28-30 September 2015 South Asia Economic Conclave


  • India's merchandise trade with South Asia was
    US$20 billion in 2013-14 and is growing at 20.18% annually
  • South Asia was home
    to 1.65 billion people in 2013
  • The estimated nominal GDP of South Asia
    is US$2.561 trillion
  • The region has been growing at 6% annually over
    the last two decades.
  • South Asia is home to 26%
    of the entire world's youth


WB to fund $200m water project in Balochistan

The World Bank approved a $200 million loan for a water resources management project in Pakistan, raising to $5.5 billion the amount of net additional loans from the Washington-based lender over the last three years. read more

Paro taxi drivers against BBIN

Expressing dissatisfaction over the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) transport agreement that the National Assembly recently passed, taxi drivers in Paro have filed a petition to the National Council (NC) chairperson. read more

GCF approves USD38.1m for SL to strengthen smallholder farmers in dry zone

The Green Climate Fund (GCF), the main international funding body for climate action, at its 13th Board Meeting has approved USD 38.1 million in funding for Sri Lanka to strengthen the resilience of smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone read more

Nepal & India to sign a pact to harmonise standards of goods

Nepal and India concluded the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) under Nepal-India Treaty of Trade to resolve issues of trade and transit between the two countries. read more

India ready to assist in Nepal’s tourism development

Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said that initiatives for promotion of tourism in Nepal have to be taken at the ministerial level in both countries. read more

595 SDP projects approved

The Bhutan-India Small Development Project Committee approved the last nine projects worth Nu 181.28 million in the 11th Plan under this funding scheme at its fifth meeting. read more

India to upgrade railway network in Sri Lanka

India and Sri Lanka on Tuesday have discussed various issues regarding overall development of railway network in the island nation. read more

SL, India to start negotiations on ETCA for early conclusion

Sri Lanka and India have agreed to start negotiations on an expedited track for an early conclusion of the proposed Economic and Technology Co-operation Agreement (ETCA). read more

SL's US$1.5b dual-tranche sovereign bond oversubscribed to US$6.6b

Sri Lanka's dual-tranche US$ 1.5 billion international sovereign bond issued to the international market was oversubscribed more than four times drawing US$ 6.6 billion. read more

Foreign investors repatriate Rs 6.12b in dividend payment from Nepal

Foreign investors repatriated Rs 6.12 billion to their home country in the first 10 months of Fiscal Year 2015/16, According to Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB). read more

India-BD transit gets operational

Transit between Bangladesh and India is set to become fully operational with the first Indian consignment reaching Ashuganj on June 15, 2016 on its way to north-eastern Indian state of Tripura. read more

SL's economic potential is considerable - IMF

IMF recognizes that Sri Lanka's economic potential is considerable. The country has a strong base of human capital and reliable infrastructure. It also occupies a strategic position in Asia. read more

Bhutan most peaceful in South Asia: GPI

Bhutan was ranked the most peaceful among seven South Asian countries and 13th among 163 countries on the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2016. read more

WB, ADB ‘to extend’ $1b line of credit

The WB and the ADB have expressed interest to provide $1 billion (Rs107.89 billion) to Nepal under Development Policy Credit in Energy (DPCE) in the largest ever loan for the energy sector through a single window. read more

India planning to boost connectivity with Nepal

India plans to substantially advance its connectivity with its immediate neighbours including Nepal, top Indian officials have said. read more

SL to receive first tranche of US$1.5b IMF loan

The first tranche of the US$ 1.5 billion IMF loan facility to Sri Lanka is likely to be received by the country sometime next week. read more

Private sector, experts discuss Nepal-India trade

As Nepal and India are going to revise the trade treaty by October 27, experts and private sector players have said that the new treaty should address the escalating trade deficit, participation in Indian value chain, technical barriers to trade, preference erosion, trade facilitation, attracting investment, and trade capacity enhancement. read more

Nepal, India Agree to Speed up Petro Pipeline Project

The 41-km pipeline linking Raxaul and Amlekhgunj is expected to ensure regular fuel supplies as it will eliminate the vagaries of transportation by tanker. read more

WB expects SL's growth to pick up to 5.3% for next 3 years

In its latest Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank predicts Sri Lanka's economic growth will pick up to 5.3 percent in this year and in both 2017 and 2018 despite monetary and fiscal tightening. read more

BD labour cost in auto industry lower than India, China

To remain relevant in both internal and external market environment, manufacturing sector producers need to be cost competitive as costs have direct impact on price competitiveness. read more

SL ranks 50th in HCI, bright spot for South Asia region

Sri Lanka was ranked at 50th position globally on the Human Capital Index, which quantifies how 130 countries are developing and deploying their human capital, and tracks progress over time. read more

India, BD met to expedite visa issues

The meeting that took place in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya State, recently discussed in detail the need for improving visa clearance facilities as to make the clearance faster. read more

Sri Lanka to establish 150 mini garment factories to empower rural women

The Sri Lankan government has received the cabinet nod to establish mini garment factories in under developed provinces as a measure to empower the women in rural areas. read more

Nepal, Bangladesh agree to remove TBT

Nepal-Bangladesh commerce secretary-level talks concluded in Dhaka today with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for removal of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) to expand trade volume between the two countries. read more

BBIN to be declared an economic zone

Even as the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicle agreement continues to face resistance from transport operators and the opposition party, no stones are being left unturned to make the sub-regional initiative a success. read more

BD, India discuss MoU on Blue Economy

The first meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) to operationalise the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Blue Economy and Maritime Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean Region, signed during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Bangladesh in June 2015, was held here on 9 May 2016. read more

Dhaka, Delhi set modalities of building two Indian SEZs

Dhaka and New Delhi in a joint meeting set modalities of building two special economic zones in coastal Mongla belt and in Kushtia that would be dedicated to Indian investors. read more

ADB gives $ 3b to Lanka

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has promised a loan of US $ three billion to Sri Lanka for infrastructure development. read more

Bhutan: BBIN agreement will not affect transport operators.

