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South Asia Regional Trade Facilitation Program


Newly trained women entrepreneurs run the Amma Cafe in Lumbini, Nepal, near the Buddha birthplace visited by religious pilgrims and tourists. (World Bank photo)

The South Asia Regional Trade Facilitation Program, or SARTFP, is administered by the World Bank and supported by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

SARTFP's goal is to identify and build consensus around priority investments, policy actions, and institutional arrangements. SARTFP provides support to local enterprises -- within a single country and cross-border -- to enhance trade and economic opportunities for people living in the Eastern Corridor of South Asia. It is one of several trust funds that work with the World Bank to build greater regional connectivity as highlighted on the #OneSouthAsia website

Focusing on micro- and small entrepreneurs, SARTFP funds analyses and technical assistance work to improve cross-border trade and enhance activities of women-owned enterprises. The program fosters inclusive development of roads, rail, and inland waterway infrastructure that connects local communities to regional markets.

SARTFP has focused its activities in the BBIN subregion -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal -- and emphasizes economic empowerment of women through greater cross-border trade and commerce.

SARTFP reports, research papers, and other products:


Other SARTFP activities include the following:


Australian Aid


VIDEO Mar 24, 2021

Connecting to Thrive

Seamless transport links between Bangladesh and India would benefit people living on both sides of the border, boosting national incomes by up to 17% in Bangladesh and 8% in India. Improved connectivity would also position Bangladesh as an economic gateway linking South Asia and East Asia.