SASEC News

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

Year:  

June 2017
India to Link Meghalaya-Myanmar, Boost Waterway Transit

The Government of India plans to begin construction of the highway connecting Meghalaya to Myanmar in June 2017, according tothe Ministry of Road Transport, Highways, and Shipping, India. India also plans to boost waterway transit for more cost-effective transport of goods, and is considering waterway connectivity between Myanmar and Bangladesh.


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Tags:  TransportIndiaMyanmarBangladeshSoutheast Asia
 

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
 

June 2017
Electronic Cargo Tracking System to Improve India-Nepal Cargo Traffic and Security

An electronic tracking system will soon ease traffic-in-transit for cargo traveling by road and rail from Kolkata to four major Customs points of Nepal, including the Raxaul route. Mr. Sandeep Kumar, Customs Commissioner, India, and Mr. Rabi Shanker Sainju, Commerce Ministry Joint Secretary, Nepal, signed a memorandum of intent to pilot the tracking system for a trial period of at least 90 days in late 2017.


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Tags:  Electronic Cargo Tracking SystemADBSASECNepalIndiaBBINCustomsRoadRailTransport
 

May 2017
Need to Improve Bangladesh-India Port Services Highlighted by IBCCI

A delegation of the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) met with Mr. Shajahan Khan, Shipping Minister, Bangladesh, to discuss trade bottlenecks in Bangladesh-India land ports. Infrastructural and administrative bottlenecks in land and sea ports of Bangladesh and India slows down the trade process. Long delays for trucks to pass through Customs, for example, results in shortages of warehouses and trucks, and skyrocketing prices in truck rentals.


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Tags:  IndiaBangladeshTrade FacilitationTransport
 

May 2017
New India Investment Agreements Take Holistic Approach to Spur Infrastructure Growth

India has signed investment agreements worth $31 million at the Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit in New Delhi, India. The agreements form part of the Government of India’s holistic approach to spur infrastructure growth, according to Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Road Transport and Shipping Minister, India.


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Tags:  IndiaTransportShipping
 

May 2017
SAARC Finance Ministers Meet in Yokohama, Japan

Finance ministers and senior officials of member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka met on 5 May at Yokohama, Japan, at the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) 50th Annual General Meeting.


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Tags:  ADBBangladeshBhutanCentral AsiaClimate ChangeEnergyIndiaMaldivesNepalPolicyRegional CooperationSAARCSASECSri LankaTradeTransport
 

April 2017
India, Sri Lanka Sign MoU for Cooperation in Economic Projects

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited India on 25-29 April 2017, for discussion with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a range of bilateral issues and matters of mutual interest. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe welcomed the signing of the MoU for Cooperation in Economic Projects, which outlines the agenda for bilateral economic cooperation.


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Tags:  IndiaSri LankaInfrastructureTradeTrade FacilitationTransport
 

April 2017
Bangladesh Wants to Be South Asia’s Transport Hub

Bangladesh has the potential to become a transport hub for India, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Myamar, according to Mr. AMA Muhith, Finance Minister, Bangladesh. Turning Bangladesh into a regional and transshipment hub would enhance economic cooperation and result in collective economic growth for the countries, Mr. Muhith said at the SASEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi, India.


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Tags:  BangladeshBhutanEconomic Corridor DevelopmentEnergyICTIndiaNepalMaldivesMyanmarSASECSouth AsiaSri LankaTrade FacilitationTransportRegional Cooperation
 

March 2017
SASEC Program Is Now on Facebook

SASEC is now on Facebook, connecting followers to the most up-to-date news on regional cooperation in South Asia, SASEC events, project information, and publications that are all featured daily on www.sasec.asia. To follow SASEC on Facebook, simply click here; then click “Like” at the top of the Facebook page.


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Tags:  SASECBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesMyanmarNepalSri LankaRegional CooperationTradeEconomic cooperation
 

March 2017
Nepal Government Ministries Urged to Collaborate to Manage Widening Export Gap

Low exports and rising imports are causing exponential growth in Nepal's trade deficit, according to Nepal’s Minister of Commerce, and he urged ministries, agencies, and the private sector to collaborate to bridge Nepal's widening export gap. The Ministry of Commerce has prioritized initiatives to promote Nepal's productive capacity.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaNepalTrade
 

March 2017
Commentary: Boosting Trade Facilitation in Services

A fast-rising information technology-enabled services (ITES) is opening global opportunities for the millions of Indian college graduates that enter the workforce every year. In this article, Mr. Pritam Banergee, Senior Director for Corporate Public Policy (South Asia), Deutsche Post DHL, discusses the need for India’s government and businesses to focus on trade policy reform that ensure markets remain open for the ITES sector.


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Tags:  Authorised Economic OperatorsICTIndiaEmploymentJobsServicesSouth AsiaTariffsTechnologyTrade FacilitationTrade Facilitation AgreementTrade PolicyWTO
 

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
 

March 2017
BIMSTEC Roundtable Stresses Need to Resolve Border-Related Trade Barriers

The Eighth BIMSTEC Roundtable Meeting tackled “Rewriting the Rulebook of Regional Connectivity,” emphasizing the need to resolve border-related trade barriers through coordination of government policies across Asia, including Customs procedures and clearance of goods, to unlock the vibrancy of the Asian Highway and reduce the cost of doing business.


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Tags:  BIMSTECTradeCustomsBangladeshIndiaMyanmarICTNepalTransportEase of Doing Business
 

March 2017
International River Port to be Developed in Tripura

India's Ministry of Shipping will set up an international river port in Sonamura, connecting Gomati River in Tripura, in India's northeast, with Meghna river in Bangladesh. India’s Inland Waterways Authority approved the proposal to enable small ferries and boats to transport goods through river transit, according to Minister of State for Industries and Commerce.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTransport
 

February 2017
India-Myanmar Trade Increases to $22 Million

Bilateral trade between India and Myanmar increased from nearly $11.9 million in 2013-2014 to around $22.2 million in 2015-2016, according to India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry. India's Act East Policy was instrumental in promoting trade growth between the two countries, deepening economic cooperation and expanding trade through India's Northeast region.


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Tags:  Act East PolicyIndiaMyanmarTradeTransport
 

February 2017
India Files Proposal for Trade Deal on Services

India filed a draft Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) on Services at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 23 February 2017. The proposal aims to increase transparency, reduce costs and facilitate cross-border flows of services. India is looking to push the proposal at the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December.


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Tags:  CustomsIndiaServicesTrade Facilitation AgreementTransparencyTransportWTO
 

February 2017
Commentary: An Emergent Urgency for Bangladesh

Good connectivity reduces the cost of doing business and increases the competitive strengths of trading partners. In this commentary, Dr. Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue, highlights how a sanitary and phytosanitary agreement and an effective Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement would promote South Asian integration and step up Asia-wide cooperation.


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Tags:  BBINMotor Vehicles AgreementBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalTransportEconomic corridor
 

February 2017
ADB, India Ink $375 Million Loan/Grant Agreement to Develop the Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor

The Asian Development Bank and the Government of India have signed a $375 million agreement to develop the 800-kilometer Visakhapatnam (Vizag)-Chennai Industrial Corridor. The agreement includes the first tranche of $245 million, which will develop high-quality infrastructure in Visakhapatnam and Yerpedu-Srikalahasti, a $125 million policy-based loan, and a $5 million grant to build climate change resilient infrastructure.


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Tags:  ADBEconomic corridorIndiaAct East PolicyMake in Indiamanufacturing
 

February 2017
WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement Enters into Force

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement came into force after Rwanda, Oman, Chad, and Jordan submitted their instruments of acceptance to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. The submissions bring the total number of ratifications over the 110 required for activation. Members’ trade costs are forecast to lower by 14.3%, with developing countries having the most to gain.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaLDCMyanmarNepalSri LankaTrade Facilitation AgreementWTO
 

February 2017
India, Nepal Bilateral Meeting Discusses Operational Modality of New Transmission Lines

The Governments of India and Nepal discussed how to bring transmission line projects—the Dhalkebar (Nepal)-Muzaffarpur (India) transmission line, Raxaul (India)-Parwanipur (Nepal) transmission line, and Kataiya (India)-Kushaha (Nepal) transmission line—into operation. They agreed to increase the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line to 220 kVa capacity in May 2017, and begin electricity import through the Raxaul-Parwanipur and Kataiya-Kushaha transmission line.


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Tags:  IndiaNepalEnergyTransmissionHydropowerTradeElectricity
 

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
Indian Business Leaders Look to Strengthen Trade to Drive Job Creation

Indian business leaders met with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevêdo to discuss the future of the global trading system. The roundtable meeting, hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce and attended by over 50 senior representatives from various sectors, focused on trade reforms to strengthen inclusive growth and other world trade developments.


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Tags:  IndiaEmploymentServicesTradeTrade FacilitationWTO
 

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
Cooperation the Best Option for South Asia’s Growing Power Needs

Hydropower cooperation among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal could be a viable option for addressing growing power needs in the region, said Mr. Ainun Nishat, Professor Emeritus, Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research, Brac University, Bangladesh. Nepal’s hydropower potential stands at 83,000 megawatts (MW), while Bhutan’s is at 40,000 MW and northeast India’s at 60,000 MW.


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Tags:  HydropowerEnergyRenewable EnergySustainabilityBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

January 2017
Nepal-India Oversight Mechanism Agrees to Expedite Project Implementation

The second meeting of the Nepal-India Oversight Mechanism, held on 30 January 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal, reviewed progress of India-funded economic and development projects in Nepal, and agreed to expedite implementation of these projects for timely completion. Projects discussed included cross-border railways, integrated check posts, and cross-border transmission lines.


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Tags:  IndiaNepalRailHydropowerInfrastructureTransportEnergy
 

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
Railway Network Linking India and its Neighbors Under Consideration

A railway network linking India and its neighboring countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal, is being considered by the Government of India, according to India Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Developing railway connectivity will increase employment, interaction, trade, and tourism.


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Tags:  IndiaRailBangladeshBhutanMyanmarNepalTradeTrade FacilitationTransportTourismEmployment
 

January 2017
Report Highlights How Cross-Border Electricity Trade Will Benefit India and Nepal

The Integrated Research and Action for Development initiative has launched the analytical study “Economic Benefits from Nepal-India Electricity Trade,” confirming that a large economically feasible electricity export potential exists. Electricity trade can help boost Nepal's economy and improve the well-being of its people, and offers India an affordable and convenient renewable resource to meet demand.


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Tags:  HydropowerNepalIndiaEnergy
 

January 2017
Davos 2017: Accelerating South Asia's Growth and Development through Regional Cooperation

The interactive session “Harnessing Regional Cooperation in South Asia” held at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum discussed how regional economic cooperation is helping accelerate growth and development. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasized continuous initiatives, in economic cooperation in South Asia, including SAFTA and SASEC. India Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman lauded initiatives to boost connectivity.


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Tags:  South AsiaRegional CooperationTrade FacilitationTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

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
 

January 2017
Nepal Customs Officers Undergo Training at NACEN

The National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) held a capacity-building program for 35 Customs Officers from Nepal. The 5-day program discussed various Customs-related topics, including Customs valuation; World Trade Organization provisions; Customs reform; and use of risk management.


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Tags:  IndiaNepalTrade FacilitationCustomsFree Trade AgreementRisk ManagementWTO
 

January 2017
APTA Member Countries Move to Boost Trade in the Region

Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, South Korea, and Sri Lanka, member countries of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), moved to expand trade and boost growth in the region by agreeing to increase the number of products under preferential tariff treatment to 10,677 items from 4,270 at the 4th session of the APTA Ministerial Council.


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Tags:  Asia-PacificBangladeshDevelopmentRegional CooperationServicesSri LankaSustainabilityTariffsTradeTrade FacilitationUNESCAPIndia
 

January 2017
Commentary: Hydro-powering Regional Development in India and Nepal

Transboundary rivers between India and Nepal have huge hydropower and irrigation potential. Developing these rivers can become an engine for regional development, alleviating poverty for millions of people within a reasonable timeframe. With improved relations between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal, formulating and implementing sustainable plans to manage these rivers presents a significant win-win opportunity for the subregion.


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Tags:  IndiaNepalHydropowerKosi RiverSustainabilityPoverty Reduction
 

January 2017
India Identifies Potential Location for Special Economic Zones in Bangladesh

India is set to undertake a number of projects in the city of Khulna, Bangladesh, including a planned Mongla Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for Indian companies. India is also offering to undertake joint projects with Bangladesh to modernize the Mongla sea port and to construct the Khan Jahan Ali Airport. Trade between India and Bangladesh has seen a substantial increase in the last few years.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaEconomic zone
 

January 2017
Nepal Upgrades Hydropower Plant with India’s Help

Nepal has upgraded the Thame Khola Small Hydropower Plant in Namche VDC, Solukhumbu District, raising the plant’s capacity from 630 kilowatts (kW) to 930 kW. India provided assistance of $54,500 for the upgrade. The facility supplies power to the upper Khumbu valley, including 18 villages of Khumjung and Namche VDC.


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Tags:  HydropowerNepalIndiaEnergy
 

January 2017
Second India-Bhutan Joint Working Group on Customs Held in Thimphu

The Second India-Bhutan Joint Working Group on Customs highlighted the possibility of facilitating bilateral trade in select land Customs stations along Bhutan-India borders; and discussed streamlining Customs procedures and document requirements at entry and exit points. It also agreed to open three more trading points between Bhutan and India, and discussed issues including development of Goods and Service Tax in India.


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Tags:  IndiaBhutanCustomsTradeTrade FacilitationBilateral Agreement
 

January 2017
Sri Lanka Seeks to Attract Foreign Investment, Boost Exports

The Government of Sri Lanka aims to attract $50 billion in foreign investment in the next 5-10 years to help develop infrastructure, and boost exports to $20 billion by 2020. This year, Sri Lanka expects to sign free-trade deals with India, Singapore, and China.


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Tags:  Sri LankaExportsIndiaChinaFree Trade AgreementBIMSTECTourism
 

January 2017
Northeast Region Could Be India’s New Growth Engine

Through infrastructure improvements and policy reforms, Assam is becoming more investment friendly, prompting the possibility of Assam and the entire northeast India becoming the country’s new growth engine, according to Assam’s Chief Minister. The State is connected to all of India’s major cities through the East-West Corridor and is also set to improve connectivity with ASEAN and BIMSTEC countries through proposed road and rail projects.


