SASEC News

Compiled features on recent developments in regional cooperation and integration in the SASEC region.

Year:  

June 2017
India Proposes Regional Air Connectivity Scheme among BIMSTEC Countries

The Government of India has proposed application of its "Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik" (UDAN) or "Common People of the Country can Fly" policy among member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). An enabling regional connectivity policy could help attract high value economic agents, business travelers, and tourists.


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Tags:  IndiaBIMSTECTransportConnectivityBhutanMyanmarRegional Cooperation
 

March 2017
India-Myanmar Border "Haats" Performing Well

Informal trading in the Northeast region's border 'haats' (rural markets) between India and Myanmar is doing very well, reported Mr. Najib Shah, Chairman of India's Central Board of Excise and Customs. The Government of India is considering opening more border haats to promote trade ties with its neighbors.


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Tags:  IndiaMyanmarTradeTrade FacilitationConnectivity
 

February 2017
Speech: Advancing Global Trade and the Role of the WTO

The outlook for trade growth has weakened and we are seeing an uncertain period in the global economy. In this speech delivered before the Confederation of Indian Industry, World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo asserts that instead of raising barriers, the opening up of trade will ensure more opportunities for more people.


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Tags:  ConnectivityDevelopmentIndiaICTEmploymentServicesTrade Facilitation AgreementWTO
 

February 2017
Commentary: India Infrastructure: Connecting Bihar

The Ganges flows through the middle of Bihar, India, physically dividing it into north and south. Enhanced connectivity can improve lives and livelihoods, especially if the infrastructure is climate-sensitive. Ms. Saleha Waseem, Operations Communications Specialist at the Asian Development Bank’s South Asia Regional Department, shows how improving transport links would make a huge difference to millions of people.


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Tags:  ADBAgricultureBangladeshConnectivityDevelopmentEconomic corridorRegional CooperationIndiaNepalRoadServicesTransport
 

February 2017
Commentary: Connecting Asia's Growth Poles

Mr. Wencai Zhang, Asian Development Bank Vice President, discusses in this commentary how Asia’s growth poles will drive the global economy in the coming years, if South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia can dynamically integrate their economies. He emphasized the urgent need to synch strengths across sub-regions—by removing non-tariff barriers, strengthening connectivity, and building economic corridors—to help erase poverty in the region.


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Tags:  ADBMyanmarBangladeshConnectivityEconomic Corridor Development
 

January 2017
Commentary: Need for Re-imagining Regional Cooperation

Limited cooperation and economic integration in South Asia continue to hinder its growth potential, despite being one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. In this commentary, Dr. Shamsul Alam, Member (Senior Secretary), General Economics Division, Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh, argues for the need to think of pragmatic approaches and re-imagine regional cooperation in South Asia.


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Tags:  ASEANBangladeshBhutanConnectivityIndiaEuropean UnionInfrastructure
 

January 2017
India to Sign Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods

India is set to join the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR), or International Road Transport Convention in its bid to establish seamless trade connectivity with Southeast Asia and Eurasian countries. Through the TIR Convention, India could access Eurasia via the International North-South Transport Corridor. TIR would also give India an advantage in trade with fellow signatories of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement.


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Tags:  BangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalConnectivityCustomsEconomic corridorHarmonizationMotor Vehicles AgreementRoadRoadsTrade FacilitationTradeTransportBBIN
 

December 2016
Commentary: Bhutan and Nepal: Two "Least Developed Nations" that Could Change Face of Asia

Least Developed Countries (LDCs) comprise around 880 million people yet account for less than 2% of the world gross domestic product. South Asian countries can accelerate economic development and graduate from the LDC category by working with each other. The economic future of their people could change radically through collaboration between the countries and lift millions of people out of poverty.


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Tags:  BhutanNepalBBINConnectivityEnergySAARCSri LankaTradeUNCTAD
 

December 2016
SASEC Roads Improvement Project to Boost Nepal's Transport Connectivity and Export Competitiveness

The Asian Development Bank has approved a loan for $187 million to Nepal for the SASEC Roads Improvement Project, which will upgrade transport connectivity and bring transformational gains by making social services more accessible, opening up previously untapped economic opportunities, and supporting trade between Nepal and India.


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Tags:  SASECTransportNepalConnectivityADBServicesTrade
 

December 2016
SASEC Portfolio Tops $9 billion

The SASEC project portfolio has surpassed the $9 billion mark with the December 2016 approval of Nepal’s SASEC Roads Improvement Project, worth $256.5 million. There are now 44 SASEC investment projects worth a cumulative $9.13 billion. During 2016, seven projects have been approved for a total of $2.37 billion.


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Tags:  SASECTrade FacilitationEnergyTransportRoadsNepalBangladeshBhutanICTRailEconomic corridorConnectivity
 

September 2016
ADB Approves $1.5 Billion Railway Project for Bangladesh

The Asian Development Bank has approved a multitranche loan of $1.5 billion to the Government of Bangladesh for construction of a key section of the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar railway line—the largest ever investment in railways by ADB. The new line will improve Bangladesh’s access to Myanmar and beyond, facilitate trade, and boost tourism in southeastern Bangladesh.
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Tags:  BangladeshMyanmarRailConnectivityTransportTradeTourism
 

August 2016
SAARC Finance Ministers Meeting Focuses on Trade, Taxation

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Finance Ministers’ Meeting focused on improving trade relations among member nations. Discussions revolved around economic issues, Customs unions, avoidance of double taxation, improving connectivity, increasing trade volume, and developing supply chain linkages.