The government does not want cargo vehicles from Bangladesh and Nepal to enter Bhutan to safeguard the interest of the transport industry. read more

Indian firms interested to build deep seaport in BD, says Jaishankar

Several Indian companies are interested to build a deep seaport in Bangladesh, the country’s foreign secretary has told Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. read more

Pakistan’s GDP growth likely to touch 7% in 2017

Pakistan had been hurt by terrorism and security challenges but was still managing to focus on growth and job creation, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told. read more

BD’s e-commerce platform expanding fast

Bangladesh’s e-commerce platform is rapidly expanding thanks to the fall in internet bandwith rates, said State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak. read more

ADB Approves $ 878m for Afghanistan

ADB committed an exceptional grant allocation of $858 million for project financing and $20 million for disaster reduction activities in Afghanistan for the period of 2017 to 2020. read more

Saarc countries set to script new action plan on migration

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), whose member countries remain major sources of origin of migrant workers, is scheduled to develop a new Plan of Action on migration in the first week of May. read more

BD business leader urges India to create tax-friendly environment

Bangladeshi business leader urged India to create tax-friendly environment to boost imports from Bangladeshi goods to India. read more

UNESCAP projects BD GDP growth at 6.8%

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) projected Bangladesh's economic growth at 6.8 per cent in 2016. read more

Bhutan signs Paris Agreement on climate change

Bhutan has joined 174 countries to become a signatory to the Paris Agreement for Climate Change, according to a foreign affairs ministry press release. read more

Three year business visa for SAARC region.

A three year valid business visa will be introduced to the SAARC Region by the end of the year. read more

Nepal ranks second in South Asia in press freedom

Nepal ranks second among the nine South Asian countries as far as press freedom in the region is concerned. read more

Pursuing Sustainable Public Procurement for GNH

Achieving GNH and sustainable development, therefore, requires collective action and responsibility. Change in consumption behaviour from an unsustainable to a sustainable one is therefore desired. read more

$6.0b ADB aid package for BD in three years

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has come up with nearly US$6.0 billion aid package for Bangladesh in three years until fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, attaching the highest priority to regional connectivity and energy sector. read more

India lays foundation for Housing Project in Sri Lanka

India initiated the third and final phase of the Indian Housing Project laying foundation stone to construct 4,000 houses in the Central and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka. read more

2.765m Pakistani went abroad in five years

Though foreign remittances have increased, migration ratio of highly skilled Pakistanis has also gone higher, a survey made by an international body revealed. read more

SL exports to grow up to 15 - 18% of GDP

Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran targets Sri Lankan exports to grow up to 15- 18% of the GDP from its current 14%. read more

India hands over Nu 7.7 billion for hydroelectric projects

The ambassador of India to Bhutan, Jaideep Sarkar, handed over cheques worth Nu 7.7 billion to the economic affairs minister, Lekey Dorji, on April 13. read more

India pushes for setting up LPG terminal in Bangladesh

India’s petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan shared with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina the details of Indian hydrocarbon infrastructure project proposals. This includes the setting up of an LPG terminal at Chittagong by the state-owned firm. read more

Bangladesh moves 7 notches up in EAPI 2016

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in its ‘Energy Architecture Performance Index (EAPI) 2016’ put Bangladesh at the 106th position, 7 notches up from 112th in the EAPI 2015, report agencies. read more

Big leap for Bangladesh

Bangladesh has made a significant progress in energy management and has moved seven notches up in the major global energy index, prepared and released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). read more

SAARC seeks trade facilities to invest in Afghanistan

Suraj Vaidya said that SAARC Region is the biggest market place by having the 1/4th population of the world. If the SAARC Countries start doing business among them, it will have extremely positive impact on the other parts of the world. read more

India and Sri Lanka could soon finalise agreement on bridge

India and Sri Lanka could soon finalise an agreement for building a bridge connecting both the countries, India’s union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said. read more

Agreements, MOUs signed between Maldives-India

A large number of agreements and Memorandums of Understanding were signed between India and Maldives read more

Collective Efforts needed To Address Maternal, Child Healthcare Issues

President Mamnoon Hussain said maternal and child healthcare is the foundation of development of a society and called upon the SAARC countries for collective efforts to address the important social issue. read more

Sri Lanka will recover with fiscal reforms – ADB

Sri Lanka's economic growth is projected to recover in 2016 as private sector investment will pick up once fiscal reforms are committed to. Growth will rise further in 2017 as the global environment improves, ADB said. read more

ADB projects Nepal’s GDP growth lowest in South Asia

Nepal’s economic growth is expected to be the lowest and inflation the highest in South Asia this fiscal year, said the Asian Development Bank read more