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Tags:  Indiamanufacturing
 

December 2016
Regional Workshop Highlights Achievements of the SASEC Information Highway Project

A Regional Workshop on the SASEC Research and Training Network was held to assess the results and achievements of the SASEC Information Highway Project. The Meeting reviewed project implementation, discussed knowledge products, and summarized project benefits to rural communities. It also proposed ways to facilitate sustainable ICT cooperation among the four countries.


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Tags:  ICTSASECADBBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

December 2016
Commentary: Nepal Hydropower to Bring Economic, Social, and Environmental Benefits

Nepal’s hydropower potential could be realized with an efficient technological base, entrepreneurial vision, a coordinated power trading approach, and sustained investment commitment. Hydropower development would bring economic, social, and environmental benefits in Nepal and the rest of the South Asian region. In this speech delivered at the Power Summit, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal vowed to support domestic and foreign investors through a policy encouraging investment.


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Tags:  DevelopmentEnergyHydropowerIndiaInvestmentNepalPrivate SectorRegional CooperationTrade
 

December 2016
ADB Strategic Climate Fund Boosts the Nepal SASEC Power System Expansion Project Fund

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an additional $20 million for the SASEC Power System Expansion Project in Nepal, to be provided by the ADB Strategic Climate Fund. This additional financing will support installation of utility-scale solar photovoltaic systems by 2018. The Government of Nepal is also providing complementary funding of $24.5 million.


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Tags:  EnergyNepalTradeHydropowerADBSASECClimate ChangeRenewable EnergySustainabilityRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationSolar EnergyIndia
 

December 2016
4th Regional Customs Enforcement Meeting

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence under the Central Board of Excise and Customs organized the 4th Regional Customs Enforcement Meeting in New Delhi, India, as part of its Founding Day celebrations. The Heads of Customs Enforcement from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Mauritius and Maldives were invited to participate in the said Meeting, which discussed issues of mutual concern, noted the need to share information and activate channels of coordination.


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Tags:  CustomsTrade FacilitationSouth AsiaRegional CooperationIndiaSri LankaMyanmarBangladeshNepalBhutanMaldivesMyanmarTrade
 

December 2016
India Ministry of Power Issues Guidelines on Cross-Border Trade of Electricity

India's Ministry of Power has issued Guidelines on Cross-Border Trade of Electricity, with the aim of facilitating cross-border trade of electricity between India and its neighboring countries; promoting transparency, consistency and predictability in regulatory approaches across jurisdictions and minimizing perceptions of regulatory risk; and developing reliable grid operation and transmission of electricity across borders.


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Tags:  IndiaEnergyHydropowerSAARCTrade
 

December 2016
Ferry Services between Colombo and Tuticorin Being Planned

The Colombo Shipping Corporation is planning to re-establish ferry linkages under public-private partnership. A SAARC Meeting of Experts from India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, recommended resumption of ferry services between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. 


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Tags:  ADBIndiaMaldivesPublic-Private PartnershipRegional CooperationSAARCSri LankaTransport
 

December 2016
India-Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Motor Car Rally Highlights IMT Connectivity

An India-Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Motor Car Rally, beginning in New Delhi, India and culminating in Bangkok, Thailand, has highlighted potential benefits of intra-regional connectivity and integration, and sensitized stakeholders on the all-weather road that will make travel from New Delhi to Bangkok by road possible.


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Tags:  IndiaMyanmarThailandIMT-MVATransportRoad
 

November 2016
Nepal's Third Country Trade through Vizag Port Moves Forward

A notification for moving export and import cargo to and from Nepal through Visakhapatnam (Vizag) Port in Andhra Pradesh, India, was issued by the Nepal Department of Customs. This follows the go-ahead given by the Central Bank of Nepal to issue letters of credit to clients using Vizag Port to bring in trade. Furthermore, the Government of Nepal is considering establishing a consulate in Andhra Pradesh to ensure more efficient utilization of Vizag Port.


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Tags:  NepalIndiaTrade FacilitationPortsImportsExportsLLDC
 

November 2016
East Coast Economic Corridor to Include Odisha

The State Government of Odisha will prepare a conceptual development plan for the first phase of the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) by March 2017. Odisha has been included in the ECEC following discussions between officials of the Government of India and the Asian Development Bank.


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Tags:  East Coast Economic CorridorEconomic corridorOdishaMake in IndiamanufacturingADBIndia
 

November 2016
New India-Bhutan Bilateral Trade Agreement Signed

The new India-Bhutan Trade, Commerce and Transit Agreement was signed on 12 November 2016 in Thimphu, Bhutan. The bilateral Agreement focuses on promoting trade between the two countries through trade facilitation, improving trade procedures, and adding exit and entry points to facilitate Bhutan's third-country trade.


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Tags:  BhutanIndiaTrade FacilitationTradeLLDC
 

November 2016
Bangladesh to Improve Ease of Doing Business to Attract More Indian Investors

In a meeting with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr. Kazi M. Azul Islam, Chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, promised CII delegates that Bangladesh will work toward improving the country’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ to encourage more investors from India. Bangladesh has set a five-year target to improve its ease of doing business.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaEase of Doing BusinessInvestmentEnergyInfrastructureBilateral Trade
 

November 2016
Online Alert System for SPS/TBT Notifications Launched

EPing, an online alert system for updates on the latest information on regulatory requirements for international trade, was launched by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Trade Organization, and the International Trade Centre. The system enables access to WTO member notifications on TBT and SPS measures, and facilitates dialogue among the public and private sector in the early stages of potential trade issues.


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Tags:  Trade FacilitationTechnical Barriers to TradeSanitary and PhytosanitaryTradeWTOBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka
 

November 2016
New MoU to Expand Border Haats in Bangladesh and India

The Governments of Bangladesh and India are preparing a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to expand their agreement on Bangladesh-India border ‘haats’ (markets). The MOU extends the provision to operate border haats to five years, increases the number of vendors allowed, and sets a $200 purchase limit per person.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTradeBorder Haat
 

October 2016
New India-Bhutan Trade, Commerce, and Transit Agreement Approved by Indian Cabinet

A new Agreement on Trade, Commerce, and Transit between India and Bhutan, enabling a free trade regime between the two countries, and providing for duty-free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries, has been approved by the Cabinet of India, in a meeting chaired by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


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Tags:  BhutanIndiaTrade FacilitationTransportBilateral Trade
 

October 2016
India's Foreign Secretary Discusses Potential Partnerships with Sri Lanka's President, Prime Minister

Mr. S. Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, India, called on Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss potential partnerships between India and Sri Lanka in sectors including energy, infrastructure, and transport, and Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to further discuss boosting bilateral trade and investment.


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Tags:  IndiaSri LankaEnergyInfrastructureTransport
 

October 2016
India-Nepal Panel Formed to Implement Bilateral Projects

A high-level panel formed by the Governments of India and Nepal will work to address bottlenecks in infrastructure projects in Nepal funded by the Government of India—including hydropower projects, roads and railways—to ensure their timely completion.


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Tags:  IndiaNepalRailTransportEnergy
 

October 2016
Power Trade to Help South Asian Countries Save $9 Billion Annually, Reduce Emissions

South Asian countries should engage more in regional energy trade and joint management of resources. By doing so, they could save over $9 billion annually and reduce carbon emissions by 8%. And since energy drives development, energy cooperation and trade is expected to translate to improved standards of living and poverty reduction.


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Tags:  EnergyHydropowerSouth AsiaBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka
 

October 2016
Land Acquisition for the Agartala-Akhaura Rail Project Begins in Bangladesh

The Governments of India and Bangladesh have begun the process of acquiring land in Bangladesh to build the new India-Bangladesh railway project. The 15 kilometer (km) railway will connect Agartala (India) to Akhaura (Bangladesh), and reduce the 1,613-km mountainous distance between Agartala and Kolkata to 514 km.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTransportRail
 

October 2016
VCIC Receives Major Support from ADB

The $631 million loan and grant support from the Asian Development Bank provides a huge boost to the 800-kilometer Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) section of the 2500-km East Coast Economic Corridor. Approved in September 2016, the VCIC Development Program will help develop India’s first coastal industrial corridor and create seamless trade links between South and Southeast Asia.


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Tags:  Economic corridorIndiaVizag-Chennai Industrial CorridorInfrastructureEase of Doing Business
 

October 2016
Commentary: The Case for Stronger Ties in South Asia

In recent years, countries in South Asia have shown increasing commitment to deepening regional cooperation through bilateral agreements and regional initiatives, including the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement. This commentary by Ms. Nahela Nowshin of the Centre for Policy Dialogue discusses the importance of regional initiatives in South Asia, as well as the need to promote dialogue on matters of regional cooperation and connectivity.


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Tags:  Trade FacilitationTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

October 2016
Simplified Customs Process to Benefit Emerging Domestic Brands

A new Customs inspection and verification procedure is changing how trade is conducted among South Asian countries. Through the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement, cargo and passenger vehicles may now pass through the four countries more smoothly. The simplified process greatly benefits apparel-centric economies, making South Asia more competitive for both global and domestic brands.


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Tags:  BBINCustomsTrade FacilitationGarmentsImportsMotor Vehicles AgreementBangladeshIndiaNepal
 

October 2016
India Expands Scope of ATA Carnet

India's Central Board of Excise and Customs announced an expansion of scope of India's ATA Carnet facility to include duty-free and tax-free temporary admission of goods for private exhibitions, trade fairs, and meetings. This initiative will contribute effectively to the Government's program to improve the country's 'Ease of Doing Business', and make India a prime destination for international events, conventions, and exhibitions.


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Tags:  IndiaTrade FacilitationStandards Harmonization
 

September 2016
SASEC Countries Gear Up for Greater Economic Cooperation

The six member countries of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program have launched the SASEC Operational Plan for 2016-2025. The plan expands the program’s focus beyond intraregional cooperation to deepening linkages with Southeast and East Asia, and widens the scope of transport, trade facilitation, and energy cooperation to include economic corridor development as a priority initiative. The plan also lists more than 200 potential regional projects for South Asia.


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Tags:  ADBSASECEconomic corridorBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka
 

September 2016
ADB to Fund India’s First Coastal Industrial Corridor

ADB has approved a multitranche financing facility and grant of $500 million for the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor Development Program to develop India’s first coastal industrial corridor, with the Government of India also contributing $215 million in funding. The Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor is a key section of India’s planned East Coast Economic Corridor. 


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Tags:  ADBEconomic corridorVizag-Chennai Industrial CorridorIndiaSASECSASEC Operational Plan
 

September 2016
13th SAARC Trade Fair Held in Thimphu

The 13th SAARC trade fair was held in Thimphu, Bhutan, to promote intra-regional trade and investment among SAARC countries. In his opening address, Mr. Lekey Dorji, Bhutan Economic Affairs Minister, underscored the importance of fostering business links among companies in the region to accelerate economic growth and improve people's well-being.


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Tags:  SAARCTradeSouth AsiaBhutanBangladeshIndiaNepalMaldivesSri Lanka
 

September 2016
India Sets IMT Trilateral Highway Completion

The India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway is set to be completed by 2019-2020. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assigned the India Ministry of External Affairs to monitor and oversee its completion.


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Tags:  IMT-MVATransportIndiaASEAN
 

September 2016
Seminar Emphasizes Need to Attract More FDI for Nepal's Hydropower Sector

A 'Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Hydropower' forum in Kathmandu, Nepal stressed the need for more FDI in hydropower projects. According to Nepal Minister for Energy Janardan Sharma, Nepal needs more investment to be able to fully harness its hydropower capacity. The Power Trade Agreement signed by Nepal and India promises a huge market for Nepal's hydroelectricity.


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Tags:  NepalInvestmentHydropowerEnergyIndiaExports
 

September 2016
Agricultural Value Chains can be Game Changer for India-Bangladesh Trade

A seminar organized by CUTS International has recommended promotion of regional value chains in agriculture between India and Bangladesh. A recent CUTS International study revealed huge opportunities for trade in agricultural produce: for example, in Tripura, India, produce sourced from Indian states can be easily imported from nearby areas of Bangladesh at a much faster time and for less cost.


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Tags:  IndiaBangladeshTrade
 

September 2016
Customs-free BBIN Borders to Cut Time, Cost for Traders

Customs-free borders for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal will save time and money for importers and exporters and thereby increase the ease of doing business, according to an executive of the Federation of Indian Exporters Organisation (FIEO). Because goods no longer have to be unloaded at the border, trucks can easily cross borders, reducing time and logistics costs for both buyer and seller.


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Tags:  BBINCustomsTradeMotor Vehicles AgreementBangladeshBhutanIndia
 

September 2016
India to Prioritize Working towards TFA for Services

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared the country’s desire to prioritize a trade facilitation agreement (TFA) for services, on 6 September at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, noting its potential to help professionals and business move from one country to another. Mr. Modi said that the service sector has huge potential and contributes significantly to the economy.


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Tags:  IndiaBRICSTrade FacilitationWTO
 

September 2016
Second BBIN Trial Run Demonstrates Benefits of BBIN MVA

A new chapter in trade relations and people-to-people contact between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) began on 5 September 2016, as a Bangladeshi cargo truck rolled into the Customs Inland Container Depot, Patparganj, Delhi. Though the vehicle entered India through Petrapole Land Customs Station, Customs clearance was done at the ICD, Patparganj, as part of a trial run of the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement.


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Tags:  BBINTrade FacilitationTransportMotor Vehicles AgreementBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

September 2016
India to Provide Rail Link to Bhutan

As part of the Government of India’s Act East Policy, Indian Railways is set to provide a rail link to Bhutan to boost ties with its South Asian neighbors. Feasibility studies have been conducted for extended links between Kokrajhar-Gelephu, Rangiya-Samdrupjonkhar, Banarhat-Samtse, and Pathsala-Nanglam. India’s Northeast Frontier Railway has also undertaken survey work for rail connectivity to Nepal and Bangladesh.


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Tags:  IndiaBhutanRailTransport
 

September 2016
India Calls on BRICS to Deepen Ties with BIMSTEC Countries

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) share the responsibility to shape an agenda to help developing nations. He also spoke of the need to deepen ties with Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries.


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Tags:  IndiaBRICSBIMSTECRegional Cooperation
 

September 2016
SAARC Ministers Push for Economic Union

Finance Ministers from the eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states are pushing for the formation of a South Asian Economic Union (SAEU) to ensure larger inflow of investments, higher trade volumes, and energy generation. The ministers highlighted the need to fast-track the formation of the SAEU to help boost the inflow of investments and trade volumes.


