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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The Recover Better with Sustainable Energy Guide for South Asian Countries

This guide under the Recover Better series from Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) highlights ways in which countries could attain long-term sustainable development. This report recommends South Asian countries to develop regional value chains through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) regional energy cooperation framework. The framework would help reduce costs and increase energy system resilience. By deepening cooperation, South Asian countries involved in the electricity trade would also reap many technical, economic, and environmental benefits.

Author: Sustainable Energy for All

Year: 2020

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Tags: Renewable Energy, South Asia

Reimagining Border Haats as Border Co-prosperity Zones

Border Haats have been successful in increasing local livelihoods, improving cross-border microtrade, facilitating people-to-people contact, reducing informal trade, and enhancing border security. This paper argues that establishing border coprosperity zones, coupled with investments in infrastructure and technologies, could help promote connectivity and realize mutual growth and prosperity for Bangladesh and India.

Author: Sabyasachi Dutta

Year: 2020

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Tags: Bangladesh, India, Border Haats, Bilateral Trade, Customs

The Least Developed Countries Report 2020: Productive Capacities for the New Decade

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is taking its toll on economies of least developed countries (LDCs). To help economies and aid their recovery from the pandemic, this report lays out proposed measures for improving productive capacities of LDCs. It looks at mechanisms for regional cooperation in the areas of green technologies, industry, and digital technologies. The report takes a look at regional integration schemes, such as the South Asian Free Trade Area, and discusses how these could be instrumental in the sustainable and inclusive recovery for LDCs.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Year: 2020

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Tags: South Asia, UNCTAD, Least Developed Countries, Regional Cooperation, SAFTA

COVID-19 and Transport in Asia and the Pacific: Guidance Note

This guidance note outlines the effects of the coronavirus disease pandemic on the transport sector in developing Asia and the Pacific. In India, for example, rail freight traffic in April and May 2020 had decreased by 28% compared with demand in 2019. The publication shares possible measure for a post-pandemic recovery that provides greener and more resilient recovery. The publication also proposes regional cooperation bodies for coordinating cross-border freight and logistics and international air travel.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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Tags: ADB, Regional Cooperation, India, Transport, Logistics

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 Supplement: Paths Diverge in Recovery from the Pandemic

This publication provides updated economic forecasts for Asia and the Pacific. In South Asia, the earlier forecast of 6.8% contraction in 2020 is upgraded to 6.1%. Growth in South Asia is expected to return in 2021 at 7.2%. This is in line with improved prospects for India, where contraction is projected at 8.0% in 2020 and growth is projected at 8.0% in 2021. In Bangladesh, growth in exports and remittances backed economic activity. In Bhutan, the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is expected to be greater than projected. Travel demand remains weak in Maldives and is hampering recovery. In Nepal, a persistent rise in COVID-19 infections holds back demand. Resurgent outbreaks in Sri Lanka’s export and tourist markets are expected to worsen contraction in 2020.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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Tags: South Asia, India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Tourism, COVID-19, Export

India-Bangladesh Coastal Shipping Agreement

In 2015, Bangladesh and India signed an Agreement on Coastal Shipping to promote two-way trade through the countries’ respective ports. Coastal shipping began the following year with MV Harbour 1, which carried a shipment of cotton from Chittagong Port, Bangladesh, to Krishnapatnam Port, India. This short briefing note describes the basic features of the India-Bangladesh Coastal Shipping Agreement and examines complementary initiatives. It discusses the benefits of direct container shipping services, the agreement’s socioeconomic impact, and the issues and challenges associated with the agreement.

Author: CUTS International

Year: 2020

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Future of Regional Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific

The book reviews how Asia and the Pacific can leverage regional cooperation to realize the region’s economic potential. Subregional initiatives such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program could support regional public goods, including road, energy, communication, and railway networks. SASEC is also promoting the development of economic corridors, the strategy for which was introduced in the SASEC Operational Plan 2016–2025.

