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Deepening Linkages between South Asia and Southeast Asia

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$1.03 million 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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Innovate & Mitigate

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Technology converts human potential into progress in South Asia

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E-commerce creates opportunities for small businesses in South Asia

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What's new in #OneSouthAsia?

South Asia's digital opportunity

March 31, 2022: 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.

$1.03 billion boost to regional connectivity and trade

June 28, 2022: The World Bank approved $1.03 billion of financing to help improve regional trade in Bangladesh and Nepal by reducing trade and transport costs and transit time along the regional corridors.

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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.

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New technology piloted for climate resilience in South Asia

Jan. 5, 2022 - Sixteen cutting-edge technologies received Climate Innovation Challenge grants to pilot climate resilience in water, transportation, and agriculture in South Asia. The grants are funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office as part of the World Bank's Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CARE) project for South Asia with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center and Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES).

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Cross-border business investments can boost COVID-19 recovery

Nov. 22, 2021 - Governments can help the private sector create jobs by easing restrictions on investments so companies can open trade offices, build manufacturing plants, and license services in a neighboring country. Also needed are industry meetings and transboundary women’s networks -- interventions that are low cost and high impact. A new report describes how a handful of firms such as Sri Lanka's Brandix, Pakistan's Soorty Enterprises, Nepal's CG Foods, and India’s Taj Hotels overcame barriers to expand across borders within the region.

Women entrepreneurs in Nepal serve coffee, snacks, and hope

Jan. 11, 2022 - Amma Cafe in Lumbini, Nepal was launched by women entrepreneurs as part of a project to create local jobs near Buddhist sites visited by religious pilgrims and tourists. The women attended literacy classes, cooking classes, and hospitality training; surveyed potential clients; and selected a menu based on local ingredients. To help address husbands' hesitation, the women and their families also attended workshops against gender-based violence.


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, and the following trust funds:

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VIDEO Aug 31, 2022

Strengthening linkages between South Asia and Southeast Asia

There is a strong interest in strengthening linkages and cooperation between South Asia- Central Asia and East Asia through sharing knowledge, scaling solutions, and pooling resources. Cecile Fruman, World Bank's Director, Regional Integration and Engagement in South Asia reflects on her trip to Bangkok, meetings with partners including the Asian Development Bank, and the overall potential of tapping opportunities of cooperation in Asia Pacific region.

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VIDEO Sep 14, 2022

Role of regional cooperation in Nepal's GRID Approach

Nepal is landlocked and the tenth most affected country in the world on the climate risk index. The Himalayan nation is central to efforts to promote regional connectivity and climate cooperation in #OneSouthAsia. It has immense hydropower potential and can contribute significantly to the region's energy trade and transition to clean energy sources. There is also enhanced momentum and scope for cooperation in areas like transport and trade, climate cooperation, and digital connectivity, which will contribute to Nepal's Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development approach.

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Cecile Fruman
Director
Regional Integration and Engagement - South Asia
@CFruman