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Tags:  SAEUSAARCTradeEnergyTrade FacilitationBangladeshIndiaBhutanMaldivesNepal
 

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
 

August 2016
Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry Signs MoUs with Bangladesh Private Sector

The Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) undertook a 6-day visit to Bangladesh, and met with the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), to look into economic opportunities India and Bangladesh could tap. SGCCI signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with DCCI and CCCI, to explore new areas of cooperation and boost bilateral trade relations.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaPrivate SectorTrade
 

August 2016
BBIN MVA to Boost Infrastructure Development in the Subregion

The Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) is set to boost infrastructure development in the BBIN subregion. Bangladesh will see significant increase in cargo movement, enabling India to access its Northeast region, and helping facilitate third-country trade of landlocked Bhutan and Nepal. However, major investments in infrastructure are needed to maximize Bangladesh’s potential to become a transport and transshipment hub.


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Tags:  BangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalTrade Facilitation
 

August 2016
Bangladesh to Develop Rail Corridors to Facilitate BBIN Trade

Bangladesh is pushing for the development of railway corridors with India to facilitate trade and investment among BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) countries. To help boost regional trade, Bangladesh Railway is looking to revive five routes to India, and build railway links to connect with Bhutan and Nepal.


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Tags:  TransportRailBangladeshIndiaBBIN
 

August 2016
India Begins Operations on the Varanasi-Haldia River Route

Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Road Transport and Shipping Minister, India, led the inauguration of the Varanasi-Haldia inland waterway route, laying the foundation stone for an inland waterway terminal, and flagging off a trial run of two cargo vessels from Varanasi to Haldia Port near Kolkata, a route that touches Nepal’s two major rivers—Koshi and Gandaki.


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Tags:  IndiaNepalTrade FacilitationTransport
 

August 2016
Government of India Forms National Committee on Trade Facilitation

The Government of India has established a National Committee on Trade Facilitation, in line with a provision contained in the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement. The Committee will be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, and will lead development of a pan-India road map for trade facilitation.


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Tags:  IndiaTrade FacilitationRKC
 

August 2016
ASEAN India Business Council for Trade Expansion, Greater Connectivity with India

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) India Business Council (AIBC) called for opening of trade between India's northeastern states and the ASEAN region, in a meeting with India Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. AIBC also sought to finalize the ASEAN-India Transit Transport Agreement before completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway.


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Tags:  IndiaTradeTransportASEAN
 

August 2016
Bhomra, Sheola, Thegamukh Ports under BBIN to Benefit Region

Development of infrastructure at Sheola, Thegamukh, and Bhomra land ports under the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) initiative for regional connectivity will increase economic activity, according to a feasibility study report jointly undertaken by India and the People’s Republic of China. The report was presented at a National Public Consultation Workshop in Bangladesh on 11 August 2016.


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Tags:  PortsBangladeshIndiaTrade FacilitationTransport
 

August 2016
India Proposes a National Industrial Corridor Development Authority

The Government of India has proposed formation of a National Industrial Corridor Development Authority to facilitate integrated development of industrial corridors across the country. Two corridors, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor, are currently under different stages of development.


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Tags:  IndiaEconomic corridorVizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor
 

August 2016
Commentary: Is Regional Product Standard at All Feasible?

Absence of a harmonized system of standards among South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) members is one reason for the increase of technical barriers to trade, giving rise to non-tariff barriers that hamper SAARC intra-regional trade. A commentary by Mr. Wasi Ahmed, a former senior trade diplomat, discusses the growing recognition of importance of harmonized regional standards within SAARC.


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Tags:  SAARCTradeRegional CooperationStandards HarmonizationBangladeshIndia
 

August 2016
Speech: Increasing Sri Lanka's Export Competitiveness

Ongoing negotiations for the proposed Sri Lanka-India Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) are addressing many of the existing procedural barriers and delays Sri Lankan exporters face in Indian ports of entry. In this speech, Mr. Malik Samarawickrama, Sri Lanka Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, discusses measures included in the Government's economic reform agenda, including ETCA.


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Tags:  Sri LankaTradeExportsIndia
 

August 2016
Connectivity with Bangladesh Integral to India’s Act East Policy

India is upbeat on India-Bangladesh bilateral relations, particularly on connectivity and bilateral trade. Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, High Commissioner of lndia to Bangladesh, emphasized at a Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry meeting, that Bangladesh is integral to India’s Act East Policy and noted the many efforts to link the two countries.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaRailBilateral TradeTransport
 

August 2016
Editorial: Basin-wide River Management for South Asia’s Prosperity

River management provides opportunities to release regenerative capacities of the people and environment of basin-wide areas. The following article suggests South Asian countries cooperate to fulfill a promise of greater sustainability. Cooperation in water resource management can serve as a catalyst for broader regional cooperation, economic integration, and development.


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Tags:  BBINRiversBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesSri LankaTransport
 

August 2016
Visakhapatnam Port Getting Ready for Nepal's Third Country Trade

Nepal private sector representatives, including members of the Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Nepal Freight Forwarders' Association, and India port authorities from Kolkata and Visakhapatnam, met to discuss measures needed to bring India's Visakhapatnam Port into full-fledged operation for Nepal's third country trade, and simplifying clearing processes for Nepal-bound cargoes.


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Tags:  IndiaNepalTrade Facilitation
 

August 2016
India to Develop a Special Economic Zone in Myanmar

The Government of India is planning to develop an economic hub in the port city of Sittwe, Myanmar, that will help boost India's connectivity to Southeast Asia.


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Tags:  IndiaMyanmarSpecial Economic ZoneTransportTrade Facilitation
 

August 2016
India Promoting Product Access to Boost Exports

The Government of India is taking steps to boost the country’s exports by promoting access to new products, and expanding market access initiatives and market development schemes. India is promoting product standards, providing a facility for duty-free import of machinery for production of goods for export, and helping in the packaging and branding of Indian-made products.


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Tags:  IndiaExportsTrade
 

July 2016
India, Bangladesh Railway Ministers Lay Foundation Stone for the Agartala-Akhaura Railway Link

Indian Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Bangladeshi Railway Minister Mazibul Hoque jointly laid the foundation stone for the 15 kilometer (km) Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) railway project. This rail link reduces the Agartala-Kolkata distance from 1,613 km to 514 km.


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Tags:  RailIndiaBangladeshTransport
 

July 2016
India Improving Relations with SAARC States

The Indian Prime Minister is prioritizing stronger relations with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries. Deputy High Commissioner of India JP Singh said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking steps to improve trade relations with SAARC member states, citing the liberalization of India’s visa regime for the business community.


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Tags:  IndiaSAARCTradeBusinessVisa
 

July 2016
SASEC Investment Projects Top $7.7 Billion

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) investment projects increased to a cumulative $7.66 billion in the areas of transport, energy, trade facilitation, and ICT with the recent approval of India’s Bihar New Ganga Bridge Project. To date, 40 SASEC-supported projects are helping member countries strengthen regional connectivity infrastructure, promote economic growth, and foster regional cooperation. In addition, there are now 71 technical assistance projects worth $66.14 mi
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Tags:  SASECEnergyTrade FacilitationTransportSouth AsiaADBICTBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaEconomic Corridor Development

 

July 2016
Bangladesh Road Transport and Bridges Minister: BBIN MVA May Start in December

Implementation of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) may start in December, according to Bangladesh Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, while speaking at a closing ceremony of a drivers' training on road safety.


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Tags:  BBINTrade FacilitationTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

July 2016
ADB Blog: Why Economic Corridor Development is the Way Forward for South Asia

The economic corridor development (ECD) strategy is an approach that integrates and synergizes industry, infrastructure, and urbanization through meticulous planning over a long-term horizon. An Asian Development Bank (ADB) blog post by Mr. Hoe Yun Jeong, Senior Economist (Regional Cooperation), South Asia Regional Department, published on 26 July 2016, shares how an ECD approach can be beneficial for the South Asia region.


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Tags:  Economic corridorIndiaVizag-Chennai Industrial CorridorSouth AsiaEast Coast Economic CorridorEconomic Corridor DevelopmentBangladeshSri Lanka
 

July 2016
Manipur Updating Imphal Ring Road Proposal

Manipur State Public Works Department officials are set to revise their proposal for the construction of a Ring Road in Greater Imphal, which is expected to ease increasing traffic congestion. The proposed Imphal Ring Road would be 39 kilometer long and cost approximately $84 million.


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Tags:  IndiaTransportBangladeshRoadSASEC
 

July 2016
India, Sri Lanka to Fast-track ETCA Negotiations

The Governments of India and Sri Lanka have agreed to fast-track negotiations on the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement, with the aim of concluding talks by end 2016. A meeting between Indian and Sri Lankan officials is set in August 2016, where discussions may include removal of technical barriers to trade hampering Sri Lankan exports to India.


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Tags:  IndiaSri LankaTrade
 

July 2016
India's National Green Tribunal Approves Delhi-Kathmandu Bus Service

India's National Green Tribunal has approved registration of a Delhi-Kathmandu bus service by the Delhi Transport Corporation, offering transit between select destinations in India and Nepal. The bus service was launched to further enhance economic ties between the two countries


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Tags:  IndiaNepalTransport
 

July 2016
Prime Ministers of Bangladesh and India Jointly Dedicate Largest South Asia Land Customs Station

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the Petrapole Integrated Checkpost (ICP). Prime Minister Modi lauded the event as an important milestone in India-Bangladesh relations, providing a boost to bilateral connectivity and trade, while Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina expressed hope that the ICP will further enhance good relations between the two countries


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Tags:  IndiaBangladeshCustomsTradeTrade Facilitation
 

July 2016
Three Member Countries Designate Areas for SAARC Industrial Parks

Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), have stepped up their support for the proposed SAARC Industrial Parks by allocating lands for the planned initiative. Designated areas include Chittagong, Bangladesh; Gujarat, India; and Faisalabad City, Pakistan.


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Tags:  SAARCTradePrivate SectorBangladeshIndia
 

July 2016
Blog: Is South Asia ready for a Regional Motor Vehicles Agreement?

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) signed a landmark Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) meant to allow smooth passage of goods and passenger vehicles in each other’s territories. In this blog post, Sanjay Kathuria, Lead Economist and Coordinator, South Asia Regional Integration, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank, asks if South Asia is truly ready for such a regional agreement.


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Tags:  South AsiaTransportTrade FacilitationBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka
 

July 2016
Commentary: 800 Million Reasons

Mr. Hun Kim, Director General, South Asia Department, ADB, describes how partnership of 6 South Asian countries through the ADB-supported South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program is helping propel economic growth in South Asia, amidst an uncertain regional and global economic climate, by working to increase trade volumes to reduce the number of impoverished people in the region.


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Tags:  Regional CooperationSouth AsiaEnergyTrade FacilitationTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka
 

July 2016
India's CBEC to Speed Up Cargo Clearances through Paperless System

India's Central Board of Excise and Customs is working to fast-track cargo clearance to hours, instead of days, through implementation of a paperless system for cargo clearance. The Government of India aims to fully digitize Customs clearance, replacing physical documentation, by 2017.


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Tags:  IndiaCustomsTrade
 

July 2016
Bangladesh, India to Expand Regional Energy Trade

The Governments of Bangladesh and India are working on plans to expand the regional energy market by doubling the capacities of cross-border power transmission interconnections, and setting up a third cross-border energy grid.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaEnergy
 

July 2016
Bus Service along IMT Route under Negotiation

Talks to implement a regular bus service between India and Thailand through Myanmar are underway as part of a Motor Vehicle Agreement being finalized by India, Myanmar, and Thailand (IMT). The service would run on the 1,400 kilometer IMT Trilateral Highway linking South and Southeast Asia.


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Tags:  IndiaMyanmarThailandTrade FacilitationTransport
 

July 2016
Bangladesh and India In Talks to Open Up Coastal Shipping Routes to Passenger Vessels

Plans are underway to open up coastal shipping routes between Bangladesh and India to passenger and cruise vessels. According to Bangladesh Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, the two countries are in talks to sign a memorandum of understanding allowing Indian vessels through Bangladesh's waterways, to ease travel to India's northeast.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTransportShipping
 

July 2016
BBIN Business Forum: Time to Change Mindset on Economic Cooperation

The BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) is making it easier for passengers and freight vehicles in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal to travel around the region. BBIN finalized the MVA in an effort to facilitate cross-border trade and travel in South Asia. A BBIN Business Forum sees energy and water cooperation playing a vital role in taking integration even further in the region.


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Tags:  IndiaTradeTrade FacilitationTransportBBIN
 

July 2016
Harmonize Customs Duties for BBIN Success

BBIN Business Forum states that Customs duties and taxation must be harmonized in order to improve trade among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal. Following the successful signing of the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA), the countries must now pursue ways to make the movement of goods and people easier.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTrade FacilitationTransportCooperation
 

June 2016
Interactive SASEC Corridor Map on Website

The interactive SASEC Corridor Map on the SASEC Program website and SASEC Mobile App is your gateway to SASEC projects. View projects by sector—energy, transport, trade facilitation, and ICT—or by corridor using the interactive map, to learn how the SASEC program is helping promote regional prosperity in South Asia. The map also includes project information and links to SASEC project pages.


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Tags:  SASECEconomic corridorEnergyTrade FacilitationTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldives
 

June 2016
India Can Gain from Regional Trade in Electricity

Regional trade in power could save India from having to invest in 35,000 megawatts in coal-fire facilities, estimated at $26 billion, over the next 25 years. Through energy trade with Afghanistan, Bhutan, and Nepal, India could benefit from reduced fuel costs and a 6.5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.


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Tags:  IndiaEnergyRegional CooperationRenewable Energy
 

June 2016
ADB Blog: Why We Should Be Happy When SASEC Customs Officials Talk More

Meetings between Customs officials from SASEC member countries reaps benefits for the SASEC subregion and beyond, providing a platform for officers to decide the next steps in improving cross-border coordination and cooperation to resolve bottlenecks for trade at the borders. An Asian Development Bank (ADB) blog post by Ms. Rose McKenzie, Senior Regional Cooperation Specialist, Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination, South Asia Regional Department, ADB, is shared.


