ADB pins high hopes on SASEC for boosting regional connectivity, trade

DHAKA The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is banking

high on the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) initiative to

boosting regional connectivity, cooperation, trade and tourism since it would

be a 'win-win' situation for the countries concerned.

It's (SASEC) progressing well and that will really contributing to

improving connectivity between countries and really advancing regional

cooperation. It will also be beneficial to the concerned countries and the

region, said ADB Country Director for Nepal Mukhtor Khamudkhanov while

exchanging views with a group of South Asian journalists recently at its

Resident Mission Office in Kathmandu.

The ADB organized the South Asia capacity building media tour on disaster

management and promotion of regional tourism.

Mukhtor said the SASEC Programme would certainly be a 'win-win' situation

for the concerned countries.

The SASEC programme, set up in 2001, brings together� Bangladesh, Bhutan,

India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka� in a project-based

partnership to promote regional prosperity by improving cross-border

connectivity, boosting trade among member countries and strengthening

regional economic cooperation.

The ADB Country Director for Nepal said certainly a lot has been done on

that initiative and connectivity itself is also contributing to boosting

regional trade and that would be easy to basically transport goods across

borders including the SASEC countries.

Certainly there will be less transaction time and transportation cost,

less wastage of perishable products as we actually can quickly send those to

the borders of the neighboring countries, he said.

Khamudkhanov went on saying, So, this will be contributing to trade and

when you talk about trade, it's certainly not goods, but also power trade.

He also mentioned about the implementation of the up-gradation of east-west

Highway in Nepal which would also be contributing to this SASEC initiative.

As of September 2019, SASEC countries have implemented 55 regional projects

worth over US$12.5 billion in the energy, economic corridor development,

transport, trade facilitation and information and communications technology

sectors.

The Philippines-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) serves as the

Secretariat for the SASEC member countries.

Earlier, the ADB Country Director for Nepal said that ADB would extend

every possible support for the socio-economic development of Nepal and making

it free from poverty.

He said the ADB has been carrying out construction of school buildings

damaged by the massive earthquake in 2015 under the emergency assistance

project where some 162 schools have already been constructed so far.

Similarly, senior manager of the ADB Rudi van Deal made a power-point

presentation on the ADB's current portfolio of US$2.8 billion in Nepal

comprising of 36 projects alongside 18 technical assistance projects worth

about US$26.34 million.

He also highlighted the support provided by the ADB in Nepal's energy,

transport, communication, education sector and post-earthquake

reconstruction.

ADB's senior official Sharad Bhandari carried out review about various

dimensions of Nepal assistance strategy recently issued by ADB board of

directors.

Senior Communications specialist at the ADB headquarters Graham Dwyer said

the regional programme organised in Kathmandu as Nepal is an appropriate

place for media persons' exposure.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)