India to take more steps to boost trade with BD, Myanmar

Government will promote trade and business of North-Eastern region with Bangladesh, Myanmar and other countries across the eastern borders of India. read more

BD needs to meet policy challenges to break +6% growth cycle: ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has listed many policy challenges facing the Bangladesh economy though it has kept the growth projection unchanged at 6.7 per cent for the current fiscal. read more

ADB likely to provide additional assistance for Nepal

The ADB country director had pledged to provide additional monetary assistance of Rs 3.25 billion for the overall development of the city. read more

Equitable management of water resources in Koshi basin stressed

Researchers, policy makers, and development practitioners in China, India, and Nepal need to actively collaborate to improve and share knowledge on managing water resources in the Koshi River basin by integrating livelihoods and gender as core aspects into water resource management. read more

Agreement signed with Turkey to initiate talks on FTA

Pakistan and Turkey have signed a framework agreement for establishing free trade area between the two countries. read more

PM Oli hopes to reap benefits from revival of Silk Route

The China government’s initiative of ‘Silk Route Economic Belt’ is expected to bring new momentum to the economies of Asia and Europe, through which Nepal would also be able to share benefits. read more

Nepal becomes SCO dialogue partner

Nepal has signed an agreement paper becoming the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) dialogue partner. read more

Nepal has failed to attract bigger FDI from India: Rae

Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae has said Nepal has failed to attract bigger foreign direct investment (FDI) from the southern neighbour. read more

Nepal, China pen transit trade treaty, nine other pacts

Nepal and China today sealed 10 separate agreements and Memorandums of Understanding on using northern neighbour’s sea port facility, building a regional international airport in Pokhara and exploring the possibilities of signing a bilateral free trade agreement and finding oil and gas reserves in Nepal. read more

UNDP - a global partner for development paradigm of Bangladesh

UNDP is development partner of Bangladesh since 1972. The approaches of UNDP in Bangladesh centred on the principals of gender equality, innovation, multidimensional, fit for purpose and grounded on national ownership. read more

Tripura governor wants easier cross-border movement

Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy wants to end the visa system to ensure easier cross-border movement for the people of Bangladesh and India. read more

India provides financing stop-gap before IMF program

Sri Lanka received a $700 million currency swap from India on March 10, through the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), two days after securing a $400 million swap under the RBI's South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) facility. read more

SL calls for a robust multi-dimensional cooperation in South Asia

Reiterating its commitment towards South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Sri Lanka assured that its engagement with SAARC remains a high priority and called for regional cooperation and integration among the SAARC nations to improve competitiveness and productivity. read more

Indian gasoil for Bangladesh as ‘goodwill gesture’

India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister (Independent Charge) Dharmendra Pradhan flagged off the train carrying 2200 tonnes of gasoil from Siligurhi, the Indian High Commission said. read more

EU grants Euro 43.7m financial assistance for Sri Lanka

The European Union has agreed to grant Euro 43.7 million of financial assistance for the development projects in Sri Lanka and the visiting EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica signed the agreements. read more

SAARC mini summit: No headway in standing committee meet

The Saarc Standing Committee has failed to reach agreement on the pressing issues, including regional integration and connectivity, prompting fears that the Council of Ministers meeting on Thursday could fail. read more

SAARC Chamber to work for better connectivity

SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) will prioritise better connectivity and establishment of SAARC industrial parks for better investment facilitation. read more

Dhaka-Delhi Biman flight to resume in April

Biman Bangladesh Airlines is going to resume its flight operations between Dhaka and Delhi in April to boost the bilateral relations and trade and commerce between the two countries. read more

India assures assistance and expertise to help Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake and President of India, Pranab Mukherjee held a special meeting on Saturday (12) at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi and discussed the Economic affairs of the both countries. read more

MRA must before ETCA

Sri Lanka must expedite signing the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with India before discussing any framework on the proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), past president of the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka and the Group Managing Director of DSI Samson Group (Pvt) Ltd. Kulatunga Rajapaksa said. read more

India approves $700m forex swap with Lanka

India has approved a $700 million currency swap of dollars for Sri Lankan rupees until the island nation receives an International Monetary Fund loan, the Indian government said on Friday. read more

Pak makes remarkable progress in reducing poverty: WB

The World Bank Group in its recently published report “Pakistan Country Snapshot” has said that the country has made impressive progress in reducing absolute poverty and improving shared prosperity. read more

SAARC meet begins

Preparations have been completed for the 37th meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers at SAARC Foreign Minister level which begins in Pokhara on 17 March. Six foreign ministers of the member states will be participating in the event also called ‘Mini Saarc Summit’. read more

Poverty becomes history in 10 years: Nepal PM

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said that no Nepali would die of hunger and malnutrition after ten years, for the poverty would be eradicated from the country.read more

Exim Bank of India extends US$ 403m Buyer's Credit to Sri Lanka

Export-Import Bank of India on March 08, 2016 signed Buyer's Credit Agreements, under National Export Insurance Account (BC-NEIA) amounting to US$ 403.01 million with National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) of Sri Lanka in Colombo, for financing three water supply projects. read more

BD signs deal to get $2.0b Indian LoC

The government signed an agreement with Indian EXIM Bank on Wednesday to receive US$2 billion Indian Line of Credit (LoC) for 14 development projects in the country's various sectors. read more