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Tags:  CustomsTrade FacilitationRegional CooperationICTBBINBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepal
 

June 2016
India to Begin Work on Bihar New Ganga Bridge Project

India is set to begin work on the Bihar New Ganga Bridge Project, which is expected to become the longest river bridge in India at 9.8 kilometers (km). The road bridge spanning the Ganges River will improve transport connectivity between north and south Bihar, India, and enhance the existing road corridors between India and Nepal. ADB is providing $500 million for the project and $900,000 in technical assistance to improve bridge operation and management.


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Tags:  IndiaNepalTransportRoadBridge
 

June 2016
Planned Longest River Bridge in India to Link to Nepal, Could Benefit 9 Million People

The Asian Development Bank has approved a $500-million loan to build a bridge across the Ganges River that will link India and Nepal. The 9.8-kilometer bridge will be India’s longest river bridge and will help people move between jobs and markets. It is projected to benefit 9 million people, especially those in poorer communities.


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Tags:  IndiaNepalTransport
 

June 2016
Speech: The Future of Energy Demand

Greatly increased energy consumption is powering economic transformation in Asia and the Pacific, but also contributing to higher greenhouse gas emissions. The devastating effects of climate change are already being felt in the region. In this speech delivered at the Pacific Energy Summit on 24 June 2016 in Singapore, Bambang Susantono, Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Asian Development Bank, looks at the challenges faced by Asia’s growing economies a
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Tags:  ADBEnergyHydropowerClimate ChangeBhutanIndiaNepal

 

June 2016
Visakhapatnam Port Inaugurated as Nepal's Second Gateway Port

Cargo bound for Nepal was flagged off symbolically from Visakhapatnam Port in India on 24 June 2016, signaling to traders that the port is ready to facilitate exports and imports as Nepal's second gateway port. A delegation from Nepal is in Visakhapatnam to see through implementation of the agreement and discuss modalities of cargo transit with Customs officials from India.


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Tags:  NepalIndiaPortsTrade FacilitationTransport
 

June 2016
India Commerce Minister Calls on Bureau to Internationalize Standards

India Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, emphasized the need for the Bureau of Indian Standards to internationalize its standards to promote "zero defect" and global standards for made in India products. She called for an end to days of differential standards, and urged the Bureau to increase coordination with concerned ministries to streamline standards for locally made and imported items. 


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Tags:  IndiaTrade FacilitationTechnical Barriers to TradeSAARC
 

June 2016
Bangladesh-India Transshipment Facility Reduces Distance to India's Northeast

Launch of the Bangladesh-India transshipment facility concluded with the successful delivery of steel rods from Kolkata, India to Agartala, the capital of Tripura, through Akhaura land port in Bangladesh, onboard Bangladeshi trucks. The facility will allow India to deliver goods to the northeast region in an estimated 10-day time, and help boost trade in the region by enabling Bangladesh to transport goods to Nepal and Bhutan via India, and give India access to Myanmar via Bangladesh.


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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTrade FacilitationTransport
 

June 2016
India, Thailand to Increase Trade through Trade Agreement

India and Thailand have agreed to speed up talks on the India-Thailand Free Trade Agreement and bilateral investment treaty. The two countries also agreed to fast-track infrastructure projects linking each other, such as the Asian Trilateral Highway connecting India and Thailand through Myanmar.


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Tags:  IndiaThailandMyanmarFree Trade AgreementTrade
 

June 2016
ADB Blog: High Hopes for BBIN Vehicle Agreement, One Year On

The Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement is a landmark framework agreement signed by the transport ministers of the BBIN countries last June 2015 in Thimphu, Bhutan. Mr. Ronald Butiong, Director, Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination, South Asia Regional Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB), describes how it is paving the way for a more integrated and more prosperous South Asian region in an ADB blog entry.


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Tags:  BBINTrade FacilitationTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

June 2016
Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka Look Into Setting up Trade Portals

Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka have expressed interest in adopting best practices of the Indian Trade Portal in setting up their own trade portals to promote international trade. Trade portals to be set up by Bhutan and Nepal will also be useful for cargo being routed through India, and will contribute to the common documentation system needed to implement the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement.


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Tags:  BhutanIndiaNepalSri LankaTrade PortalTrade FacilitationSASECCustomsTrade
 

June 2016
Dedicated Railway Line from Indian Ports to Nepal Sought to Reduce Cost of Trade

Nepal's private sector stakeholders are seeking a dedicated railway line from Nepal to Indian sea ports, including the Visakhapatnam Port, to reduce the cost of trade in the country. Mr. Rajan Sharma, Transport and Transit Committee Chair of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, noted that direct access to India's Visakhapatnam Port could bring transformational changes to Nepal's economy.
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Tags:  NepalIndiaTrade FacilitationTransport
 

June 2016
SAARC CCI and SAARC Development Fund to Co-finance Projects

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Development Fund (SDF) and SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry have pledged to collaborate and co-finance projects under the SDF's social, economic and infrastructure windows to promote regional connectivity across the SAARC region.
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Tags:  SAARC CCISAARCRegional CooperationBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTradeTransport
 

June 2016
India Promotes Easier Visa Regime among WTO Members

India is working on a proposal to ease facilitation issues on trade in services including visa regimes among members of the World Trade Orgagnization (WTO). WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo welcomed India’s proposal for a trade facilitation agreement in services, and requested submission of a proposal to initiate discussions.


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Tags:  IndiaWTOTrade Facilitation
 

June 2016
Indian Entrepreneurs Invest in Bangladesh, Create 63,277 Jobs

Indian entrepreneurs have invested INR 3,084.43 crore ($458.14 million) in Bangladesh, a move that has created 63,277 jobs, says Mr. Amir Hossain Amu, Ministry of Industries, Bangladesh. He also said Bangladesh is looking forward to being India’s partner in tech industries.


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Tags:  SAFTAIndiaBangladeshTrade
 

June 2016
India to Roll Out Agartala-Akhaura Broad Gauge Railway Service

The 15-kilometer broad gauge rail service from Agartala, India to Akhaura, Bangladesh is set to be inaugurated in June 2016. Funded by the Government of India, the railway project will reduce the 1,650-km distance between Agartala and Kolkata to 550 km and is foreseen to boost bilateral trade and business between the two neighboring countries.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaRailBilateral TradeTransport
 

May 2016
India, Nepal Energy Bank Proposed

Nepal has forwarded a proposal to set up an India-Nepal energy bank that would help both countries address the problem of power shortage at a meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Standing Committee. The energy bank would enable Nepal to export electricity to India during summer and import electricity from India during winter.
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Tags:  IndiaNepalEnergyHydropower
 

May 2016
1,400 Kilometer Highway to Link India, Myanmar, and Thailand

A 1,400 kilometer highway will soon connect South and Southeast Asia by linking India with Myanmar and Thailand. Mr. Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi, Indian Ambassador to Thailand, noted that the tri-nation highway exemplifies India's "Act East" policy, and will facilitate transit of goods and further development of SMEs in north India. The three countries are currently working to finalize negotiations for the groundbreaking India-Myanmar-Thailand Motor Vehicle Agreement.
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Tags:  IndiaMyanmarThailandTrade FacilitationInfrastructureSmall and Medium Enterprises
 

May 2016
ADB, SDF Sign Pact to Co-finance Development Projects

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Development Fund (SAARC SDF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a memorandum of understanding to undertake development projects in the South Asian region.
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Tags:  ADBTransportSAARCICTTradeBhutanIndiaNepal
 

May 2016
India, Myanmar Push for Stronger Economic Ties

The India-Myanmar Business Conclave met recently as part of a push for stronger economic ties between the two countries. At a conference on 18-20 May in Yangon, Myanmar, business leaders discussed partnerships as well as opportunities for future cooperation. Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry of India, spoke on forging partnerships, highlighting India’s opening of 96.4% of tariff lines at zero duty for Myanmar.


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Tags:  MyanmarIndiaTradeEnergyICT
 

May 2016
King of Bhutan Emphasizes Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Cooperation

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali paid a courtesy call on the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. The King lauded Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's initiatives to boost Bangladesh-Bhutan bilateral relations, and emphasized the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) cooperation as a platform to achieve regional prosperity.
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Tags:  BhutanBangladeshBBINIndiaNepalTransportRegional Cooperation
 

May 2016
India, ADB to Enhance Connectivity in SASEC Region through Planned Infrastructure Projects

India is planning to develop regional connectivity projects worth around $5 billion under the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-supported SASEC Program, according to Mr. Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, India. These initiatives include two priority road corridors that will boost connectivity with its neighbors in South and Southeast Asia and complementary integrated check posts and land Customs stations. India and ADB will also work together to develop the East Coast Econom
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Tags:  IndiaEconomic corridorEnergyTransportTrade Facilitation
 

May 2016
SASEC Member Countries Urged to Develop Synergies through Cooperation

Mr. Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, India called on member countries of the SASEC Program to develop synergies through cooperation, in his inaugural address at the Second Regional Consultation Workshop on SASEC 2025. He also highlighted SASEC's strength as a project-driven initiative.
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Tags:  SASEC 2025Regional CooperationTrade FacilitationBBINPoverty ReductionIndia
 

May 2016
Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Economic Zone May be Formed

A Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) economic zone may be declared in an upcoming BBIN seminar and business expo to be held in Siliguri, India, according to Mr. Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President, Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI). Mr. Ahmad was in Thimphu, Bhutan to discuss the upcoming BBIN seminar, as well as opportunities for trade and investment between Bangladesh and Bhutan.
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Tags:  Economic zoneBBINTradeBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

April 2016
WCO Workshop Considers Improvement of Regional Transit Regimes in BBIN Subregion

A World Customs Organization (WCO) Subregional Workshop on Transit Corridors in South Asia considered improvement of regional transit regimes in the region. Progress of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement, as well as national experiences of Japan, Switzerland and Malawi in implementing efficient transit regimes, was discussed.
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Tags:  Trade FacilitationTransportBBINBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

April 2016
Economic Cooperation Dialogue Highlights Need for Transport Corridors

The Economic Cooperation Dialogue on Regional Connectivity and Border Special Development Zones in Eastern South Asia highlighted the importance of transport corridors to promote trade and economic cooperation in the region. Dr. Nagesh Kumar, Head, UNESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia, shared how developing transport corridors can turn constraints faced by the region's landlocked countries into opportunities.
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Tags:  TradeTransportSouth AsiaMyanmarBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

April 2016
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Railway Agreement Proposed to Boost Multimodal Connectivity

A railway agreement in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) subregion is being proposed, in line with expansion of railway links boosting connectivity between India's Northeast and its BBIN neighbors. According to Mr. Mukul Kumar, Director (Transport), Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, Government of India, this initiative will facilitate cross-border transport of goods and people, and enable efficient multimodal transport system to integrate and sustain the region's economic growth.
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Tags:  BBINRailTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

April 2016
India Commerce Secretary: Services Trade could Improve Opportunities in South Asia

A strong business agenda in services trade could improve opportunities in South Asia, increasing the level of prosperity and economic development in the region, emphasized India Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia as she called for South Asian countries to work together to push services exports.
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Tags:  IndiaServicesTrade
 

April 2016
Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports Opens New Development Prospects to Landlocked Countries

The Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports, developed with support of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, entered into force on 23 April 2016, after 8 of the 17 signatory countries, including Bangladesh and India, deposited approvals of Agreement. The Agreement aims to promote international recognition of dry ports, facilitating investment in dry port infrastructure and enhancing their operational efficiency.
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Tags:  PortsTrade FacilitationTradeLLDCBangladeshIndia
 

April 2016
India Ratifies the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

The Government of India has ratified the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement, submitting its instrument of acceptance on 22 April 2016. Ms. Anjali Prasad, Ambassador to WTO, India handed over the instrument to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. India is the 76th WTO member to accept the Agreement.
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Tags:  IndiaTrade FacilitationWTO
 

April 2016
Power Market Workshop in Bangladesh Explores Further Energy Imports from India

Bangladesh plans to import 2,000 megawatts of electricity from India in the coming years, according to Bangladesh State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid in his address at the 'Power Market Development in India: Key Lessons Learnt' workshop. He highlighted the country's ongoing regional power trade with India and plans for its expansion, and urged the Government of India to step forward in the planned hydropower project with Bhutan.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaEnergy
 

April 2016
India's Service Sector Necessary for Successful WTO TFA Implementation

India Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasized the importance of India's service sector to the successful implementation of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA). According to the Commerce and Industry Minister, India's service sector will sustain the country's vision of port and logistics improvement.
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Tags:  IndiaServicesTrade FacilitationTrade Facilitation
 

April 2016
India Approves MoU on Technical Cooperation with Bhutan

The Governments of Bhutan and India are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on technical cooperation in the field of capacity building, benchmarking and bilateral exchange in infrastructure engineering, following approval of the Government of India in a meeting chaired by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The MoU will provide an umbrella for educational, scientific and technical research and environment protection.
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Tags:  IndiaBhutanInfrastructureCooperationEnvironment
 

April 2016
Bangladesh Prime Minister, Visiting Indian Minister of State Discuss Cooperation

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on neighboring countries to cooperate in the Bangladesh Government's efforts to become a developed nation. In a meeting with India's Minister of State on Independent Charge for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Prime Minister Hasina emphasized Bangladesh's focus on promoting connectivity.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaRegional CooperationSpecial Economic ZoneBBIN
 

April 2016
5-year Sagar Mala Project to Help Reduce Logistics Cost

India's Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari announced the Government's updated target to complete the Sagar Mala program in 5 years at the Maritime India Summit. The project will help reduce logistics costs, boost merchandise exports by $110 million, and create 10 million new jobs.
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Tags:  IndiaPortsTransportTradeTrade Facilitation
 

April 2016
Continuous Demand for Hydropower in India

Mr. Pradeep Kumar Pujari, Secretary, Ministry of Power, India, ensured continuous demand for hydropower in the Indian grid, during his visit to Bhutan to review ongoing joint hydropower ventures. The Government of India plans to triple its power generation capacity to 800 gigawatts by 2030, using renewable energy sources.
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Tags:  HydropowerEnergyBhutanIndia
 

April 2016
Bangladesh Commerce Minister Urges India's North East to Increase Imports

Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh discussed increasing volumes of imports from Bangladesh to the Indian state of Manipur during a visit by the Bangladesh Commerce Minister. Chief Minister Singh affirmed the huge demand for Bangladeshi products, and recommended enhanced private sector cooperation between the two countries.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTrade
 

April 2016
Promoting Trade in the BBIN Subregion Dialogue Discusses Need to Reduce NTMs

A Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) dialogue on promoting trade in the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) subregion has discussed intraregional trade in South Asia, which remains under 5% despite implementation of the South Asia Free Trade Agreement. According to MCCI, non-tariff measures manifested as non-tariff barriers and para-tariff barriers lead to high transaction costs in cross-border trade, keeping trade volume low.
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Tags:  TradeBBINSAFTABangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

April 2016
Private Sector Representative: BBIN Corridor Trial Run Highlighted Scope for Development

Dr. Pritam Banerjee, Senior Director, Corporate Public Policy (South Asia), Deutsche Post DHL, reported that the first trial run of cargo vehicles on the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala route under the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) sub-regional framework, enabled a better understanding of future needs and solutions for safe and efficient movement of cargo across BBIN borders.
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Tags:  Private SectorBBINTrade FacilitationTransportIndiaBangladesh
 

April 2016
Commentary: Political Economy of Regional Integration: Where Do We Stand in South Asia?