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Tags:  SAARCIndiaTradeBangladeshBhutanMaldivesNepalSri LankaConnectivityCustomsSASECTrade
 

March 2016
Industrial Park and Connectivity on SAARC CCI Agenda

The development of a SAARC Industrial Park is one of the top priorities of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI), and will enable the sharing of technical knowledge for industries and services among SAARC countries, and promote intra-SAARC trade and investment, according to new SAARC CCI President Suraj Vaidya. SAARC CCI will also work toward boosting connectivity in the region.
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Tags:  SAARC CCIConnectivityPrivate SectorNepal
 

November 2015
Bhutan and Sri Lanka Hold First Annual Bilateral Consultation

The first annual bilateral consultation between the Government of Bhutan and the Government of Sri Lanka, held on 16 November 2015 in Colombo, discussed cooperation in regional and multilateral forums, and air connectivity. Membership of regional organizations and frameworks, including SAARC and BIMSTEC, was emphasized by the two countries as one way to strengthen links and enhance trade and economic cooperation.
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Tags:  BhutanSri LankaBilateral TradeConnectivityTransport
 

August 2015
Dhaka-Sylhet Highway to be Widened into Four-Lane Road

The Bangladesh Government will take steps to widen the Dhaka-Sylhet highway to four lanes to facilitate the flow of traffic, following completion of a feasibility study and detailed design of this national highway. The study was conducted by the Road and Highways Department, Bangladesh, with funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance.
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Tags:  BangladeshTransportConnectivity
 

November 2014
SAARC Moves toward Multimodal Connectivity in South Asia

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries are currently working on six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) that will link South Asia by rail, road, air and sea, to stimulate greater trade within the region.  This includes the SAARC Motor Vehicles Agreement and SAARC Regional Railways Agreement.
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Tags:  ConnectivitySouth AsiaTransport
 

November 2014
SASEC Program Launches Mobile App

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program has released a mobile app now available for download. This free app is your one-stop shop for the latest information on SASEC Program projects, news, events, and other knowledge products.
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Tags:  ConnectivityEnergyTransportTrade Facilitation
 

September 2014
Single Permit System Proposed for SAARC Road Transport

A single permit system facilitating easy movement of goods and people through road transport within the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region may soon be a possibility, as SAARC member states consider this proposal during a meeting of SAARC officials in Rajasthan, India.
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Tags:  TransportSAARCConnectivity
 

August 2014
Bangladesh to Open Sea Ports to Neighbors

Following a meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of an India-Bangladesh business conclave on 24 August 2014, Tripura Industries and Commerce Minister Tapan Chakraborty said that Bangladesh will allow neighboring countries to use Ashuganj and Chittagong sea ports for multi-modal transport. This move is expected to further enhance economic integration among South Asian countries.
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Tags:  BangladeshBilateral TradeIndiaConnectivityTransport
 

August 2014
'Regional Connectivity for Shared Prosperity': UNESCAP's Roadmap to An Inclusive Future

Economic dynamism in the Asia-Pacific region has been driven primarily by individual economies, yet to ensure sustainable growth in the future, countries must integrate and cooperate to share prosperity, according to the 2014edition of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific.
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Tags:  Regional CooperationPoverty ReductionUNESCAPAsia-PacificEnergyConnectivityICTLDCSASECTradeTransport
 

July 2014
Coastal Shipping between Bangladesh and India to Enhance Transport Efficiency, Trade

A coastal shipping arrangement between Bangladesh and India will soon facilitate faster shipment of goods between the two countries, and enable better access to India's northeastern regions. It is also expected to give bilateral trade a boost. Trials runs in Chittagong port and Kolkata port are scheduled to begin by October 14.
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Tags:  TransportRegional CooperationConnectivity
 

June 2014
Bhutan and India to Pilot Secure Cross-Border Cargo Model

The Royal Kingdom of Bhutan and India are moving to more sophisticated technologies in an effort to increase trade efficiencies between the two countries. In May 2014, government officials from Bhutan and India agreed to embark on a feasibility study that will pilot UNESCAP's Secure Cross-Border Transport Model (SCBTM) along key trade corridors, aimed at speeding up and reducing the cost of trade through designated land routes and border-crossing points.
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Tags:  TransportConnectivityEconomic corridor
 

May 2014
From 4 Strands to 6: New SASEC Logo Launched

The new SASEC logo unveiled in May reflects the inclusion of the Maldives and Sri Lanka into the SASEC program. It also represents the continuous commitment of SASEC to strengthen regional cooperation and integration in South Asia.
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Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationConnectivity
 

March 2014
BIMSTEC Senior Officials Visit the Myawaddy-Kawkareik Section of the Trilateral Highway Project

BIMSTEC senior officials visited the Myawaddy-Kawkareik Road Project in Myanmar on 20 March 2014, at the southeastern end of the Trilateral Highway connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand. The $38 million Government of Thailand-financed project is upgrading and constructing 45.5 kilometers of national highway, and rehabilitating the Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Bridge.
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Tags:  TransportConnectivityBIMSTEC
 

February 2014
SAARC Development Fund Brainstorming Workshop for Evolving Strategic Plan

The South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Development Fund met on 12-14 February 2014 in New Delhi, India to brainstorm on its evolving strategic plan. It reviewed the purpose, methodology, and sustainability of social window activities; explored fund-raising opportunities and loan instruments; and prioritized projects for funding.
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Tags:  SAARCRegional CooperationConnectivity
 

February 2014
Upgrade of Jaidevpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga Highway in Bangladesh Underway

Aligned with South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC), the Government of Bangladesh will implement a Tk 27.88 billion ($358. 59 million) project to upgrade the Jaidevpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga highway which forms part of Asian Highway-2, Asian Hghway-41, and SAARC Highway Corridor-4 to facilitate road connectivity with neighboring countries.
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Tags:  TransportConnectivityBangladesh