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Why #OneSouthAsia?

People-to-people activities advance regionalism in South Asia

Music, mountains, and markets are some of the interests that bring South Asians together despite significant barriers.

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Good Neighbours

The Good Neighbours series showcases successful cross-border stories that promote understanding, trust, and people-to-people contacts. Regional cooperation is not easy. It requires vision. It also demands innovation, and above all, perseverance, to bring together people, businesses, and nations. The Good Neighbours stories are as diverse as South Asia. We present them as inspiration and optimism about the spirit of #OneSouthAsia.

The World Bank’s Regional Integration, Cooperation and Engagement (RICE) approach supports transboundary work in South Asia to advance economic connectivity, climate resilience, and human development.


Thinking beyond borders: South Asia's budding economists

Good Neighbours - case study 1

The South Asia Economic Students Meet (SAESM) is the first experience of regional cooperation for many students who attend the annual event. SAESM is based on European student exchanges after World War II to rebuild national relationships and influence future leaders to promote regional cooperation and peace initiatives.


Business across borders: India-Nepal links thrive and grow

Good Neighbours - case study 2

South Asia lags the rest of the globe in intraregional investments largely because of trade barriers. The success of three manufacturers -- Dabur Nepal, Unilever Nepal, and Reliance Spinning Mills -- demonstrate the potential to scale up exports to the large neighboring Indian market or attract more Indian investment.


Abiding by nature, not national borders: Institution building in the Himalayas

Good Neighbours - case study 3

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a unique regional institution with board members from eight Himalayan nations: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. ICIMOD looks beyond political boundaries to focus its research on the threat of climate change to the mountains.


Fine cotton and designer fashion: Connecting Pakistani exporters to Indian markets

Good Neighbours - case study 4

An exhibition of Pakistan's famous lawn cotton in New Delhi in 2012 was an immediate hit with Indian consumers, marking a brief softening in trade relations between the two nations. Pakistani fashion designers and manufacturers quickly connected with Indian distributors and retailers to meet the pent-up demand. 


Breaking taboos and transforming lives: India’s Pad Man to Sri Lanka’s Pad Women

Good Neighbours - case study 5

Menstruation pads sold in stores are expensive luxuries in South Asia, where many women instead use rags. An Indian husband designed low-cost machinery that empowers poor women to take charge of their own menstrual health and earn an income. More than 5,000 of the small manufacturing sites now exist. 


Harmonizing relations: Platforms for music in South Asia

Good Neighbours - case study 6

Music connects people in a way like no other. The South Asian Symphony Orchestra and the South Asian Bands Festival have provided platforms to feature talented musicians from the region while helping bridge political divisions and build understanding.

Tell us about "Good Neighbours" in your community!

We are working on new entries for the Good Neighbours series to publish in 2022. Please share examples of cross-border cooperation you have observed or read about in a local newspaper.
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The Good Neighbours series

Mandakini Kaul
Good Neighbours Series Editor and Sr. Regional Cooperation Officer
Regional Integration and Engagement - South Asia
Nikita Singla
Consultant and Editor
Regional Integration and Engagement - South Asia
Cecile Fruman
Regional Integration and Engagement - South Asia

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