Dr. Selim Reihan notes that drivers of political economy can impact the region's integration agenda. In this essay, Dr. Raihan highlights the importance of exploring the political economy of regional integration to generate a better assessment of the factors driving and constraining regional integration, and create broader awareness among stakeholders to stimulate a more realistic and effective regional policy design and processes.


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Tags:  Economic corridorBhutanIndiaBangladeshNepalMaldivesSri LankaSAARCSAFTAServicesSouth AsiaInfrastructureTrade FacilitationTransport
 

March 2016
Integrated Declaration to Streamline Processing of Import Clearances at Indian Customs

India's Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is implementing an 'Integrated Declaration,' under its Single Window Project to facilitate more efficient processing of Customs clearance for imports and exports, and promote ease of doing business in the country. The electronic Integrated Declaration offers a single point where import traders can lodge information required by Customs and the Partner Government Agencies, replacing 9 separate forms previously required.
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Tags:  IndiaTrade FacilitationICTWCO
 

March 2016
Interactive Meet Discusses Cooperation between Bhutan and India's North East

A delegation from Bhutan's Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies participated in an interactive session with representatives from the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce. The Meeting discussed possible cooperation between Bhutan and India's North East in sectors including trade, commerce, hydropower, and tourism.
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Tags:  TradeHydropowerBhutanIndia
 

March 2016
ICT and Energy Cooperation Take Bangladesh-India Relations to New Heights

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the inauguration of an additional 100 megawatt electricity supply from India's Tripura state to Bangladesh's Comilla state, and the leasing of 10 GBPS of internet bandwidth from Bangladesh to India's Agartala state on 23 March 2016. Both Prime Ministers lauded Bangladesh-India cooperation.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaICTEnergyBBIN
 

March 2016
SAARC Member Countries Urged to Work Together to Achieve Goal of SAEU

India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called for further consolidation of the South Asian Free Trade Area and the South Asian Trade in Services Agreement to achieve the goal of a South Asian Economic Union, in her address at the 37th SAARC Council of Ministers' Meeting. She said SAARC member countries must work together to harness their economic complementarities and create an environment conducive to rapid growth.
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Tags:  SAARCSAFTASAEUSouth Asian Economic UnionIndiaTrade Facilitation
 

March 2016
Direct Bangladesh-India Cargo Shipments to Enhance Bilateral Trade

Direct cargo shipments between Bangladesh-India were launched on 15 March 2016, with the first vessel sailing from Chittagong Port, Bangladesh to Krishnapatnam Port, India on 17 March 2016, carrying cotton and textiles. The service reduces transport time significantly—from 25 to 4 days to carry goods from Bangladesh to India, with goods no longer having to pass through Colombo, Sri Lanka, or Singapore.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTradePortsTrade Facilitation
 

March 2016
India Pursues SAARC-wide Initiatives to Promote Goal of Greater Connectivity and Integration

India Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar discussed initiatives being pursued by India in line with its 'neighborhood first' policy, in his address at the 42nd Standing Committee Meeting of SAARC. He also emphasized the need to implement the South Asia Economic Union, and sign the SAARC Motor Vehicles Agreement and SAARC Railways Agreement.
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Tags:  IndiaSouth Asian Economic UnionSAARCTransportEnergy
 

March 2016
Cabinet Secretary to Chair India's National Committee on Trade Facilitation

The Government of India is set to appoint its Cabinet Secretary as Head of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation, which will facilitate both domestic coordination and implementation of the provisions of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement. The terms of reference for the national committee will be drafted once suggestions from industry associations and border states have been received.
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Tags:  IndiaTrade FacilitationWTO
 

March 2016
Joint Exercise to Reduce Delays in Export/Import Clearances to be Conducted in India

A Meeting of high-level officials from the Government of India's Ministry of Finance, Central Board of Excise and Customs, Railway Board, Shipping and Airport Authority has discussed ways to expedite the country's clearance process for exports and imports, deciding to conduct a joint exercise to identify and address delays at every stage.
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Tags:  IndiaExportsImportsTrade Facilitation
 

March 2016
LPAI Foundation Day Reaffirms India's Commitment to Boosting Land Borders

The Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) commemorated its 4th Foundation Day, headed by Mr. Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs who launched the LPAI logo and website. In his address, Mr. Rijiju reaffirmed the Government's commitment to enhance land borders that will increase trade with neighboring countries. He remarked on the need to explore new trade routes, particularly in the North East region.
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Tags:  ICTTrade FacilitationIndia
 

March 2016
Manipur Chief Minister Flags Off Imphal-Kangchup-Tamenglong Road Project

Construction of a new road from Imphal City to Tamenglong via Kangchup was officially inaugurated by Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. The 103-kilometer road improvement is part of a larger program to improve a key strategic thoroughfare on the Asian Highway, integrating South and Southeast Asia, bordering Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal. It is funded by an Asian Development Bank loan, approved in March 2014.
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Tags:  IndiaAsian HighwayTransport
 

February 2016
India Removes Mandatory Extra Duty on Imports

India has taken a step forward to improve its ease of doing business for local subsidiaries of multinational companies by approving simplified rules governing import pricing. The amended Customs rules removed the mandatory deposit of extra duty on imported goods by related parties, including Indian arms of import-dependent multinationals.
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Tags:  IndiaCustomsTrade Facilitation
 

February 2016
India and Nepal Exchange Transit Agreements Boosting Nepal's Third Country Trade

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli—on his first state visit since assuming office in October 2015—held comprehensive talks in New Delhi, and witnessed the signing of several agreements, including letters of exchange on transit and rail. These agreements will help promote Nepal's trade with third countries by making transport more efficient and less costly.
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Tags:  IndiaNepalTrade FacilitationTransit Facilitation
 

February 2016
Banglabandha-Phulbari Land Port Opens Immigration Facility

An immigration facility in the Banglabandha-Phulbari Land Port between Bangladesh and India—jointly inaugurated on 18 February 2016—is expected to ease people-to-people connectivity between the two countries. Strategically located on the Asian Highway, this border-crossing point is expected to boost trade and commerce not only between Bangladesh and India, but also with Bhutan and Nepal.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTrade Facilitation
 

February 2016
Regional Economic Connectivity Initiatives to Change Bangladesh Business Landscape

Regional economic connectivity initiatives, including the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement, can change the business landscape of Bangladesh, said Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque at a meeting of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  The BBIN MVA will transform 30 transport corridors into economic corridors, and is set to give subregional businesses a boost.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaBhutanNepalTransport
 

February 2016
India Commerce Minister Highlights Significance of WTO TFA Ratification

India's Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted the significance of the Cabinet's decision to ratify the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA), and affirmed the Government's initiatives to improve systems within India for trade facilitation. She also discussed necessary provisions that India should adopt to comply with the Agreement.
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Tags:  IndiaTrade FacilitationWTO
 

February 2016
Government of India Clears the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

The Proposal for Notification of Commitments under the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), ratification and acceptance of the Instrument of Acceptance of Protocol of TFA to the WTO Secretariat and constitution of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation received approval from the Indian Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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Tags:  IndiaTrade Facilitation AgreementWTO
 

February 2016
SAARC-ADB First Training Programme of Nodal Points on Updating SAARCSTAT Web Portal

The SAARC-ADB First Training Programme of Nodal Points on Updating SAARCSTAT Web Portal was organised by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The Training focused on updating national data available on the SAARCSTAT Web Portal to enhance usability, and equipped representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka with knowledge and capacity to upload and update their information on the website.
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Tags:  SAARCTradeEconomic cooperationBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka
 

February 2016
Sri Lanka to Increase Renewable Energy Generation, Export Excess Energy

Sri Lanka aims to become an energy self-sufficient nation, drawing on renewable energy sources locally by 2030. The Government's vision for Sri Lanka's energy sector also includes generating additional 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy for consumption by 2035, and excess energy for export to neighbors, including India, by 2050.
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Tags:  Sri LankaRenewable EnergyIndia
 

February 2016
India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission Highlight Areas for Cooperation

The 9th Session of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission discussed strengthening India-Sri Lanka cooperation in areas including energy and trade. The two countries are also preparing to open negotiations on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement. Further possible collaboration in railway development and renewable energy was also bookmarked by the Joint Commission.
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Tags:  IndiaSri LankaEnergyTrade Facilitation
 

January 2016
Energy Secretaries of India and Nepal Discuss Implementation of PTA

A 2-day meeting of the Joint Working Committee and Joint Steering Committee on India-Nepal Cooperation in the Power Sector discussed the implementation of the power trade agreement (PTA) signed in September 2014. The Meeting agreed that India will supply Nepal with 300 megawatt of electricity in the next 18 months, and reviewed plans for long-term energy trade, including the proposed 6 cross-border power corridors.
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Tags:  EnergyIndiaNepal
 

January 2016
2016 International Customs Day: India Central Board Of Excise and Customs

India's Central Board Of Excise and Customs celebrated International Customs Day 2016. In observance of the theme, 'Digital Customs: Progressive Engagement', a presentation on digitization in Indian Customs was delivered, and 3 digital initiatives were launched. Mr. R. Chandra Shekhar, President, National Association of Software and Services Companies, highlighted the strides made by the department in digitization of Customs processes.
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Tags:  IndiaCustomsTrade Facilitation
 

January 2016
3rd Meeting of BBIN Joint Working Group on Subregional Cooperation, Dhaka

The third meeting of the Joint Working Group on Subregional Cooperation between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) on Connectivity and Transit and Water Resources Management and Power/Hydropower deliberated new initiatives for deepening cooperation. Discussion centered around progress made under the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement and the proposed BBIN Rail Agreement.
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Tags:  BBINTrade FacilitationEnergyTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

January 2016
Bangladesh-India Railway Links Top Priority for the Government of India

Indian Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha led a two-day visit to the northeastern state of Tripura to inaugurate its trial broad gauge passenger train, and review progress of ongoing railway projects, including the Agartala-Akhaura railway project, which connects the rail networks of Bangladesh and India, and Agartala-Sabroom, a future connecting point for Chittagong port in Bangladesh.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaRailTransport
 

January 2016
Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor to Boost Andhra Pradesh's Industrial Activity

A potential Asian Development Bank loan of $625 million will boost the planned $840 million Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC). VCIC will form part of India’s proposed East Coast Economic Corridor, with 4 industrial nodes expected to double industrial output and improve productivity in Andhra Pradesh by 30% over the next 2 decades.
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Tags:  Vizag-Chennai Industrial CorridorTransportPortsmanufacturingIndiaEconomic corridorADBMake in India
 

January 2016
Transmission Lines Ready to Supply Power from Tripura to Bangladesh

Construction was completed in December 2015 of the 47-kilometer transmission line from India's western Tripura to Bangladesh's southern Comilla and is ready to start supplying 100 megawatt of power from India to Bangladesh. In January 2016, a meeting between Bangladesh and India fixed the tariff for the electricity supply and formal approval will start the flow of power.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaEnergy
 

January 2016
Friendship Bus Service Re-launched between India-Nepal

A friendship bus service between India and Nepal was re-launched on 4 January 2016, after a gap of 27 years. No special documents are necessary to travel in these buses. Locals with family and trade ties in both countries, who regularly travel this route on a daily basis met the news with much enthusiasm.
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Tags:  TransportIndiaNepal
 

December 2015
69 Bridges to be Built on Major Section of the IMT Trilateral Highway

A total of 69 bridges will be built by the Government of India along a major road link of the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway in Myanmar. These bridges will be part of the route for a proposed bus service linking Imphal, capital of the Indian state of Manipur, with Mandalay City in Myanmar. The project is estimated to cost around $56 million, and is due for completion in mid-2019.
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Tags:  IndiaMyanmarThailandTrade FacilitationTransport
 

December 2015
First Funding Tranche Released for New India-Bangladesh Waterway Link

The Government of India has released the first tranche of funding worth around $299,000 to construct a new waterway link between its northeast region and Bangladesh. With total allocation of $1.87 million, the project will link the Gomati and Howrah rivers in Tripura with the Meghna river in Bangladesh, to boost bilateral trade and the movement of people.
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Tags:  IndiaBangladeshTransport
 

December 2015
Mutual Recognition Agreement on Standards on India-Sri Lanka Agenda

The 4th India-Sri Lanka Commerce Secretary meeting agreed to include the signing of a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on Standards in the agenda of an upcoming meeting in February 2016. This MRA aims to boost Sri Lankan exports to India by automatically allowing products certified by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution to enter India. A study by Verite Research found that non-recognition of Sri Lanka's standards certificates in India affects growth of Sri Lankan exports in India.
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Tags:  IndiaSri LankaTrade
 

December 2015
ADB Chief Economist Visits Sri City for the Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor Study

Asian Development Bank (ADB) Chief Economist and Director General of Economic Research Dr. Shang-Jin Wei and a team of senior officials visited Sri City in India's Andhra Pradesh on 17 December 2015 as part of a study on the Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC). A Special Economic Zone for export-oriented industries will be established in Sri City's Industrial Zone, to support India's manufacturing growth campaign, the 'Make in India' initiative.
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Tags:  Special Economic ZoneVizag-Chennai Industrial CorridormanufacturingIndiaADB
 

December 2015
Celebrating 30 Years of SAARC

On 8 December 1985, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Charter was signed by Heads of State/Government of SAARC Member States during the First SAARC Summit held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. SAARC promotes welfare economics, collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia, and accelerated socio-cultural development in the South Asia region.
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Tags:  SAARCRegional CooperationSouth AsiaBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalMaldivesSri Lanka
 

December 2015
Commentary: South Asia Could Be Linchpin for Regional Integration

South Asia is set to play a strategic role in Asian integration. This commentary by Mr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Advisor in the Asian Development Bank’s Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, shares how linking emerging South Asia with the more developed member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations will transform regional economies through development of regional connectivity, and create a huge regional market of 2-3 billion people.