Bangladesh to buy 140MW more power from India

Indian firm Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited will supply 40MW in accordance with one of the proposals cleared. read more

India pledges $20.4m in fresh development aid to Afghanistan

The government of India and Afghanistan signed 12 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as India pledged $20.4 million in fresh development aid to Afghanistan. read more

BD to invest $1.0b in Bhutan hydropower

Bangladesh is weighing a deal with Bhutan to invest around US$1.0 billion in hydropower in the landlocked country to re-import the electricity. It's part of a regional power trade. read more

India-Pakistan conflict prevented South Asian integration

The conflict between India and Pakistan has for long prevented integration between the South Asian countries, former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga said. read more

Sri Lankan businesses waste 4 per cent yearly

Sri Lankan organisations wasted an average amount of 4% of revenue every year, according to a new study by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). read more

Afghanistan Prepares to Start Work on TAPI

Afghanistan is preparing to start work on the key Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline project amidst four nations talks between the stakeholder countries. read more

Afghanistan ready to grant Pakistan access to Central Asia

In a major development, Afghanistan has assured Pakistan of giving complete access to the landlocked Central Asian States, by delinking it from her earlier condition of a reciprocal arrangement for access to India. read more

Rs.5.87b for India-Bangladesh rail link

vThe central government of India will provide Rs.5.87 billion for a rail project to link India and Bangladesh, union minister Jitendra Singh said. read more

Indian govt’s service tax jacks up transaction cost of goods for Nepal

Entrepreneurs in Nepal have rued the increase in transaction cost due to the service tax imposed by the Indian government on goods imported to Nepal from third countries via India. read more

ADB happy with Lanka's progress

Sri Lanka will record an economic growth rate of around 6.5% for 2016, Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao said. read more

Additional $ 100M funding for Sri Lanka

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$ 100 million through innovative bank auctions to channel funds to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). read more

Indian firms on fast move for power projects in BD

Two giant Indian conglomerates, which have already indicated their willingness to make sizeable investments in Bangladesh's power-and-energy sector, are now on a fast move to implement the projects in the country. read more

Interaction on Nepal-India bilateral trade begins

Speakers at an interaction in Birgunj stressed the need to redress the negative impacts of the prolonged agitation and blockade at the entry point on the business sector. read more

B’desh tourism entrepreneurs stress on ‘neighbour first’ policy

Tourism entrepreneurs from Bangladesh have stressed on adopting ‘neighbour first’ policy to promote tourism in the region. read more

Inefficient air cargo handling hits foreign trade hard

Inefficient air cargo and parcel handling at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and lack of a secure warehouse to keep inbound and outbound goods and documents are affecting Bangladesh's foreign trade seriously, insiders said. read more

ADB to lend $2.97 bn to Lanka for 2016-18

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will allocate $2.97 billion as lending for Sri Lanka for the 2016-2018 period. The highest allocation of 19% is for energy sector followed by education (16%). read more

Nepal elected to AIIB board of directors

Nepal has been elected to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)'s board of directors. Altogether 11 countries — nine from Asia and two from outside the region — have been nominated as members of the Board read more

Two northern transit routes in Nepal to become GEC

The two major transit routes at the northern border with China will be developed as 'Green Economic Corridor' (GEC). Nepal and China have reached an agreement for the initiative to develop 'Tatopani – Jammu' and 'Rasuwagadhi – Kerung' transit routes as the GEC. read more

Full adult literacy by 2020 achievable in Bhutan: MoE

The Ministry of Education (MoE) is readying for the 2020 target of achieving 100 percent adult literacy rate by strengthening the Non-Formal and Continuing Education Division (NFCED) programme. read more

ADB to finance Nyera-Amari projects with $320m in Bhutan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) would finance the 442-megawatt (MW) Nyera-Amari hydropower project with USD 320M. The project will be developed on a multi-tranche financing modality, which is similar to the Dagachhu and Nikachhu projects. read more

Bangladesh has fifth largest offline population globally

Bangladesh has the fifth largest offline population in the world, with about 148 million still not connected to the internet. Only India, China, Indonesia and Pakistan have more offline population than Bangladesh. read more

SL to bring a law to introduce a National Minimum Wage for private sector

Sri Lanka will bring a law to introduce a National Minimum Wage for private sector and the government has recived the cabinet's nod. read more

WB to finance Siddhirganj power project

Bangladesh signed a $177 million additional financing agreement with International Development Association (IDA) to complete the ongoing construction of a 335-megawatt combined cycle power plant in Siddhirganj, near Dhaka city. read more

Sri Lanka, India to finalize ETCA by mid-2016

Both Sri Lanka and India are working towards finalizing the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) by mid-2016 the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade said in a statement. read more

Maldives plans to link private clean energy to power grids

Government inaugurated a system to connect privately produced renewable energy to the utility power grids. read more

Nepal Gov't ready for fresh trade, transit treaties

Nepalese Information and Communication Technology Minister Sherdhan Rai expressed the government's willingness to conclude fresh trade and transit treaties with its neighbours. read more

Maldives seeks zero tax for fish exports to China

The Maldives is working to exempt duties from fish products exported to the Chinese market during the ongoing discussions between China and the Maldives to establish a free trade pact, stated economics minister Mohamed Saeed. read more

ADB gives BD $205m to help improve power supply

The Asian Development Bank is going to provide Bangladesh with $205 million in finances to help increase access to reliable supply of electricity and improve efficiency and capacity of power systems. read more

