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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 $23 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.

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.

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VIDEO Dec 10, 2021

Bangladesh plays key role in South Asia regional cooperation

Cecile Fruman, director of regional integration and engagement in South Asia, visited Dhaka to discuss potential areas of cooperation in economic connectivity, climate resilience, and human development. Bangladesh has an important role in regional cooperation and is a gateway to East Asia.

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VIDEO Sep 28, 2021

Promoting regional cooperation in South Asia

The World Bank's Regional Integration, Cooperation, and Engagement (RICE) work aims to build a stronger South Asia. Regional cooperation in South Asia has the potential to boost intraregional trade by nearly $44 billion, triple hydropower and clean energy capacity by 2040, and help mitigate climate risks for some 800 million people in vulnerable areas.
Infographic about World Bank efforts to support regional cooperation in South Asia

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

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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
@cfruman

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