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Tags:  South AsiaEconomic corridorDevelopmentASEANSoutheast AsiaEast AsiaTrade FacilitationTransportTourismmanufacturingBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepal
 

December 2015
India's Sagar Port to Receive Boost in Connectivity

Upgrading 2,000-kilometers of India's Diamond Harbor Road (National Highway-117 and NH-35), linking Barasat and Petrapole through an expressway, and constructing a bridge across the Muri Ganga River to connect Sagar Island with the mainland would facilitate better port connectivity and promote greater regional cooperation in India. An ADB loan is anticipated to support this project.
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Tags:  IndiaPortsTrade Facilitation
 

November 2015
Exchange of Documents at Major SASEC Border-Crossing Points Starts

The exchange of export-related data between designated adjacent border crossing points in the SASEC subregion commenced on 30 November 2015. This SASEC Customs Subgroup Subregional Project promotes the exchange of documents at five major border-crossing points between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal, to promote future electronic exchange of data and build a better risk profile of traders.
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Tags:  Trade FacilitationCustomsBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

November 2015
North East Regional Connectivity Summit 2015 Discusses Roadmap for Connectivity

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry organized the Second North East Regional Connectivity Summit to review progress made since its first Summit held in 2014, and discuss a way forward for the region's development, to maximize its proximity to South and Southeast Asia. The Summit also launched the knowledge paper 'Emerging North-East India: Economically and Socially Inclusive Development Strategies.'
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Tags:  IndiaTransportSoutheast Asia
 

November 2015
Bangladesh and India Sign SOP on Coastal Shipping

Bangladesh and India signed the Standard Operating Procedure to operationalize the 'Agreement on Coastal Shipping' formalized in June 2015. This Agreement will provide huge savings in logistics costs for cargo transport between the two countries, improving bilateral trade. The two parties have also agreed to sign an agreement on passenger and cruise vessels.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTrade FacilitationTransport
 

November 2015
BBIN MVA Transit Fees for Goods and Passenger Vehicles to be Finalized

A Meeting for the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement (BBIN MVA)on 3-4 December 2015 will finalize the transit fees for goods and passenger vehicles, and discuss other issues, said Bangladesh Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader. Transport of passengers and goods under the BBIN MVA will formally start in January 2016, with initial restrictions in place.
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Tags:  BBINTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

November 2015
Bangladesh to Complete Needed Links for an Inter-Connected Region

Several initiatives to improve Bangladesh's connectivity with India's North East region are in the pipeline, to increase people-to-people contact and cross-border business. These include revamping trade infrastructures to connect border points, and expanding Bangladesh's diplomatic and consular presence in India's North East region.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTradeTransportEnergy
 

November 2015
Cargo Transport Trial Run Starts under BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement

The Government of India flagged off the first cargo truck under the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) on 1 November 2015 for a trial run from Kolkata, West Bengal to Agartala, Tripura, passing through Dhaka, Bangladesh. The cargo vehicle traveled a distance of only around 640 kilometers, compared to its longertraditional route of 1,550 km.
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Tags:  BBINTransportIndia
 

November 2015
Trial Runs for the IMT Motor Vehicle Agreement Begin in December

Trial runs to test the effectiveness of the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Motor Vehicle Agreement and identify implementation-related issues will begin by December 2015, according to India's Union Road Transport and Highway Secretary Vijay Chibber. Protocols for the IMT MVA are currently being finalized, to be signed by early April 2016.
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Tags:  IndiaMyanmarThailandTrade FacilitationTransport
 

October 2015
Nepal Deputy Prime Minister Calls on India's Top Government Officials

Officials from India assured Nepal Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa of increased supplies of essential goods from India. Minister Thapa went on a 3-day visit to New Delhi, where he met with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
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Tags:  NepalIndiaTrade Facilitation
 

October 2015
E-Permit for Indian Visitors to Bhutan under Consideration

A meeting between Bhutan Tourism Board officials and India's State Tourism Secretary Ajit Ranjan Bardhan discussed ways to improve links between Bhutan and India, including introducing an online entry permit system for Indian visitors and easing immigration checks. Bhutan agreed to consider providing online permits by 2016, said Secretary Bardhan.
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Tags:  ICTIndiaBhutanTourism
 

October 2015
11th Asia-Europe Meeting of Customs Agrees on Goa Declaration

The 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Customs Directors General and Commissioners met on 8-9 October 2015 in Goa, India and agreed on the Goa Declaration - a 2016-2017 action plan of 10 specific measures in the Customs field, including trade facilitation, Authorized Economic Operators, and Paperless Customs for participating administrations. The Goa Meeting saw the participation of 41 countries from Asia and Europe
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Tags:  Asia-EuropeTrade FacilitationIndia
 

October 2015
High-Level Meeting in India Stresses Need for Better Connectivity in the North East Region

A Meeting between India's Minister for External Affairs and Governors of the North East region covered key aspects of the 'Act East Policy', including transport connectivity, border trade, and regional production and value chains. The Meeting stressed the need for better connectivity of the North East to a wider region, including Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Thailand, and discussed ongoing and planned cross-border connectivity projects.
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Tags:  IndiaAct East PolicyTransportTrade FacilitationBangladesh
 

October 2015
Business Conclave Promotes Enhanced Connectivity between Bhutan and West Bengal

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee encouraged private sector delegates to explore a business corridor concept for tourism, small industries and joint venture projects at an India-Bhutan Business Conclave, held in Bhutan. Making West Bengal a gateway to the North East will open up further business opportunities for Bhutan.
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Tags:  BhutanIndiaTrade FacilitationTransport
 

October 2015
Bhutan Prime Minister and West Bengal Chief Minister Revive Talks on Indo-Bhutan Railway

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay renewed their commitment to pursue the Golden Jubilee Railway line from Hasimara, India to Bhutan during the Chief Minister's call to Prime Minister Tobgay on 5 October 2015. Both sides agreed to review the railway project, and examine ways to resolve land-related issues.
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Tags:  BhutanIndiaTransportRail
 

October 2015
SASEC Energy Project to Double the Capacity of India-Bangladesh Electricity Network

The Second SASEC Bangladesh-India Electrical Grid Interconnection Project will help boost the import of electricity from India to Bangladesh by doubling the capacity of the existing interconnection system. The project is expected to be completed by June 2018. The Asian Development Bank is providing $120 million loan financing; the Government of Bangladesh is allocating $63 million.
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Tags:  EnergyBangladeshIndia
 

September 2015
India's Power Grid Commissions Transmission Express Highway

The Power Grid Corporation of India began power transmission along its first "Power Transmission Express Highway". With a 6,000-megawatt capacity, this power corridor connects the northern states with the North Eastern Region, and will help both manage the supply of large-scale hydropower and connect power transactions done with Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
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Tags:  EnergyIndiaBhutanBangladeshNepal
 

September 2015
Bhutan Prime Minister Calls for Partnerships to Help LLDCs

Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay promotedpartnerships as a way to help landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) become land-linked to global opportunities, saying it is possible to ensure a country is not landlocked economically with its neighbors' full trust and confidence. The Prime Minister was attending a high-level forum for landlocked developing countries on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
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Tags:  BhutanLLDCNepalEnergyIndiaTrade Facilitation
 

September 2015
India Committed to Full Trade Liberalization by 2020

Indian Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman encouraged economies in the region to speedily work toward a free trade area with a defined timeline, preferably 2020, to achieve the joint vision of a South Asian Economic Union. Speaking at the South Asia Economic Conclave, she further highlighted that India is committed to total trade liberalization, and is working to ensure that its South Asian neighbors will be able to export to India on zero tariff.
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Tags:  IndiaTradeSAEU
 

September 2015
Sri Lanka Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and India Prime Minister Modi Set to Deepen Engagement

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has extended an invitation for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Sri Lanka in May or June 2016 to sign an agreement on economic and technological cooperation. The two Prime Ministers held discussions on enhancing economic ties between India and Sri Lanka and resuming ferry services during Prime Minister Wickremesinghe's visit to New Delhi, India on 14-16 September 2015.
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Tags:  Sri LankaIndiaTradeTransport
 

September 2015
India’s Entry Into APEC — A Welcome Move

India's membership to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation is looking bright in 2015-2016. Joining this inter-regional cooperation would ensure India’s access to the global supply chain, not only boosting India’s economy but also easing its entry into new markets in the Pacific.
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Tags:  Asia-PacificEconomic cooperationIndia
 

September 2015
Fourth India-Bhutan Development Cooperation Talks

The Fourth Annual India-Bhutan Development Cooperation Talks discussed bilateral development assistance to Bhutan on 2 September 2015 in New Delhi, India, with India pledging about $677.28 million of project assistance to Bhutan. Both sides noted with satisfaction the progress of Small Development Projects and overall project implementation.
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Tags:  BhutanIndiaEconomic cooperation
 

August 2015
26 km Section of Asian Highway Linking IMT becomes Operational

The Myawaddy-Thin Gan Nyi Naung-Kawkareik section of the Asian Highway linking India, Myanmar, and Thailand (IMT) has become operational, reducing travel time between Thin Gan Nyi Naung and Kawkareik from 3 hours to 45 minutes. This section was constructed beginning 2012 with the assistance of Thailand, and is part of the Greater Mekong Subregion Program.
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Tags:  IndiaTransportMyanmarThailand
 

August 2015
Border Markets along Bangladesh-India See Increase in Local Trade

A meeting of the commerce ministries of Bangladesh and India to renew the Memorandum of Understanding for Bangladesh-India border markets agreed to double the purchase limit for buyers. This decision comes as the two countries prepare to set up more markets to boost bilateral ties and trade.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTrade
 

August 2015
Commentary on the BBIN MVA as Positive Development for Subregional Cooperation

Read a commentary on the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) as positive development for the BBIN subregional grouping. The BBIN MVA is a landmark framework agreement that aims to facilitate seamless flow of passenger, personal and cargo vehicular traffic between and among the BBIN countries.
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Tags:  BBINTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

August 2015
Bangladesh as New Investment Destination for Indian Investors

Bangladesh is seen as the new investment destination for Indian investors, particularly with the series of bilateral agreements signed between the two countries in June 2015. Trading and exporting appears lucrative for Indian businessmen due to Bangladesh’s weak manufacturing base, tariff-free access to developed markets, geographical proximity, and resilient economy.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaFDI
 

August 2015
Bangladesh Special Economic Zones Considered Under India’s Line of Credit

The Bangladesh Government is set to approve in principle the establishment of a special economic zone for Indian investors in Mongla and Bheramara under India’s $2 billion line of credit (LOC). A Development Project Proposal is under consideration by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council. The Indian LOC would contribute $2 billion toward the total cost estimate of $2.37 billion for the 13 projects under the Memorandum of Understanding.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaSpecial Economic Zone
 

August 2015
India-Nepal Joint Working Group Move Forward with Vehicle Permits, New Bus Routes

The India-Nepal Cross Border Transport Facilitation Joint Working Group under the bilateral Motor Vehicle Agreement discussed measures to facilitate movement of passenger vehicles across the India-Nepal border. Key recommendations include a web-based solution to issue, monitor, and verify permits, and four new bus routes between India and Nepal.
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Tags:  IndiaNepalTransport
 

July 2015
Indian Government Approves India-Bangladesh Rail Link

The Indian Government sanctioned about $155.8 million to lay a 15.06-kilometer (km) section of railtracks, connecting Indian Railways with Bangladesh through the North East. This India-funded Agartala-Akhaura railway junction in Bangladesh would reduce the distance from Agartala to Kolkata from 1,650 km to 515 km, avoid mountainous terrain, improve trade and commerce, and enhance connectivity.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaRail
 

July 2015
Bhutan SASEC Road Connectivity Project to Begin September

Construction to improve Pasakha Access Road in Phuentsholing, Bhutan will start in September, said officials from Bhutan's Department of Roads, Ministry of Works and Human Settlement. This road section—a key output of the SASEC Road Connectivity Project in Bhutan—will access a bypass road from Bibarey near Manglabarey, providing trucks and other vehicles an alternate route to industrial sites in Pasakha. Once constructed, it is expected to decongest traffic in Bhutan's Phuentsholing and India
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Tags:  BhutanIndiaTrade FacilitationTransport
 

July 2015
India Releases Full Padma Bridge Grant, Asks Bangladesh to Start New Loan Implementation

The full $200 million grant pledged by India to Bangladesh for construction of Padma Bridge under a $1 billion loan agreement has been disbursed. A recent meeting between India and Bangladesh also discussed implementation of a $2 billion loan agreement signed during India Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit in June 2015.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTransport
 

July 2015
ADB Power Grid Loan Under Preparation

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has set three conditions for the $120 million loan that will finance expansion of the Bangladesh-India Electrical Grid Interconnection Project: public notification of tariff regulations, issuing bids for power purchase from India, and written confirmation from the power grid corporation of India for transmission of an additional 500 megawatt of electricity to Bangladesh.