Maldives to begin free trade pact discussion with China

Discussions to establish the Maldives-China free trade pact is scheduled to begin Monday in Bandos Island Resort. The discussion is being held under the MOU regarding free trade signed between the two countries last September. read more

Steady progress shows hope

Bangladesh showed an extraordinary progress in human development index (HDI) with an average annual growth of 1.64 percent in the last two and a half decades, which is the highest among the eight South Asian countries. read more

ILCCI plans business visit to Mumbai

The Indo Lanka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ILCCI) will lead a Trade and Investment Promotion Mission to Mumbai, India, during 13-16 February, 2015 for "Make In India Week" organized by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry of Indian and CII. read more

SL President emphasizes PPP for economic development

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized the need for joint efforts of both the state and the private sectors in the country's economic development. read more

Nepal's HDI ranking improves moderately to 145: UN

Nepal's ranking in the global Human Development Index (HDI) has gone up by a notch, indicating slight improvement in wellbeing and basic education attainment of Nepalis. read more

Immigration rules tightened

Foreigners willing to work in the capacity of any professional category in the country will henceforth require a minimum qualification of a bachelor's degree with at least three years' experience. read more

Indo-Bangla maritime deal to boost ship-building industry

The Indo-Bangladesh maritime traffic (cargo and passenger vessels) is poised to lead the growth in the shipping segment in the east which in turn will increase the demand for ship-building. read more

Sri Lanka, ADB sign US$ 200m loan agreements to develop rural roads

The Sri Lankan government signed two loan agreements for the implementation of the Integrated Road Investment Program which was designed to ensure rural road connectivity between the selected rural hubs and the adjacent socio economic centers of Sri Lanka. read more

Turkmenistan to invest $25bn to deliver 3.2bn BCFD gas

Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Turkmenistan would invest around $25 billion to deliver around 3.2 billion cubic feet per day (BCFD) of gas, for 25 years, to three energy hungry countries — Afghanistan, Pakistan and India — from December. read more

What is the right Business Model for Bhutan?

While Bhutan's economy continues to grow and mature, different forms of economic system must be explored, studied and debated. read more

Multi-billion dollar TAPI project inaugurated

The construction work of the muti-billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project has finally kicked off. read more

Japan to give Bangladesh Tk 86.6 billion loan

Bangladesh has signed a deal with Japan for a Tk 86.6 billion loan to be spent on six projects such as power, health, and infrastructure. read more

DFID: BD needs 10-15 years to become middle-income country

Bangladesh is likely to become a middle-income country and graduate from the LDC status in 10-15 years if 5-6% GDP growth can be maintained, the UK's state aid agency has said. read more

Corruption prosecution rate impressive

The Transparency International (TI) a civil society that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development has commended Bhutan for its high rate of 92% in prosecution of corruption cases. read more

$9.7b siphoned from Bangladesh in a year

Bangladesh ranks 26th among 149 countries in the 'Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2004-2013' report, draining more than $5.58 billion money per annum. read more

Pakistan 109th, India placed 4th

Developing and emerging economies lost as much as $7.8 trillion in illicit financial flows during the period between 2004 and 2013, according to the report of a US-based think-tank, with $1.917 billion being whisked away from Pakistan. read more

SL PM insists new deal with India, China

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe insisted that Sri Lanka will not sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India. He told Parliament that the Sri Lankan Government is negotiating a new agreement on economic and technological cooperation with India. read more

India says keen to help Maldives development

India appeared to reciprocate Maldives' newfound interest in improving relations with the country's top diplomat expressing his government's keen interest in further contributing to the development of Maldives. read more

EU grants Bangladesh €8 million as climate change related aid

The European Union has granted Bangladesh €8 million to help the country's most vulnerable communities build resilience to climate change and related disasters. read more

WHO hails Maldives' health sector development

World Health Organization (WHO) has commended the notable achievements of the Maldives in the health sector. read more

Bangladesh seeks $69bn in climate grants

Bangladesh has sought $69 billion in grants from the Global Climate Fund (GCF) until 2030, to implement its emissions reduction and climate change adaptation plans, as the COP21 finance negotiations entered a critical phase. read more

Bangladesh Railway signs Tk 2.24b deal with Korean firm

The government Thursday signed a Tk 2.24 billion (224 crore) agreement with a Korean firm to modernise the signaling system of 11 railway stations from the port city of Chittagong to Chinki Astana in Mirsarai. read more

Maldives registers investments of $1.3 billion

Government has authorised 31 foreign investments of total USD 1.3 billion for the next five years, announced the economics ministry. 80% of the investments are from entities of the tourism industry and wholesale traders. read more

Bhutan agrees to export hydropower to BD

Bhutan has agreed to work with Bangladesh to explore its potential of hydropower generation and export it to Bangladesh. read more

BBIN transport service not from Jan'16

Though Bangladesh and India are ready for the agreement, the present political crisis between India and Nepal, and Bhutan's delay in ratifying the agreement, have raised question over the implementation of the agreement. read more

Afghanistan to get WTO membership in 2015

The Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries said that Afghanistan would receive the World Trade Organization's (WTO) membership by the end of 2015. The membership would bolster business system in Afghanistan. read more

