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 12: Nepal: a connectivity-driven development strategy

Pradumna B. Rana and Binod Karmacharya

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


Nepal’s economic performance during the post-conflict period has been driven by remittances from the export of labor services and the improved performance of the agricultural sector, which is still very much weather dependent. The chapter makes the case for a connectivity-driven development strategy for the country. It argues that improved connectivity within Nepal and cross-border connectivity with its neighbors in South Asia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) could be important ‘engines of growth’ for the country. Nepal has adopted a multi-track approach to promoting regional cooperation and integration in connectivity with its neighbors. However, a lot more needs to be done, especially in the context of the difficult political situation in the country, and donors have an important role to play in this regard. Ten priority projects to convert Nepal into a land-linked state are identified, but a detailed impact analysis of these projects is beyond the scope of this chapter.

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