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Tags:  BangladeshEnergyIndia
 

July 2015
India’s North Eastern States Receive Internet Gateway at Agartala via Bangladesh

India’s Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad laid the foundation stone on 13 July 2015 to link Agartala, India in the Tripura border area with International Gateway Service at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This will strengthen telecommunications services and improve Internet connectivity in the landlocked North Eastern states of India.
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Tags:  BangladeshICTIndia
 

July 2015
BRICS Outlines Economic Cooperation Strategy at Ufa Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined a 10-point program for future cooperation, ‘Das Kadam’, proposed during his address at the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – plenary at the 7th summit in Ufa, Russia. The program included a trade fair, railway research center, and digital initiative, among others. The Economic Cooperation Strategy was also adopted by the world’s five growing economies at the Summit.
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Tags:  BRICSIndiaRegional Cooperation
 

July 2015
First Bhutan-India Hydropower Project Joint Venture Formally Registered

The certificate of incorporation for the 660 megawatt Kholongchu Hydropower Project (KHP) was formally handed over to Bhutan's Druk Green Power Corporation and India's Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam. Officials of KHP expect construction of about 40 kilometers of road leading to the project site to soon commence. KHP is the first joint venture between Bhutan and India.
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Tags:  BhutanIndiaHydropowerEnergy
 

July 2015
Bangladesh Prioritizes FTA, PTA with India, China and Market Diversification

Bangladesh’s 7th five-year plan focuses on bilateral free trade area with India and preferential trade area agreements with China to facilitate exports to these countries. India and China are important trading partners for Bangladesh due to their vast economies. The 7th five-year plan also prioritizes market diversification by exploring emerging potential markets to lessen dependence on European Union and the United States.
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Tags:  ChinaIndiaFTA
 

July 2015
India Considers Re-establishing Rail Link with Sri Lanka

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is considering a proposal to establish a rail bridge linking Rameswaram, a coastal pilgrim center in Tamil Nadu and Thalaimannar, Sri Lanka. The two countries would be linked if the project materializes.
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Tags:  IndiaSri LankaTransport
 

June 2015
Commentaries on BBIN MVA from Across the Subregion

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal formed a subregional grouping under the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Framework, and signed a Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) allowing seamless transit across each other's territories at the Meeting of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Transport Ministers on Regional Road Transport Connectivity. Several commentaries from across the region have been published on the BBIN MVA, and are shared below.
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Tags:  BangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalBBINTransport
 

June 2015
Sea-Bridge May Connect India and Sri Lanka

The construction of a sea-bridge and an underwater tunnel linking the 23 kilometer stretch between Talaimannar, Sri Lanka and Dhanushkodi, India is under discussion, according to India’s Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari. The sea bridge would help expand the trans-South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation road and transport network.
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Tags:  IndiaSri LankaTransport
 

June 2015
SASEC Railway Connectivity Project Facilitates Subregional Connectivity

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is set to further enhance transport connectivity within Bangladesh, and between Bangladesh and India, through the SASEC Railway Connectivity: Akhaura-Laksam Double Track Project. This $505 million ADB project will upgrade critical sections of Bangladesh Railway's Dhaka-Chittagong corridor and boost its market share in freight services.
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Tags:  TransportBangladeshRailIndia
 

June 2015
Modi’s Dhaka Visit Promises to Strengthen Bilateral Relations

Several agreements were signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka, Bangladesh on 6-7 June 2015. The agreements included a $2 billion line of credit, as well as others in the areas of trade, connectivity, and cooperation in power supply. The two-day visit further strengthened bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaBilateral Trade
 

June 2015
Seminar Highlights Sri City’s Development Model

Mr. Srini Raju, Chairman and Founder of Sri City, an Indian integrated business city, shared Sri City's development philosophy of Work-Live-Learn-Play at a seminar organized by the Asian Development Bank's South Asia Department and the Urban Sector Group on 5 June 2015. Sri City pursues industrial growth by creating world-class infrastructure and a conducive business climate while supporting sustainable communities.
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Tags:  IndiaEconomic corridorVizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor
 

May 2015
Coastal Shipping Approved between India and Bangladesh

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the Agreement on Coastal Shipping between India and Bangladesh to carry out coastal movement of goods between the two countries. Bangladesh is currently India’s largest trade partner in South Asia and the coastal route is expected to provide an alternative route for transportation of import-export cargo between the two countries.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTransport
 

May 2015
Inception Workshop on Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor

The State Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Asian Development Bank reviewed the inception report for the Regional Perspective Plan of the Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC), India’s first coastal corridor on 29 May in Hyderabad, India. Industrial analysis, infrastructure development and business regulatory reform proposals were presented.
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Tags:  IndiaTransportTrademanufacturing
 

May 2015
India-Bhutan Bilateral Trade and Transit Meeting

The India-Bhutan Bilateral Trade and Transit Meeting was held in Thimphu, Bhutan from 25-27 May 2015 to create a trade value chain between India and Bhutan and remove bottlenecks impeding trade flows. Such trade and transit talks are held regularly between the two countries and strengthen bilateral trade cooperation. The meeting resolved some pending issues from the January 2014 meeting.
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Tags:  BhutanBilateral TradeIndia
 

May 2015
Bhutan and Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sign MoU

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the presidents of the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 13 May 2015, stating that both chambers would assist the enterprises of the other country to invest jointly in their respective countries.
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Tags:  BhutanIndiaTrade
 

May 2015
India Pledges Second Line of Credit to Bangladesh for Transport, Energy

A month after India pledged another Line of Credit to Bangladesh, the Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance of the Government of Bangladesh prepared 11 development project proposals on various sectors including transport, education, information technology, and energy. The total cost of the proposed projects is estimated at $2.71 billion.
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Tags:  BangladeshEconomyIndiaTransport
 

May 2015
India-Bangladesh Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade Potential

At the seminar on ‘Bangladesh-India Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade: Challenges and Opportunities’, held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 13 May 2015, policy and economic experts urged the two governments to remove navigation problems, reform customs procedures, develop ports, address lack of infrastructure facilities, and resolve policy constraints to tap into the potential of inland water transit.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTransport
 

May 2015
Relief and Rehabilitation Efforts in India-Nepal Border Towns, through Partnership with Nepal Forum

More than 170 tons of relief goods was sent by India to Nepal using the rail route from Old Delhi to Raxaul, in response to the earthquake in Nepal. Senior officials of India's National Disaster Management Authority supervised this relief effort. India's West Bengal Government also gave assistance by coordinating needed relief items with the Government of Nepal and the Nepal Army.
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Tags:  IndiaNepalTransportRail
 

May 2015
Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor Could Deepen Economic Integration

The Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC) – which received formal endorsement through an inter-governmental group meeting in December 2013 – could potentially bring significant benefits to the four countries by deepening economic cooperation and integration. BCIM-EC will increase socio-economic development and trade in South Asia.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaEconomic corridor
 

April 2015
Bangladesh Exports Bandwidth to India

The Cabinet of Bangladesh approved a 3-year agreement to export 10 gigabytes to India’s northeastern states on lease and commercial basis. State-owned entity Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) signed the “Agreement Between BSNL and BSCCL for Leasing of International Bandwidth for Internet at Akhaura (Zero Point)”.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaICT
 

April 2015
India, Bangladesh Ratify Coastal Shipping Agreement

A coastal shipping agreement between Bangladesh and India was ratified on 21 April 2015 in New Delhi. Bangladesh Shipping Secretary Shafiq Alam Mehedi and Indian Shipping Secretary Rajib Kumar ratified the deal to facilitate trade and transportation of goods through water routes between the two countries.
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Tags:  IndiaBangladeshTransport
 

April 2015
India and Sri Lanka to Propose Resumption of Negotiations on CEPA

A Bilateral Committee is to prepare a new draft framework between India and Sri Lanka and bring life back to stalled negotiations related to the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). CEPA aims to deepen the existing FTA between India and Sri Lanka, including in the areas of services and investments. In order to achieve the CEPA objective, it is recommended that representatives from relevant trade chambers – National Chamber of Exporters and Department of Commerce – be included.
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Tags:  IndiaSri LankaTrade
 

April 2015
Revised India-Bangladesh Trade Agreement Promotes Further Trade in the Subregion

The Bangladesh Cabinet approved proposed amendments to the India-Bangladesh Trade Agreement allowing the two countries to access each other's rail, road, and sea routes for third-country trade. The agreement is a boon to trade in the subregion, paving the way for Bangladesh to transport products to Bhutan and Nepal, and for India to send goods directly to Myanmar.
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Tags:  TradeBangladeshIndia
 

April 2015
Bangladesh Government Clears Grid Interconnection Projects to Boost Energy Supply

The Government of Bangladesh gave the go signal for two energy projects that will boost the country's capacity to import electricity from India. The two projects, roughly amounting to $204.6 million, will allow the country to import 600 megawatt electricity by boosting the country's transmission capacity and establishing a substation. Regional grid connectivity demonstrates the substantial benefits that come from enhanced regional cooperation.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaEnergy
 

March 2015
ADB, Government of India Sign $300 Million Loan Boosting Regional Road Connectivity

ADB and the Government of India signed a $300 million loan agreement on 26 March 2014 to improve road connectivity and increase domestic and regional trade along the North Bengal-Northeastern Region international trade corridor. This loan is the first under a $500 million multitranche South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program (SRCIP) approved by ADB in 2014.
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Tags:  IndiaTransportAsian Highway
 

March 2015
Building Bonds within SAARC through the SASEC Program

An article published by the South Asia Monitor traces the inclusion of subregional cooperation within the SAARC Charter, and also reviews how SASEC is improving cross-border connectivity among its member countries and strengthening regional economic cooperation.
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Tags:  SAARCBBIN-GQIndiaEconomic cooperation
 

March 2015
India and Sri Lanka Forge Ties to Increase Trade

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi visited Sri Lanka on 13-14 March 2015, and signed four agreements with recently-elected Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena, including a Customs Cooperation Agreement that aims to balance the trade deficit between the two countries. He is the first Indian prime minister to visit the country in 28 years.
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Tags:  IndiaSri LankaTradeCustoms
 

March 2015
Dagachhu Hydropower Project Running at Full Capacity

The 126 megawatt (MW) Dagachhu hydropower plant is now fully commissioned, with the successful run of the second 63MW unit test on 15 March 2015. As a joint venture between Druk Green Power Corporation of Bhutan and the Tata Power Company Limited of India, it has a 25-year power purchase agreement to export power from Bhutan to India. The Asian Development Bank, under the SASEC program, funded its construction through the Green Power Development Project.
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Tags:  BhutanEnergyIndia
 

March 2015
SAARC CCI Proposes Subregional Blocs to Address Common Economic Agendas

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) plans to form subregional blocs that will address common economic issues of its member countries to increase intra-regional trade.  This was proposed under the SAARC CCI Action Plan for 2015, tabled during a joint session of SAARC CCI's 62nd Executive Committee and 20th General Assembly in New Delhi, India on 10 March 2015.
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Tags:  SAARC CCITradeTransportIndia
 

March 2015
Indian Energy Exchange Plans to Trade with Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal

New Delhi has facilitated an integrated power grid for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states to begin cross-border trading on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX). The IEX, an automated power-trading exchange, plans to trade 120MW with Bhutan, and 50MW each with Bangladesh and Nepal. This four-nation power trading will hasten the implementation of the SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation signed in Kathmandu last year.
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Tags:  IndiaEnergySAARC
 

March 2015
Bangladesh-India Second Railway Link

Bangladesh and India moved to establish a second cross-border railway link through Akhaura-Agartala to boost bilateral trade and business. The dual-gauge railway track to be funded by the Government of India will connect with the North-Eastern States of India and become the second effective railway corridor of the two neighboring countries.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaRail
 

March 2015
India Announces Foreign Aid to Neighbors

India announced more grant aid to developing countries during the unveiling of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's full year budget for 2015-2016 on 28 February 2015. 84% of the total aid amount has been allocated to India’s fellow members in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The majority of this grant financing will go toward various development assistance projects already being implemented.
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Tags:  IndiaGrantsSAARC
 

February 2015
SASEC Transport Project Improving Bhutan-India Connectivity Receives Go Signal

Works to improve road connectivity and facilitate trade between Bhutan and India are set to begin soon along the Phuentsholing-Jaigaon border. An Asian Development Bank-financed project under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program will construct a bypass road from Jaigaon, India to Pasakha in Bhutan and include a mini-dry port in Phuentsholing. A land customs station will also be constructed in Pasakha to monitor the bypass road.
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Tags:  BhutanIndiaTrade FacilitationTransport
 

February 2015
Bangladesh-India Business Council by April 2015

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has proposed a joint business council for Bangladesh and India to meet by April 2015 to address existing disputes in bilateral trade and business. The proposal followed discussions with business leaders during a 3-day visit to Sonargaon, Bangladesh.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaBilateral Trade
 

February 2015
Bangladesh Identifies Nine Sectors for Development Cooperation with India

The Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Office has identified nine priority sectors for development cooperation with India under an umbrella agreement: power and hydropower, energy, commerce, connectivity (rail, road, water and motor vehicle), customs and immigration regulations, water management, and capacity building and capital dredging of Mongla Port.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaDevelopment Cooperation
 

February 2015
Nepal Prime Minister Koirala Emphasizes Importance of Regional Cooperation to Nepal's Foreign Policy

Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala emphasized Nepal's strong engagement in the process of regional cooperation—through membership in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)—as “a major defining feature” of Nepal's foreign policy in a speech delivered at the 67th anniversary of Nepal Council of World Affairs on 18 February 2015.
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Tags:  NepalRegional CooperationIndia
 

February 2015
India-Sri Lanka Bilateral Talks to Deepen Economic Ties

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent visit to India after assuming office last month allows both countries to adopt a fresh approach to bilateral ties. New leadership in both New Delhi and Colombo has the potential for economic cooperation in development, commerce, and trade. According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is proud to be a trade partner of Sri Lanka and plans to take bilateral relations to a new level.
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Tags:  IndiaSri LankaBilateral Trade
 

February 2015
Motor Vehicles Deal Underway for Seamless Transport through BBIN Subregion

An agreement that will enable seamless transit of  passenger and goods along designated key routes in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) subregion is in the pipeline. It will reduce costly and time-consuming unloading and loading of people and cargo at border crossing points. The agreement would help transform transport corridors linking BBIN into economic corridors and enhance people-to-people contact.
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Tags:  TransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal
 

February 2015
India Expands Duty-Free Items to Sri Lanka

India plans to reduce the number of sensitive items subject to import duty under the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) for Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It has already decreased the number of sensitive list items for least developed countries (LDCs) of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region. According to A.M. Gondane, Joint Secretary, SAARC, this will have Customs revenue implications for both countries.
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Tags:  IndiaSri LankaTrade
 

January 2015
SASEC Region Trade Integration Indicators Updated

Intra-regional trade share among South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) countries increased from 2011-2013 as economic exchange within the region strengthened, although overall intra-Asia trade declined. SASEC intra-regional trade also increased in the first seven months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, yet its trade with the world decreased.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTrade
 

January 2015
India-Nepal: Comprehensive Partnership Agreements Can Increase Trade

The Power Trade Agreement (PTA) and the Power Development Agreements (PDAs) are recent developments that have renewed optimism in an India-Nepal economic cooperation.  The PTA is expected to encourage international investment in Nepal’s hydropower sector while the two PDAs are expected to boost investor confidence in Nepal’s water resources.
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Tags:  IndiaNepalTrade
 