Bhutan – 87th freest economy

Bhutan was declared as the 87th freest economy among 157 countries and territories gauged. The degree of economic freedom in the country is the best among South Asian nations and well above giants like Russia (99th), India (114th), China (111th) and Brazil (118th). read more

Happiness linked to economic freedom

Want of freedom to buy, sell or undertake economic actions are part of human nature, which if promoted uprightly could lead to economic as well as non-monetary prosperity. read more

Bangladesh voices concern over TPP

Bangladesh has urged the USA for granting duty-free quota free (DFQF) market access to Bangladeshi products as per the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration and Bali package adopted in Bali WTO Ministerial. read more

Microcredit is not an effective tool for poverty alleviation, says Hasina

Microcredit borrowers cannot get out of poverty because of the interest payments they have to make, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said. read more

WTO accession easier as LDC, say experts

Although the World Trade Organization (WTO) confers special and differential treatment to least developed countries (LDC), joining the organization while still a LDC or not, will not translate into a huge loss or benefit for Bhutan. read more

24 FDI projects approved during Bhutan ruling gov't's tenure

A total of 24 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects were registered during the government's tenure, economic affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk said on November 20. The total number of FDI projects was 55. read more

ADB, JAPAN fund for surface water use in Dhaka

Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Bangladesh Thursday struck a deal for $1,000,000 in grant technical assistance (TA) to promote sustainable use of surface water in Dhaka city. read more

Bangladesh gives more, gets less

In providing transit to India, Bangladesh hardly benefits. It is India that rakes in all the gain, while Bangladesh will bear high costs in infrastructural development. read more

BBIN road transit fee will be finalized by December

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) will fix within next month the transit fee for passenger and goods vehicle movement across these countries, Bangladesh Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader has said. read more

Bangladesh offers to invest in Meghalaya power projects

Bangladesh has evinced interest for investment in power projects of Meghalaya to boost bilateral ties. read more

Dhaka ensures Delhi of bank guarantee over cargo consignment

Dhaka has agreed to ensure bank guarantee on each consignment of transit cargo going from mainland India to its north-eastern states through Bangladesh. read more

Afghan FM signs grant of $250 million with World Bank to improve roads

Afghanistan's Minister of Finance Eklil Ahmad Hakimi signed a grant of $250 million with World Bank to improve transport links across the Hindukush mountain range, including the rehabilitation of the Salang road and tunnel. read more

AIIB assures fiscal support to Bangladesh before other countries

Bangladesh will be the first country to receive support from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the bank's president Jin Liqun has said. read more

ADB to give $5 billion aid to Bangladesh in next three years

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$ 5.0 billion assistance to Bangladesh over the next three years to contribute to its growth as a partner, said a high official of the organisation. read more

Dhaka, Delhi ink shipping deal

Bangladesh and India signed the Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) for introducing the bilateral shipping service between the sea ports that will boost trade between the two countries. read more

ADB offers support for BD's progress

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has offered support for the development of Bangladesh's various sectors, including power, transport, rural development, education, agriculture and sanitation. read more

Bhutan's Ease of Doing Business rank dropped

Change in methodology jacked up Bhutan's ranking by 54 places. Bhutan has actually dropped by one place on the Ease of Doing Business index, from 70 in the previous year to 71. read more

Maldives needs to hasten investment bank membership, MPs say

A number of Maldives' parliamentarians declared the necessity to seek membership of the Chinese founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at the earliest. read more

36% of Afghanistan Population under Poverty Line

According to a joint survey by the ministry of economic and the World Bank over 36% of the people of Afghanistan live under the poverty line. read more

Sri Lankan PM presents plans for a strong economy

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe presented in Parliament plans for the country's development and to strengthen the economy for the next 5 years. read more

CPEC to benefit entire region: Pak Federal Minister

Dr Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning and Development attributed China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a game changer. He has said that the concentrated hard work is required from every Pakistani to harness benefits of CPEC which has globally uplift the perception of Pakistan as a success story of economic turnaround. read more

91.2 % of Bhutanese are happy: GNH survey

The provisional findings of the latest Gross National Happiness (GNH) survey show that 91.2 percent of Bhutanese are happy. The GNH index provides a reliable, comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the country's overall situation and progress. read more

Pak PM pitches for more foreign investment

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated his commitment to eliminate loadshedding with the help of new power generation projects by 2017. read more

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to enhance cultural sector cooperation

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh agreed to implement a Cultural Exchange Programme to improve the cultural relations between the two countries. read more

Bhutan interested to export hydroelectricity to Bangladesh

Bhutan is keen to export hydropower to Bangladesh at 'the cheapest possible rate', said the country's Economic Affairs Minister Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. read more

Bangladesh to sign FTA with Sri Lanka soon

Bangladesh will 'soon' sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka to reduce trade barriers, Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said. All formalities have been completed. read more

Sheikh Hasina declares 2016 as Tourism Year

Observing that Bangladesh has all the treasures to emerge as the world's new tourist destination, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon the Buddhist-populated countries to work out a roadmap to give a boost to the tourism of this region with Buddhist culture. read more

WB wants to fund big projects in Bangladesh

The World Bank (WB) wants to fund a project 'even bigger' than the $2.9 billion Padma Bridge Project. This comes barely two years after the global lender raised a stink over alleged corruption forcing Bangladesh to withdraw its funding request for the project. read more

