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5 key takeaways on regional cooperation in South Asia in 2023

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Unlocking Connectivity: The Road to Development

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Deepening Linkages between South Asia and Southeast Asia

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$1.03 billion boost to regional trade and transport in South Asia

The Accelerating Transport and Trade Connectivity in Eastern South Asia Program will help Bangladesh and Nepal address the key barriers to regional trade

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What's New in #OneSouthAsia?

Dec 08, 2023

South Asia: Navigating Green Energy Transition, Together

South Asia is set to witness a quantum leap in energy needs, given that it will add 600 million more people over the next 30 years. Two-thirds of energy used here is imported and fossil fuels account for about 80 percent of energy production. Read how a regional electricity market would integrate countries, increase synergies among clean energy resources, reduce C02 emissions, and pave the path for cleaner, cheaper, and more accessible energy supply.

Jul 23, 2023

UK-World Bank Strengthen Partnership for Climate Resilience in South Asia

The UK government has pledged up to $63 million over the next seven years to finance research and analysis, build institutional capacity and expertise to adapt to climate change, strengthen stakeholder and institutional partnerships, and promote greater collaboration for transboundary climate actions and water resource management in South Asia. The World Bank will implement the program which initially will focus on Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, but is expected to expand to parts of the wider Indo-Pacific.

Jan 31, 2023

Editorial Series on Climate Cooperation in South Asia

South Asia is among the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change and disasters. These risks and challenges are not limited by national borders. Cross-border cooperation is needed to strengthen the region’s collective resilience, reform and harmonize climate policies. Our latest Editorial series, in collaboration with ICIMOD and The Third Pole, presents various perspectives on cross-border approaches for strengthening climate cooperation in the region.

May 28, 2023

From Labs to Local: Innovation to Build Resilience

World Bank Group’s TechEmerge Resilience India Challenge is a $1 million global initiative to crowdsource and deploy technology solutions to prepare, respond, and increase resilience to climate impacts and disasters in areas that face constraints of remoteness, data, and resource deficiency. As a part of the Challenge, a low-cost wi-fi enabled community radio is connecting signal dark villages in Uttarakhand in India.

Mar 23, 2023

Women at the forefront of revitalizing Bhutan's villages

The Buddhist Circuit Development Program in South Asia focuses on unlocking the untapped potential of South Asia’s cross-border heritage as a driver of inclusive growth and prosperity. Read how women in Bhutan are revitalizing traditional villages and at the same time creating income generating opportunities at their doorsteps.

Aug 31, 2022

South Asia Hydromet Forum

In South Asia, people are experiencing the effects of a warming climate. Almost 750 million people -- half of South Asia’s population -- were affected by at least one climate-related disaster in the last two decades. The South Asia Hydromet Forum (SAHF) supports regional engagement to promote collaboration and enhance capacity at the regional and sub-regional levels towards improving Hydromet, Early Warning and Climate Services in South Asia.

Jun 21, 2022

$1.03 billion boost to regional connectivity and trade

The World Bank approved $1.03 billion of financing to help improve regional trade in Bangladesh and Nepal. This project will help reduce trade and transport costs, and transit time along the regional corridors.

May 31, 2022

South Asia's digital opportunity

How can South Asian nations leapfrog and transform into dynamic digital economies, societies, and governments, with concerted actions at national and regional levels. Our 10th #OneSouthAsia Conversation explored these challenges and opportunities.


Cooperation to protect the Sundarbans

April, 2022: The Sundarbans landscape is the largest mangrove forests in the world and home to one of the most biodiverse ecosystems. But over 13 million people who inhabit this stretch between India and Bangladesh live on the edge of poverty. This unique ecosystem is increasingly under threat from human activities, natural disasters of greater frequency and magnitude, and climate change. India and Bangladesh face similar challenges and aspirations and regional cooperation to protect this ecosystem is imperative.

Easing border delays, trade costs in BBIN subregion

Jan 24, 2022 - Bangladesh and Nepal are developing National Single Windows to speed up exports and imports. The windows will accept electronic trade documents, reducing clearance delays and shipping costs. Plans for the World Bank projects benefitted from United Kingdom and Australian funding to improve trade facilitation in the subregion.

Advancing regional cooperation

The World Bank's Regional Integration, Cooperation, and Engagement work supports regional activities in South Asia to promote economic connectivity, climate change resilience, and human development. All three can create jobs and fight poverty.

Our approach focuses on transboundary issues in South Asia such as energy, trade, transport, water management, climate change adaptation, and women's economic empowerment. We work with other World Bank teams, partners, with generous support from UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who fund the following  programs: 

The South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI), a multi-donor trust fund supported by the United Kingdom, Australia, and Norway, and administered by the World Bank, closed in June 2021 after more than a decade of work to increase regional cooperation in managing major Himalayan river systems and building climate resilience.

Good Neighbours


Read stories of cooperation

The Good Neighbours series showcases successful cross-border stories that promote understanding, trust, and people-to-people contacts.
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VIDEO Feb 14, 2024

South Asian Economics Students' Meet

South Asia has one of the largest youth population globally- they are the drivers of sustainable development and innovation in the region. Since 2004, the South Asian Economics Students' Meet has been bringing together undergraduate students from the region to share academic research, build bonds, and explore greater cooperation.


VIDEO Jan 15, 2024

Four Countries, Four Stories: #EndAirPollution

Air pollution is not restricted by any borders, and more than 50% of the air pollution in major cities is not local but travels from outside. Regional cooperation can help implement cost-effective joint strategies that leverage the interdependent nature of air quality. Watch this short film from four countries across the region.

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