January 2015
WTO Director General Highlights TFA Benefits at CII

As the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) reached its 120th year, the Partnership Summit – CII’s annual flagship event – gathered over 1,000 delegates to deliberate on global economic and trade scenarios, including enhancing developing countries’ ability to integrate into the world economy. WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo highlighted India’s contribution to the multilateral trading system and noted the benefits of ratifying the trade facilitation agreement to Indian industries.
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Tags:  WTOTrade Facilitation AgreementIndia
 

January 2015
ADB Vice President Speaks at Partnership Summit in India

During Plenary Session 5 of the annual Confederation of Indian Industry Partnership Summit, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President Wencai Zhang spoke on growth and cooperation in South Asia. He emphasized the benefits of regional cooperation and cross-border connectivity such as reduction in trade costs, efficiency, and participation in regional and global value chains.
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Tags:  IndiaRegional CooperationRegional Integration
 

January 2015
Third India-Bangladesh Border Haat Inaugurated

Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and India Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman jointly inaugurated the first border market (“haat”) along the Tripura-Bangladesh frontier on 13 January 2015. Both ministers spoke optimistically about new opportunities for trade during the inauguration ceremony.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaTradeTransport
 

January 2015
Prime Minister Modi Vows to Make India Easiest Business Destination

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to make India the easiest destination to do business with at the inauguration of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit on 11 January 2015. With global leaders and foreign investors in attendance, he highlighted India's investor-friendly climate, and said that India is working to upgrade its manufacturing infrastructure by modernizing ports and improving road and rail connectivity.
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Tags:  IndiaInfrastructureTrade Facilitationmanufacturing
 

November 2014
India-Bangladesh Trade Gap Continues to Widen

In recent decades, Bangladesh has emerged as one of the largest export markets for India in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation region. From 1988-1989 to 1992-1993, India’s total exports increased by 164%, while the increase in imports to Bangladesh was 293%.
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Tags:  IndiaBangladeshTrade
 

November 2014
India, USA Agreement puts TFA Back on Track

The agreement announced by the United States of America and India makes the World Trade Organization impasse likely to end and opens the way for implementation of the trade facilitation agreement. This new US-India agreement clarifies and makes open-ended the “peace clause” that was agreed during the Bali Ministerial in December 2013. The new deal clarifies ambiguities regarding India’s food stockpiles.
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Tags:  IndiaUnited StatesTrade Facilitation Agreement
 

November 2014
BINA Visit Border Crossings Ahead of SAARC Summit

Bhutanese Ambassador Pema Choden, Indian High Commissioner Pankaj Saran, and Nepalese Ambassador Hari Kumar Shrestha visited the Land Customs Stations of Burimari-Changrabandha (Bangladesh-India), Phuentsholing-Jaigaon (Bhutan-India), Kakarbhitta-Panitanki (Nepal-India) and Phulbari-Banglabandha (India-Bangladesh) on 9-12 November 2014. BINA took the land route used by traders of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal.
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Tags:  BangladeshIndiaNepal
 

November 2014
India Credit Line to Finance Hydropower Project, Bridges in Nepal

The Government of Nepal has allocated portions of the $1 billion line of credit from India to infrastructure projects boosting energy trade and transport connectivity between the two countries. The Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project will receive around half of the credit; bridges enhancing connectivity of Nepal's western border with India are also planned.
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Tags:  IndiaEnergyNepal
 

October 2014
ADB Extends $40 Million Loan to Indian Port Company

The Asian Development Bank is extending $40 million in loan to Ocean Sparkle Ltd, one of India’s largest port operations and management companies, to expand and improve fleet services. This first private sector investment in India’s ports sector will fuel efficiency, lower freight costs, hasten shipping, and expand maritime trade.
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Tags:  ADBIndiaPorts
 

October 2014
Historic Power Trade Agreement Boosts Nepal-India Energy Cooperation

Nepal and India have formally signed a historic Power Trade Agreement (PTA) which paves the way for free trade of power between the two neighboring countries. The signing took place at Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala's office at Singha Durbar in Kathmandu, Nepal on 21 October 2014, with Nepal Energy Secretary Rajendra Kishore Kshatri and India Power Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha in attendance.
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Tags:  EnergyNepalIndia
 

October 2014
Reconstruction of Pallai-Jaffna Rail Line Restores Connectivity to India, Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa marked the completion of the 38 km long Pallai-Jaffna railway line under the Indian credit line of $800 million last 13 October 2014. The reconstruction of this Northern Railway line by IRCON International Ltd, a public sector enterprise under the Government of India, links Sri Lanka’s conflict-ridden Northern Province to Colombo.
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Tags:  IndiaTransportRail
 

October 2014
Tripura Set to Supply Power to Bangladesh

Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Dhaka Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty paid a 3-day visit to India's state of Tripura in October to meet ministers and top officials and review progress made in several India-Bangladesh infrastructure projects. Following his meeting with Power Minister Mr. Manik Dey, Chakravorty revealed that India has initiated steps to ensure 100 megawatt of power will be supplied to Bangladesh from Tripura's Palatana power plant.
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Tags:  EnergyBangladeshIndia
 

October 2014
Trade Facilitation Agreement Benefits Within Reach?

India remains concerned on finding a permanent solution on food stockholding, while preserving the integrity of the Bali package concluded at WTO’s 9th ministerial meeting. India is calling for progress on a parallel pact that allows it to subsidize and stockpile food grains than is currently allowed by WTO rules.
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Tags:  WTOIndiaTrade Facilitation Agreement
 

September 2014
Prime Minister Modi Affirms SAARC as a Strong Regional Block

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held separate bilateral meetings with Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. The neighboring leaders discussed their support for the ‘neighborhood first’ policy and affirmed their commitment to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) as a regional block that can solve common problems.
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Tags:  IndiaBangladeshNepalSri Lanka
 

September 2014
Government of Nepal Requests Financing for Bridges

The Government of Nepal has requested financing from the Government of India for construction of bridges across the Terai as part of the second phase of a road project linking the East-West Highway to several border points. Around 62 bridges are required for the project.
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Tags:  IndiaInfrastructureNepalTransport
 

September 2014
Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project Sparks Hope for Nepal-India Energy Cooperation

Following the meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala during Prime Minister Modi's state visit to Kathmandu in August, a project that has waited in the pipeline for 17 years saw new developments.
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Tags:  EnergyIndiaHydropowerNepal
 

September 2014
Indian Prime Minister Receives Foreign Minister of Bangladesh

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali visited Prime Minister Shri Narenda Modi in New Delhi for the 3rd Meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) on 19 September 2014. Foreign Minister Ali expressed appreciation for Prime Minister Modi's leadership and relations with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
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Tags:  IndiaBangladeshRegional Cooperation
 

September 2014
Power Trade Agreement between Nepal and India Inked

Nepal and India signed a landmark preliminary Power Trade Agreement (PTA) on 4 September 2014, around two weeks ahead of the deadline set by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This PTA paves the way for bilateral trade of electricity between the two countries, and is foreseen to boost their energy security, as well as bring in added revenues to Nepal's economy.
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Tags:  EnergyIndiaNepal
 

September 2014
80-Vehicle Trial Run of ESCAP Secure Cross-border Transport Model along Bhutan-India Transit Corridor

In follow-up to the limited pilot run of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific's Secure Cross-border Transport Model, officials from India and Bhutan Customs administrations participated in trial runs of 80 vehicles along the Kolkata-Jaigon-Phuentsholing transit corridor between Bhutan and India on 1—5 September 2014.
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Tags:  Trade FacilitationIndiaBhutanTransport
 

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
Stronger Regional Ties Necessary for India's Economic Development

Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao expressed full support for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of greater regional integration and connectivity at a meeting on August 27 during a 2-day visit to India. Strengthening ties with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries is a focus of Prime Minister Modi's government.
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Tags:  ADBEnergyIndiaRegional Cooperation
 

August 2014
Bangladesh Finance Minister Bullish about Relations with India

Bangladesh Finance Minister Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith told reporters that good relations between Bangladesh and India are beneficial to both countries. Prior to the press interview, Finance Minister Muhith met with visiting Asian Development Bank Vice President Mr. Bindu Lohani to discuss further enhancing connectivity between Bangladesh and India.
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Tags:  BangladeshBilateral TradeIndiaTransport
 

August 2014
New Indian Ambassador to Bhutan Visits First Joint Hydropower Project

Mr. Gautam Bambawale, recently appointed Ambassador of India to Bhutan, visited Chhukha Hydropower Plant-the first joint project between India and Bhutan-during his first two weeks in office. Power trade between Bhutan and India is one of the many areas of cooperation between the two countries.
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Tags:  BhutanEnergyIndia
 

August 2014
Nepal to Sign Power Deal with Bangladesh

After striking a similar deal in India, Nepal is set to sign a power trade agreement with Bangladesh. A Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be vetted by Nepal and presented during the power sector cooperation meeting in December, after the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation summit. Hydropower produced in Nepal through power sector cooperation, would be exported to Bangladesh through India's power corridor.
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Tags:  NepalBangladeshEnergyIndia
 

August 2014
India Extends US$1 Billion Loan to Nepal for Energy, Infrastructure Projects

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a two-day visit to Kathmandu, Nepal on 3-4 August 2014, the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister in 17 years. At a speech delivered to the Parliament of Nepal, Modi announced India’s desire to help Nepal and offered an additional soft loan of US $1 billion for energy projects and infrastructure development.
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Tags:  EnergyIndiaNepalRegional CooperationTransport
 

July 2014
Railway Link to India’s Border by 2020

China initially opened the railway to Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, in 2006 as part of its national plan to boost development. The railway is envisioned to be linked to Rasuwagadhi, Nepal through the Shigatse-Kerung stretch. Rasuwagadhi is about 500 kilometers from Shigatse. There are plans to extend the railway linking Tibet with the rest of the country during 2016-2020 to two separate points on the border of Nepal and on the border of India and Bhutan.
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Tags:  IndiaNepalBhutanTransport
 

July 2014
Reducing Practical Barriers to Trade

The World Economic Forum's Global Enabling Trade Report: 2014 offers a tool to monitor progress on implementing measures for the Trade Facilitation Agreement. It provides insights on how countries in South Asia can significantly gain from the $1 trillion boost the Trade Facilitation Agreement is expected to bring to the global economy.
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Tags:  Trade FacilitationTrade PolicyPoverty ReductionBangladeshIndiaNepalSouth AsiaTrade Facilitation AgreementTradeWTO
 

July 2014
BRICS New Development Bank Launched

Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) formally launched a joint international development bank during the annual BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainability projects in BRICS, and other emerging and developing countries. The BRICS New Development Bank, with headquarters located in Shanghai, will have an initial authorized capital of $100 billion.
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Tags:  BRICSIndiaInfrastructure
 

July 2014
India-Nepal Joint Task Force Set Up

As part of India’s SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program, India and Nepal have set up a Joint Technical Task Force for the Mechi River Crossing. The first meeting was held in New Delhi on 4 July 2014 at the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway, Government of India.
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Tags:  TransportIndiaNepal
 

July 2014
ADB Expanding Nepal’s Renewable Power Supply

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a loan of $180 million to Nepal for the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Power System Expansion Project to help Nepal address its urgent power needs. Two government agencies of Nepal are involved in the project – Nepal Electricity Authority to upgrade transmission and distribution lines, and the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre to provide electricity to remote rural areas.
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Tags:  EnergyNepalIndia
 

July 2014
Dhaka-Chittagong Expressway Prepared for PPP

The Asian Development Bank-financed Dhaka-Chittagong Expressway Public-Private Partnership Design Project will assist the Government of Bangladesh to prepare detailed engineering design documents of the existing two-lane Dhaka-Chittagong highway that will be developed into a six-lane freeway. It will provide badly-needed additional road capacity. Several firms were chosen in the joint venture that is expected complete the project in 2023.
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Tags:  TransportBangladeshIndia
 

May 2014
$762 Million for Road and ‘Last-Mile’ Connectivity in Northeastern India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a multitranche financing facility of $500 million for the SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program (SRCIP) in March 2014, which aims to increase domestic and regional trade through North Bengal and Northeastern Region (NB-NER) of India. The overall investment program will rehabilitate and upgrade about 500 kilometers (km) of regional connectivity roads, including both national highways and state roads.
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Tags:  TransportIndiaSAARC
 

February 2014
$125 Million to Upgrade Roads in India's Northeastern Region

On 17 February 2014, the Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $125 million loan for the second tranche of the ADB-financed North Eastern States Road Investment Program, approved in 2013. Reconstruction and rehabilitation of more than 236 kilometers (km) of state roads in Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, and Tripura will contribute to increased transport efficiency in the project area, as well as better mobility and accessibility in the wider North Eastern region of India.
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Tags:  IndiaInfrastructureTransport
 

January 2014
An Indian Trade Paradox

The question on whether India is an open or a closed economy depends on whether “openness”, according to Arvind Subramanian of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, is measured by trade policy or by actual trade outcomes. While India’s trade policy barriers were high prior to 1991, they have declined significantly to almost 10 percent today and have almost converged with tariffs in the rest of the world.
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Tags:  IndiaTrade PolicyEconomy
 

June 2012
SAARC Working Group on Reduction in the Sensitive Lists under SAFTA Phase III

The SAARC Working Group noted that under Phase II all member states had already reduced their respective Sensitive Lists by a minimum of 20%. Bhutan India and Maldives had made substantial reductions in their lists which in fact were significantly more than the previously mandated reduction level.
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Tags:  BhutanFree Trade AgreementIndiaMaldivesSAARCSAFTASouth AsiaTrade
 

April 2012
Historic Deal Between India and Pakistan

Issues resolved surrounding trade grievances mutual recognition and customs agreements are expected to facilitate bilateral trade between the two countries.
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Tags:  Bilateral TradeCustomsIndiaSouth AsiaTradeTrade Facilitation
 

March 2012
SASEC Trade Facilitation and Transport Working Group Meeting in Kolkata

Following the SASEC Trade Facilitation and Transport Working Group (TFTW) Meeting in Bangkok in October 2011 the TFTWG met again in Kolkata on 5 March 2012 and agreed on a list of investment and technical assistance projects.
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Tags:  IndiaInvestmentSASECThailandTrade FacilitationTransport