Author: Bambang Susantono and Cyn-Young Park

Year: 2020

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Tags: SASEC, Transport, Economic Corridor Development, Regional Cooperation

Energy Insecurity in Asia: Challenges, Solutions, and Renewable Energy

This book explores challenges in addressing energy insecurity in Asia. Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, and other energy surplus countries could export electricity and get huge economic gains, while Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and other energy-deficient countries could grow faster by importing energy. Cross-border renewable energy projects could also reduce dependence on coal and oil and thus limit environmental damage.

Author: Naoyuki Yoshino, Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary, Youngho Chang, and Thai-Ha Le (editors)

Year: 2020

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Tags: ADB, Regional Cooperation, Renewable Energy

Reimagining India’s Engagement with BIMSTEC

This brief discusses the role that India can play in subregional integration by reimagining India’s economic relations with its Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) partners. Recent economic developments in the Asia-Pacific region provide context in the analysis presented in this report. By developing local value chains, India can pull the region closer amid competing economic needs.

Author: Suparna Karmakar

Year: 2020

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Tags: India, BIMSTEC, Regional Integration

New Approaches to Measuring and Assessing Regional Cooperation and Integration: Workshop Highlights

This publication presents highlights from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) workshop on regional cooperation and integration on 16 and 17 April 2020. Discussions focused on approaches to measuring RCI and its implications for policy assessment. Mr. Ronald Antonio Butiong, Director, Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division, South Asia Department, ADB, discussed regional integration indicators in South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) member countries and outlined priorities for enhancing economic growth, improving social inclusion, and tackling poverty.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, South Asia, SASEC, ADB

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2020

The Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2020 provides up-to-date indicators for the 49 regional members of the Asian Development Bank, including numbers on energy, trade, transport, and tourism. This year the report discusses the challenges to inclusive and sustainable development that are likely to be amplified by the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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Tags: ADB, India, South Asia, Sustainable Development Goals, Trade

Summary of Proceedings of the 53rd ADB Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors

The Fifty-Third Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was held virtually in two stages in May and September 2020. Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance, India, called for the establishing of a regular South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) meeting of finance ministers by 2021 to further strengthen regional cooperation. Mr. Ibrahim Ameer, Finance Minister, Maldives, noted how ADB has assisted Maldives through the SASEC National Single Window Project.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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Tags: SASEC, ADB

Developing Multimodal Logistics Parks in India

Multimodal logistics parks (MMLPs) help bring down the cost of logistics and improve logistics performance by providing services in freight aggregation and distribution, multimodal freight transport, integrated storage and warehousing, technology support, and value-added services. This brief from the Asian Development Bank examines the potential of MMLPs to support supply chains in India and discusses the feasibility of MMLPs in Bengaluru and Guwahati.

Author: Sabyasachi Mitra, Hoe Yun Jeong, Kavita Iyengar, Bhuwan Bhaskar Agrawal, Shreyans Jain, and Atu Sanganeria

Year: 2020

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Tags: ADB, Bangladesh, India, Logistics

World Trade Statistical Review 2020 

World Trade Statistical Review 2020 presents the latest developments in world trade, with analysis of recent trends for trade in goods and services. The report examines the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on international trade, and provides data on trade in least developed countries as well as in countries under the South Asian Free Trade Area.

Author: World Trade Organization

Year: 2020

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Tags: SAFTA, South Asia, Trade Facilitation

Strengthening Freight Transport Corridors of South Asia in the aftermath of COVID-19

The supply of food and medicine in South Asia relies on freight transport, affecting the lives and livelihood of millions of people in the region. Therefore the recovery of international freight transport will play a large role post-Coronavirus-19 economic recovery in the region. This report looks at policies that could help freight transport in South Asia bounce back from the health crisis and ensure that the sector becomes more resilient and sustainable.

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

Year: 2020

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2019 Development Effectiveness Review

This report looks at the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) performance in achieving the goals set out in ADB's Strategy 2030. In 2019, ADB brought more focus to poverty reduction and inclusiveness. Many projects that were committed last year will also enable disability inclusion. For example, an administration and operations center to be built under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Port Access Elevated Highway Project will include features that will provide better services for persons with disabilities using Sri Lanka's port in Colombo.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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Basic Statistics 2020

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

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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Adapting the use of Asycuda World to the Covid-19 Situation: Guidelines to Customs Administrations

Customs administrations need to act decisively to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World system helps cross-border agencies deal with the pandemic through procedures that limit virus transmission in work areas, while ensuring smooth cross-border movement of essential products. The system reduces the need for face-to-face interaction by allowing agencies and traders to exchange data, send and receive documentation, and expedite various trade transactions.

