Trade: Maldives National Study

This diagnostic study aims to develop a better understanding of how sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade (TBT) in Maldives negatively affect its trade potential. Selected export products from Maldives that could be traded more within the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) subregion are identified. The impact of SPS and TBT measures applied by importing SASEC member countries on these products are studied to gather possible reasons for consistent low levels of intraregional trade within South Asia, compared to trade with other countries. General and priority recommendations are provided to address the issues.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2019

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SASEC Vision – Myanmar

Myanmar serves as a land bridge between South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. This book identifies regional and subregional opportunities for Myanmar to harness natural and human resources, industrial potential, and infrastructure connectivity as part of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program. SASEC Vision – Myanmar serves to update the 2017 SASEC Vision document, which articulates shared aspirations of the SASEC countries and sets the path to achieve these through regional collaboration.

Author: South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program

Year: 2019

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Tags: SASEC, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Energy

Returned 27 publications