Connecting Asia

Connecting Asia

Infrastructure for Integrating South and Southeast Asia

ADBI series on Asian Economic Integration and Cooperation

Edited by Michael G. Plummer, Peter J. Morgan and Ganeshan Wignaraja

This book analyses how closer regional connectivity and economic integration between South Asia and Southeast Asia can benefit both regions, with a focus on the role played by infrastructure and public policies in facilitating this process. Country studies of national connectivity issues and policies cover Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, examining major developments in South Asia–Southeast Asia trade and investment, economic cooperation, the role of economic corridors, and regional cooperation initiatives. Thematic chapters explore investment in land and sea transport infrastructure, trade facilitation, infrastructure investment financing, supporting national and regional policies, and model-based estimates of the benefits of integration. Employing a state-of-the-art computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, the book provides a detailed an up-to-date discussion of issues, innovations and progress.

Chapter 11: Bangladesh: perspectives on deepening cross-border links

Mustafizur Rahman, Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Mehruna Islam Chowdhury and Farzana Sehrin

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian economics, development studies, asian development, development economics, economics and finance, asian economics, development economics, regional economics, urban and regional studies, regional economics


This chapter identifies cross-border initiatives with Bangladesh’s involvement particularly at the bilateral, subregional and regional levels. Some of these initiatives are also integrated with Asia-wide broader connectivity particularly through the Asian Highway and Trans Asian Railway initiatives. Ongoing initiatives include construction and upgrading of multi-lane highways and railways, road and rail bridges, procurement of locomotives and wagons, and construction of internal container river ports. A consensus among the concerned countries is needed with regard to standard operating procedures, harmonization of standards and customs procedures, and service charges and user fees for transit facilities. Additionally, significant investment will be required for trade facilitation and to upgrade border trade facilities at land ports, inland waterways and sea ports. The chapter identifies five key areas where concrete action from major stakeholders is required: (1) mobilizing the necessary funds for building physical infrastructure; (2) identifying and sequencing of priorities; (3) cross-border coordination; (4) building human resources to manage cross-border mega projects; and (5) building supply-side capacities to benefit from connectivity-driven regional market opportunities.

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