Author: Automated System for Customs Data and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Year: 2020

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Tags: Customs, Trade, UNCTAD

Role of Regional Cooperation and Integration in Improving Energy Insecurity in South Asia

This brief discusses challenges and potentials in improving energy security in South Asia. It shows that increasing regional cooperation will help improve energy access and can help the region preserve natural assets, enhance agricultural production, and improve food security.

Author: Tapan Sarker, Shanawez Hossain, K. M. Nazmul Islam

Year: 2020

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, Energy, South Asia

Review of Sustainable Transport Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific 2019

A dominantly road-centric and fossil fuel dependent freight transport sector has made Asia and the Pacific one of the highest CO2 emitting regions in the world, while making the regional transport system more vulnerable to climate disasters. Shifting to sustainable freight transport will be driven by technology and innovation, but it will also need public policy that promotes better transport connectivity within the region.

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

Year: 2020

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Tags: Transport, Sustainable Development Goals, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Enhancing Productivity for Poverty Reduction in India

This brief looks at labor productivity in India and its impact on poverty reduction. It notes the need to bridge the infrastructure gap, improve the investment climate, and invest in education. Economic corridors would boost inclusive development, as these would act as markets for goods, help overcome infrastructure and regulatory bottlenecks, and aid dynamic reallocation. One such corridor is the Vizag–Chennai Industrial Corridor, which the Asian Development Bank is supporting with a $631 million loan.

Author: Kanupriya Gupta and Abhijit Sen Gupta

Year: 2020

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Tags: ADB, India, Economic Corridor Development

Digitalizing the Port Call Process

This study looks at the digitization of port call operations and the tensions and opportunities this digitization creates in the global maritime sector. One of the solutions being used to improve coordination of port call operations is Port Collaborative Decision Making (PortCDM), an international, independent system for near real-time digital data sharing. PortCDN technical guidelines, which can be adapted to regional and local needs, make processes more efficient by furnishing predictable port call timings and operations.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Year: 2020

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Transport

Unleashing E-Commerce for South Asian Integration

E-commerce is changing how transactions are made for goods and services. E-commerce facilitates international trade by reducing transaction costs. It also has the potential to be more inclusive of women, small businesses, and rural entrepreneurs. This report considers how e-commerce can be improved to deepen intraregional trade in South Asia. It looks at digital transacting models that reduce transaction costs and gives recommendations for regulatory reforms that could expand global participation by South Asian firms.

Author: Sanjay Kathuria, Arti Grover, Viviana Maria Eugenia Perego, Aaditya Mattoo, and Pritam Banerjee

Year: 2020

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Tags: South Asia, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, Trade Facilitation

Role of Multi-modal Connectivity in Fostering Value Chains in the BBIN Sub-region

This report looks at how multimodal connectivity can strengthen regional value chains in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) subregion. It also provides a snapshot of various multimodal connectivity initiatives, such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program, the inland waterways agreement between Bhutan and Bangladesh, and the railway link between Raxaul (India) and Sirsiya (Nepal).

Author: CUTS International

Year: 2020

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Rail, Road, Transport, SASEC

Review of the ADB Clean Energy Program

This publication presents a review of the Clean Energy Program of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It looks at what needs to be done in light of goals of mitigating climate change and promoting sustainable development. It also looks at the goals in terms of ADB’s Strategy 2030. Fostering regional cooperation and integration is among the operational priorities ADB has identified in Strategy 2030. ADB operations in the energy sector has promoted energy connectivity—such as through power interconnections in South Asia—and sharing best practices and technologies in renewable energy development.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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Tags: ADB, Energy, South Asia, Renewable Energy

Asia's Journey to Prosperity: Policy, Market, and Technology Over 50 Years

This book presents factors that can explain Asia's development performance. It looks at the role of policy, market, and technology in promoting trade and investment, infrastructure, and regional cooperation and integration (RCI). In South Asia, RCI has focused on connectivity through transport, energy, and trade facilitation. The Asian Development Bank has supported RCI by initiating several subregional programs, such as the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC), and the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC).