Bangladesh economy to grow by 6.5% in FY16: WB

The World Bank says Bangladesh's GDP growth will be 6.5 per cent in the current fiscal year. The government has said it is expecting a 7 per cent GDP growth this fiscal. read more

Bhutan's GDP reaches Nu 119.5B

The expansion in GDP to Nu 119.5B in 2014, up from Nu 105B in the previous year was accompanied by a major structural shift in the economy. The tertiary sector is the highest contributor to GDP. read more

A digital South Asia

A powerhouse of eminent businesses and media got together recently to carve an agenda for the private sector of South Asia. read more

Bangladesh's economic progress is astonishing

The Word Bank's Chief Economist Kaushik Basu has described Bangladesh's economic progress as astonishing. He said it had been difficult to feel the same way 10 years ago about Bangladesh, which is now in the top league of nations with high growth rates. read more

NRNs invest Rs 29.85 billion, create 8,276 jobs

Non-resident Nepalis (NRNs) invested Rs 29.85 billion in nine districts of the country till 2014, creating 8,276 jobs, a report released says. A significant chunk of investment made by NRNs went into the services sector read more

Vehicles will start operating on BBIN routes from January, 2016

Passenger and cargo vehicles will start operating on the proposed land routes between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal from January next year, Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader has said. read more

Sri Lanka offered to invest in Bangladesh SEZs

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday offered Sri Lanka to invest in any of the 22 special economic zones (SEZs) to be set up in Bangladesh. read more

Bangladesh benefitting by importing products from India

Bangladesh has been benefitting by importing from India, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said while trying to assuage the critics of the bilateral trade gap, which is heavily in favour of New Delhi. read more





































Maldives President says 'India first' as Maldives and India look to ink trade pacts

Maldives has a policy of "India First", the country's president told India's top diplomat as the two neighbours take on the task of ramping up ties especially in trade and investment. read more

Bhutan's electricity import to increase during construction phase

Power imports for Bhutan, a hydropower rich nation, is likely to increase as the construction of 118MW Nikachhu and 600MW Kholongchhu hydropower projects gain momentum. And an insight into other energy issues. read more

Bhutan's hydropower to reduce CO2 in India

Hydropower supply from Bhutan would reduce carbon dioxide in India by about 10M tons in 2016/17 and could be as high as 40M tons annually by 2020/21. This is because the hydropower generation from Bhutan would replace thermal plants in India where coal is the main raw material. read more

ADB to give $120m to boost Bangladesh -India power link

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $120 million to Bangladesh in loan to help increase transmission capacity of a cross-border electricity link between India and Bangladesh. read more

Bangladesh PM seeks bigger investment by expats

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon the expatriate Bangladeshis in UK to invest in their own country, especially in agro-processing industries, in a bigger way. read more

ADB projects 6.7% growth for Bangladesh

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected that Bangladesh may achieve 6.7 per cent GDP growth in the current fiscal (2015-16) year. read more

Inclusive growth and Bangladesh Bank

Bangladesh Bank has the rare distinction of being the only central bank in the world that has pursued inclusive growth as a consistent policy in recent years. read more

Power trading a solution to South Asia crunch

Cross-border power trading can help South Asian countries meet their demand for electricity and save billions of dollars, the Asian Development Bank has said. read more

Bangladesh and South-East Asian connectivity

Having successfully pushed the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) to roll on, India is now actively working for another MVA. It is the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) MVA that will be finalised in November this year. read more

5,000MW by 2021

Bhutan would harness only about 5,000MW of electricity by 2021, half the target the country had earlier pursued to achieve by 2020. read more

World Bank to provide 'strong support' for Bangladesh's middle-income country status

The World Bank says it will continue to support Bangladesh to help it to achieve the middle-income country status. Its Vice President for the South Asia Region, Annette Dixon, said the global lender pledged strong support for the country's development. read more

Indo-Lanka talks on road project to begin

Keen on fostering ties with neighbours, India is set to engage in high-level talks with Sri Lanka by October for an ambitious $5.19 billion road project to connect both the nations through a sea-bridge and an underwater tunnel. read more

UK's newspaper picks Sri Lanka - Destination of the year

The Sunday Times UK has picked Sri Lanka as the 'Destination of the Year'. The recognition augurs well for the country given that it is the one of the top sources of revenue generation registering 111,131 visitors and registering a growth of 13% by the end of August 2015. read more

Chittagong among top 5 int'l finance hubs of the future

Chittagong, a major coastal seaport city and financial centre in southeastern Bangladesh, has been forecasted as an emerging financial powerhouse of the future world. read more

Lanka targets 4 million tourists by 2020

Sri Lanka would be targeting four million tourist arrivals by 2020, said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Paddy Vithana. read more

PM Modi's Neighbourhood First policy: South Asia leads in Indian high-tech products

The 'Neighbourhood First' policy of Narendra Modi is paying in for engineering exports with South Asia emerging as the number one destination of Indian high-tech products clocking in close to $1 billion in April, 2015, according to an EEPC India paper.

Improved connectivity to boost exports 86pc: ADB

Bangladesh's real income gains will be 6.9 percent of GDP and its export will grow by 86 percent by 2030 if connectivity between South Asia and Southeast Asia improves, according to a new study by the ADB and the Asian Development Bank Institute. The connectivity would raise welfare by $375 billion or 8.9 percent of gross domestic product in South Asia.

