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Speech of the Secretary Economic Affairs at the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) 2025 Second Regional Consultation Workshop

News and Press Release - Dated:- 10-5-2016 - Following is the text of the Inaugural Address made by Shri Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance at the South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) 2025 - Second Regional Consultation Workshop here today. Distinguished Heads and members of delegations from the SASEC countries; Mr. Hun Kim, Director General, South Asia Department; my colleagues from different Ministries of the Government of Indi .....

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be the biggest driver of growth in coming years. It will definitely attract bigger investment. SASEC s success as a regional cooperation program can be attributed in large part to its strategy of pursuing hardware and software initiatives in tandem. Cross border infrastructure projects are complemented with the necessary simplification and harmonization of procedures at the borders and improvements in testing and measurement facilities. To support trade facilitation, we build capacity to apply t .....

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impetus to individual country initiatives. In SASEC, we have long held the principle that regional cooperation complements domestic undertakings. National and regional initiatives are very much interrelated. Over the past 15 years, through ADB, we have seen the interrelatedness by uncovering the regional spillovers of national initiatives, and realizing the benefits of positive externalities by financing cross-border projects and national projects with regional dimensions. The SASEC initiative s .....

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C has also established specialised forums on customs and electricity transmission to provide more focused technical support to national and bilateral efforts in these areas. The Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) is a shining example of cross-border cooperation among four countries to ease movement of vehicles and goods transiting through third countries. India is also involved in the negotiation of the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) MVA which will boost South Asia .....

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will be operationalized. Another ICP at Moreh on the India-Myanmar border will be developed. We are also planning to establish ICPs and improved Land Customs Stations (LCS) at key border points with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan to ease the movement of goods and people within the subregion. India is planning to develop regional connectivity projects worth almost $5 billion in SASEC. India is also developing the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC), with ADB as our lead partner. Phase1 of the ECEC .....

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t' policy. The goal of the ECEC is not only to generate domestic output and employment, but more importantly, to create a more competitive environment for the development of trade and industry in the region. The ECEC will facilitate the movement of the bulk of India s major natural resources like coal and iron ore and can serve as a node for extractive and downstream value-added industries. Creation of world-class infrastructure supported by transport corridors, logistics services, developme .....

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he least integrated region in the world. Problems in trade facilitation, non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and infrastructure deficit hindered intra-regional trade in South Asia. In the World Bank s ease of doing business ranking SASEC countries generally occupies lower positions in trade facilitation. Four SASEC countries have long coastline that could be developed to its full potential to integrate this sub-region with global production centres. Recently, India launched a major port-led development i .....

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through PPP projects for the construction of berths/terminals/jetties and mechanization of berths for cargo handling. Apart from the modernization of the existing ports in the east coast, India is developing two new ports on the same coast line at Dugarajapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and at Sagar Island in West Bengal. These ports will further enhance our trade with our neighbours and ASEAN countries. India has also been assisting its neighbours in the sub-continent to improve their power situation .....

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