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Why #OneSouthAsia?

Our regional strategy to build a stronger South Asia

As AfghanistanBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalPakistan, and Sri Lanka recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, greater regional cooperation can help build back better with climate resilience, inclusive economic growth, and more opportunities.

South Asia is one of the least integrated regions in the world in terms of trade and people-to-people contact. Putting aside traditional concerns and taking joint action can develop cross-border solutions to shared issues, strengthen regional institutions, improve infrastructure and connectivity, and advance trade policy.

Regional cooperation has the potential to produce significant gains across all countries of South Asia. Intraregional trade now stands at just one-third of its potential with an estimated gap of $44 billion annually. An electricity market of the BBIN countries -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal --  would save an estimated $17 billion in capital costs. And improvements in transport and logistics can reduce the 50 percent higher cost for container shipments in South Asia compared to OECD nations.

Our regional integration, cooperation, and engagement approach is a framework to create a stronger, more resilient region that we like to call #OneSouthAsia. We focus on three primary themes: enabling regional connectivity, increasing climate resilience, and investing in human capital. The framework, adopted in 2020, has been extended to 2025. 

Our regional work with countries uses a mix of tools and approaches. These include partnerships with trust funds and other development partners, platforms for dialogue and communication to develop consensus, and innovative social and economic analyses to lay the building blocks for inclusive approaches to trade facilitation and cross-border investments.


VIDEO Dec 10, 2022

Sustainable Fisheries in Maldives

Maldives has a lot to gain from working with neighbors in the Indian Ocean to share and agree on good practices on fisheries management, and can also benefit from regional and global cooperation in areas like coastal resilience, combating marine plastics, blue economy, and achieving its ambitious net targets zero by 2030.


VIDEO Jan 05, 2022

Regional Integration, Cooperation, and Engagement in South Asia

Cecile Fruman, director of regional integration and engagement in South Asia, describes how the region benefits from cross-border economic engagement, climate resilience, and human development.
Infographic about World Bank efforts to support regional cooperation in South Asia

Our regional integration, cooperation, and engagement approach in South Asia


Ending plastic pollution requires working together on circular economy, substitutes

May 5, 2021 - Fighting plastic pollution in rivers and oceans means transitioning to a circular economy for plastics with companies taking more responsibility for their waste, panelists suggested at a #OneSouthAsia Conversation.
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#OneSouthAsia Conversation explores BBIN transport integration

March 10, 2021 - Strengthening transport links between Bangladesh and India would cut shipping costs, speed up deliveries, and boost national incomes on both sides of the border.
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Women entrepreneurs reach across borders

Jan 29, 2021 - A #OneSouthAsia Conversation explored how some women entrepreneurs are beating COVID-19 by taking advantage of regional opportunities. Women business owners in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka shared their personal stories and advice.
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Regional cooperation supports South Asia's resilient recovery

Oct. 13, 2020 - The World Bank's regional work in South Asia prioritizes connectivity, resilience, and human development.
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Cecile Fruman
Director, Regional Integration and Engagement - South Asia

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