South Asian integration is a key to economic growth

South Asia has the world's largest working-age population and a quarter of middle-class consumers. With greater regional integration, smooth connectivity and removal of trade and investment hurdles, the region has the potential to break out.

How "Modiplomacy" will help India win friends and influence neighbours

The invitation to all South Asian heads of states/governments to his swearing-in ceremony, the early visits to Bhutan and Nepal and later to Sri Lanka, the commitments made to cross-border and other projects and the renewed focus on SAARC - all these moves, taken together, have added a new energy and weight to India's neighbourhood policy.

The border deal can open many doors in South Asia

According to a World Bank paper, South Asia is the least integrated region in the world in terms of trade. Why does that matter? Regional integration leads to dramatic increases in trade and economic growth.

PM Modi's 'Neighbourhood First' policy is paying in

The 'Neighbourhood First' policy of Narendra Modi is paying in for engineering exports with South Asia emerging as the number one destination of Indian high-tech products clocking in close to $1 billion in April, 2015, according to an EEPC India paper.

How distant is South Asian economic integration?

South Asia as a region is fairly late to embrace the notion of regional economic integration which was highlighted in the later half of the 1980s. read more

South Asia could take greater advantage of cheap oil to reform energy pricing

Driven by a strong expansion in India, coupled with favorable oil prices, economic growth in South Asia is expected to accelerate. In the last quarter of 2014 South Asia was already the fastest-growing region in the world, a World Bank report said. read more

A Look at South Asia's Regional Cooperation on Water

South Asia has witnessed rapid social and economic transformation over the last two decades. Undeterred by a global slowdown, the region's economic growth rate is expected to remain at a respectable 6 and 6.4 percent for 2015 and 2016. read more

Nepal: How to generate political will in South Asia?

Three schools of thoughts which advocate that since almost all of the South countries are now democracies, the similarity in ideology will automatically accelerate the process of regional cooperation. read more

Reviving craftsmanship, empowering women in South Asia

Women are generally not allowed to venture too far from their homes in Pakistan's Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, leave alone even distantly thinking of employment. But Khalida Bibi's quest for empowerment has made her an exception and a shining example for other women in her village in Haripur district. read more

India-South Asia trade reaches $19.21 billion in April-January period

India's merchandise trade with seven South Asian countries has reached USD 19.21 billion during April-January period of the current fiscal. read more

South Asia's Water Crisis: A Problem of Scarcity amid Abundance

The latest United Nations World Water Development Report, released just ahead of World Water Day on March 22, warns that, by 2030, only 60 percent of the world's demand for water will be met by existing resources at the current rate of use. read more

Bengal offers opportunities for further developing
connectivity in South Asia

Hailing the 'Act East' policy, Neil Kromash, Deputy Director, Regional Affairs at US Department of State, said that West Bengal offered immense opportunities for further developing connectivity in So... read more

South Asia to be hit hardest by climate change: US envoy

Observing that economic impact of climate change will be profound on South Asia, US envoy Richard Verma said that India was projected to face an annual loss of 2.2 percent of GDP by 2050 because of... read more

Activating NTM desks in South Asia for more trade

The problems of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and non-tariff measures (NTMs) in trading within South Asia are not new. Thus the effort to address the problems needs to be a continuous process as a part... read more

Mutual trade in South Asia

The world is now changing and there is a great potential of
trade between Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. The three important countries have lot of things to offer as the three share common
history... read more

Narendra Modi signs four agreements with Sri Lanka

cement cooperation between the two neighbours, including a customs
pact to balance trade, a credit line of more than $300 million, a
currency... read more

India set to drive South Asian economic growth in 2015: UN report

India is set to drive South Asian economic growth to a fouryear high of 5.4 per cent in 2015, says a report by the United Nations (UN), giving part of the credit to the Narendra Modi Government’s... read more

Led by India, South Asia Economic Growth to Accelerate, World Bank

WASHINGTON, October 6, 2014—Economic growth in South Asia is forecast to accelerate to 2016 led by an increase in activity in India, the biggest economy in a region that has the world’s largest conce... read more

Need to promote Regional Trade within SAARC:
S M Muneer

There is a need to promote and facilitate trade within the SAARC region in order to lower production costs, transportation costs and eventually benefit the consumer. This was stated by H E Mr. S M Mu... read more

Regional cooperation: Pakistan can help integrate
South Asia, says EU envoy

Pakistan has the potential of becoming a champion of regional cooperation and integration in South Asia, just like the six Eur... read more

Government of India and World Bank Sign $1.1 Billion Agreement for the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor Project

The Government of India & the World Bank today signed a $1.1 billion agreement towards the 2nd loan for... read more

Innovation & Quality Must Drive South-South Development
Cooperation: DGFT

The plenary session on “South-South Development Cooperation: The Role of Emerging Economics”, held on the penultimate day of CII Partnership... read more

Experts on Emerging Asia Urge Governments
to Be More Adaptive

At a Panel on the Outlook for Asian Emerging Markets, Officials of the IMF and Indian Government Say Leaders Must Continuously Adjust ... read more

China, India competing in South Asia: Pakistani daily

The competition between India and China to gain diplomatic one-upmanship in South Asia, from Sri Lanka to Maldives, exposes a strategic necessity, a leading Pakistani... read more

Young Economists Address Regional Integration in South Asia

The 2014 SAESM brought over 80 of the top Economics undergraduate students from Afgh... read more