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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Tags: ADB, SASEC, Regional Cooperation, Trade, Energy

ADB Annual Report 2019

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) 2019 Annual Report details ADB’s operations, activities, and financial results over the year. ADB helps foster regional cooperation and integration through its support of the SASEC Program. In 2019, ADB committed $495 million to reduce travel times along regional corridors connecting Nepal with India and Bangladesh and improve connections to Sri Lanka’s international port under the SASEC Program.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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Tags: ADB, SASEC, South Asia, Regional Cooperation

Regional Institutions in Europe and Southeast Asia: Lessons for Economic Integration in South Asia

This working paper takes a look at the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as examples of regional institutions that were able to successfully foster economic growth and competitiveness. More specifically, the paper discusses the economic achievements of regional integration within the ASEAN and compares it with the EU. It offers lessons from the ASEAN integration that could help accelerate South Asian regional integration. It also examines the political and economic barriers hindering economic integration in South Asia, and emphasizes potential benefits regional integration and economic cooperation could bring to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region. These include reduced economic dependence on developed countries, increased trade, and stronger economic growth in the SAARC region.

Author: Falendra Kumar Sudan

Year: 2020

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, EU, ASEAN

Role of Regional Cooperation and Integration in Improving Energy Insecurity in South Asia

This working paper examines the literature on energy security in Asia. It gives an overview of resource constraints and the growth nexus in Asia, the scope for enhancing energy security, and the potential of regional cooperation to boost energy security. Wide disparity exists in energy security across the regions and between and within countries in Asia. With energy security critical to national security and access to natural resources, it is an important aspect of Asia’s long-term growth and development. This working paper puts forth that increasing regional cooperation can help improve access to energy among the energy-deficit developing countries in Asia, and benefit the region.It concludes that regional cooperation and integration promotes an interdependence network that ensures maximum use of renewable and non-renewable energy resources. This working paper also covers energy infrastructure development, investment needs, and potential sources of funding.

Author: Tapan Sarker, Shanawez Hossain, K. M. Nazmul Islam

Year: 2020

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Tags: Energy Security, Energy, Renewable Energy, Trade

Potential Exports and Nontariff Barriers to Trade: India National Study

This diagnostic study explores how India could boost its exports by addressing nontariff trade barriers. It looks at sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade (TBT) and identifies export products that have the potential to gain market share in its South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) partner countries. It considers possible legal reforms, the upgrade of laboratories and quality standards, and capacity development for accrediting agencies.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020: What Drives Innovation in Asia?

Growth in developing Asia is forecast to slow to 2.2% in fiscal year (FY) 2020 due to the effects of the global health emergency. In South Asia, growth will decelerate to 4.1% in FY2020 and rebound to 6.0% in FY2021 following a projected revival in India. Bangladesh is projected to grow by 7.8% this fiscal year and 8.0% in FY2021. GDP growth in Bhutan, despite lower tourist arrivals, will accelerate on high government spending. Growth in Maldives and Sri Lanka will be constrained this year due to weaker tourism. In Nepal, the outlook is for moderating growth. In Southeast Asia, Myanmar growth is expected to slow in FY2020 and pick up in FY2021.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Operational Plan 2016-2025 Update

This report embodies the strategic objectives and updated operational priorities of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program operational plan for 2016–2025. It reflects the changes resulting from a rigorous vetting process and identifies priority projects based on preparedness and their roles in filling network gaps. This Update also defines SASEC transport and energy networks and presents adjusted estimates of funding needs to help meet SASEC’s goals of multimodal connectivity, energy market development, and increased intraregional and interregional trade.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2020

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Tags: ADB, SASEC, Economic Corridor Development, Energy, Regional Cooperation, Trade Facilitation, Transport

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