South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

In the Spotlight

  • $300 Million Loan for Improving South Asia Road Connectivity

    ADB and the Government of India signed a $300 million loan agreement aimed at improving road connectivity and increasing domestic and regional trade along the North Bengal-Northeastern Region international trade corridor.The loan is the first under a $500 million multitranche South Asian Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program approved by ADB in 2014. 

  • South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation: Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework 2014-2018

    From 2014 to 2018, the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation program will focus on five priority areas in improving trade facilitation efficiency: customs modernization and harmonization; standards and conformity assessment strengthening; cross-border facilities improvement; through transport facilitation; and institution and capacity building. Download the document.

  • Asia Integration to Continue, Backed by Pragmatic Institutions, Regional Demand

    Asia is set to become increasingly integrated as governments bolster trade and transport connections and build regional institutions, such as free trade agreements, regional bond market arrangements, and financial safety nets, says the latest report.

  • Bhutan Prime Minister Visits ADB to Celebrate Three-Decade Partnership

    ADB President Takehiko Nakao welcomed Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay to ADB's headquarters in Manila, Philippines on 5 September 2014. During the visit, a loan and a grant agreement was signed for a $69 million South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Project. 

  • ADB President Commits to Partnering With India in Reigniting Growth and Reducing Poverty

    ADB President Takehiko Nakao met with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on 27 August 2014. ADB will help India accelerate infrastructure development, boost manufacturing, improve the skills of young people to enhance their employability, expand trade through regional cooperation, and promote private sector activities.

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program brings together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in a project-based partnership that aims to promote regional prosperity, improve economic opportunities, and build a better quality of life for the people of the subregion. SASEC countries share a common vision of boosting intraregional trade and cooperation in South Asia, while also connecting to Southeast Asia through Myanmar, to the People’s Republic of China and the global market.

Improving trade and energy security

SASEC seeks to strengthen multimodal cross-border transport networks that boost intraregional trade and open up trade opportunities with East and Southeast Asia. The program helps build modern and effective customs administrations that speed up the time and reduce the costs of moving goods, vehicles, and people across borders. Better connectivity will help unleash the tremendous potential for mutually beneficial trade between the six SASEC countries, which remain some of the least economically integrated in the world.

SASEC also assists member countries in improving energy security by developing infrastructure and promoting intraregional power trade to reduce costs and import dependence.

More than a decade of cooperation

SASEC members gather regularly to discuss and address shared interests, creating support and ownership for the program at the policy level as well as practical collaboration at the technical working level. Over a decade of successful cooperation has built confidence and mutual trust through various discussion platforms that decide on coordinated actions for the benefit of all. ADB serves as the SASEC Secretariat.

Since 2001, SASEC countries have implemented 33 regional projects worth more than $6 billion in the energy, transport, trade facilitation, and information and communications technology sectors.


  • Latest

  • Publication22 May 2015

    Nepal: SASEC Road Connectivity

    Poor road connectivity is a major constraint for Nepal. The East–West Highway (EWH) is critical for domestic connectivity, and is also key to linking Nepal to India.
  • Speech4 May 2015

    Towards South Asian Economic Union - Takehiko Nakao

    Opening Remarks by ADB President Takehiko Nakao at the Asian Development Bank Ninth Informal Meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Finance Ministers on 3 May 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Publication24 Apr 2015

    Asian Development Bank and Bhutan: Fact Sheet

    Updated yearly, this ADB Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on Bhutan as well as concise information on ADB's operations in the country and contact information.
  • Publication24 Apr 2015

    Asian Development Bank and Bangladesh: Fact Sheet

    Updated yearly, this ADB Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on Bangladesh as well as concise information on ADB's operations in the country and contact information. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been supporting Bangladesh since...
  • Publication24 Apr 2015

    Asian Development Bank and India: Fact Sheet

    Updated yearly, this ADB Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on India as well as concise information on ADB's operations in the country and contact information. India was a founding member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and is now...
  • Publication24 Apr 2015

    Asian Development Bank and Maldives: Fact Sheet

    Updated yearly, this ADB Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on the Maldives as well as concise information on ADB's operations in the country and contact information. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been supporting the Government of...
  • Publication24 Apr 2015

    Asian Development Bank and Nepal: Fact Sheet

    Updated yearly, this ADB Fact Sheet provides social and economic indicators on Nepal as well as concise information on ADB's operations in the country and contact information. As of 31 December 2014, Nepal received 531 loans, grants, and technical...
  • News Release26 Mar 2015

    $300 Million ADB Loan for Improving Regional Road Connectivity

    ADB and the Government of India today signed a $300 million loan agreement aimed at improving road connectivity and increasing domestic and regional trade along the North Bengal-Northeastern Region international trade corridor.