Regional: Promoting South Asian Regional Economic Cooperation II

Sovereign Project | 40371-012

Summary

The expected impact of the RETA is the enhanced regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in South Asia. The envisaged outcomes are (i) enhanced capacity of the SAARC Secretariat and its selected regional centers in planning and implementation of cooperation agendas; (ii) increased regional cooperation activities and projects within SAARC; (iii) effective sharing of information and experience on regional cooperation; and (iv) enhanced capacity of the SAARC member countries to implement RCI programs and projects.

The activities of the RETA will be flexible to accommodate priority areas agreed in the joint SAARC-ADB annual work program. The five key outputs are:

(i) Joint SAARC-ADB annual work program. This aims at providing more concerted and planned assistance to the SAARC Secretariat and will entail formulating a joint work plan for the sustained development of the region.

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Project Name Promoting South Asian Regional Economic Cooperation II
Project Number 40371-012
Country Regional
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 6512-REG: Promoting South Asian Regional Economic Cooperation II
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 1.50 million
TA 6512-REG: Promoting South Asian Regional Economic Cooperation II (Supplementary)
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 225,000.00
TA: Promoting South Asian Regional Economic Cooperation II (Supplementary)
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 225,000.00
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector

Industry and trade - Trade and services

Transport - Multimodal logistics

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description

The expected impact of the RETA is the enhanced regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in South Asia. The envisaged outcomes are (i) enhanced capacity of the SAARC Secretariat and its selected regional centers in planning and implementation of cooperation agendas; (ii) increased regional cooperation activities and projects within SAARC; (iii) effective sharing of information and experience on regional cooperation; and (iv) enhanced capacity of the SAARC member countries to implement RCI programs and projects.

The activities of the RETA will be flexible to accommodate priority areas agreed in the joint SAARC-ADB annual work program. The five key outputs are:

(i) Joint SAARC-ADB annual work program. This aims at providing more concerted and planned assistance to the SAARC Secretariat and will entail formulating a joint work plan for the sustained development of the region.

(ii) Studies. This would include sector studies, feasibility studies and thematic issues papers to support the formulation of the policy agenda in the priority sectors identified under SAARC.

(iii) Capacity building for selected regional centers. The specific program components will be developed in consultation with the SAARC Secretariat and select regional centers in order to ensure that they are need-based and add value to the proposed and ongoing programs in these centers.

(iv) Training for the officials from SAARC member states. The training programs will be developed in close consultation with SAARC Secretariat and member countries. Specific training programs could be designed based on the successful training models of other regional cooperation initiatives such as the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

(v) Programs to support institutional links with other regional organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Such links would not only enable sharing of experiences and learning from each other, but also enable accessing the enormous trade potential between regions and blocs. This would ultimately enhance greater economic gains for all partners.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been collaborating closely with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to promote regional cooperation in South Asia. The memorandum of understanding between SAARC and ADB, signed on 12 April 2004, provided a framework for collaboration between the two institutions on activities to accelerate broad-based economic growth and social development; promote cross-border movement of goods, services, and people through regional cooperation; and promote institutional links with other regional cooperation initiatives.

A regional technical assistance (TA) assisted the SAARC Secretariat to (i) implement priority regional cooperation activities; (ii) enhance the capacity of the SAARC Secretariat, select entities and regional centers, and member states for effective planning, processing, and implementation of the key regional cooperation agenda; and (iii) prepare activities to strengthen cooperation between SAARC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Two other TAs also assisted SAARC for a workshop on the SAARC Development Fund, and the energy sector dialogue.

During the SAARC secretary general?s visit to ADB headquarters on 17-18 December 2007, the SAARC delegation requested ADB to provide a follow-on umbrella TA to move forward key decisions and outcomes of SAARC summits and support the activities of the SAARC Secretariat. The activities of the TA are in line with the operational objectives of the Regional Cooperation Strategy and Program for South Asia (2006?2008). The TA is included in the South Asia Regional Cooperation Operations Business Plan for 2009?2010.

Impact Enhanced regional cooperation and integration in South Asia
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Enhanced capacity of SAARC Secretariat, SAARC entities including select regional centers, and government entities of SAARC member states, as approved by the SAARC mechanisms, to effectively plan and implement regional cooperation activities
Progress Toward Outcome

The SAARC Secretariat approved the following proposals which will be undertaken under the RETA:

(1) A study on regional economic integration in SAARC, its current extent and recommendations for further deepening;

(2) Development of institutional framework for data collection on Trade in Services (including capacity building)

(3) Study on codification of variations in the level of development of capital markets in SAARC member States.

The Inception Workshop for the three studies was conducted in Kathmandu on 23-24 June 2011.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Studies and papers on trade, economic, and financial cooperation

Capacity development programs for SAARC entities and training programs for SAARC officials from SAARC member states.

Initiatives for regional food security

Programs to support institutional links with other regional organizations

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Following the Inception workshop for the three studies held at the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu on 23-24 June 2011 to discuss the studies, the finalization workshop was held on 24 -25 June 2012 at the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu.

The countries approved the reports in principle. After the finalization workshop, the revised reports of study for data collection on trade in services, and capital markets were submitted to SAARC Secretariat in July 2012 for review again by SAARC countries.

The revised study on regional economic integration will be submitted by December 2013

Consultant to development the macroeconomic studies on regional economic integration has already been engaged.

The study on the development of an institutional framework for data collection in Trade in Services was presented to SAARC countries on 26 June 2012 at the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu. The meeting endorsed the report. After the meeting, SAARC countries sent 8 statisticians to attend the training courses in NASA, India in August 2012. Currently, a SAARC Statistics Portal is being developed and is expected to be effective by December 2013.

An expert working group meeting to prepare a common schedule for negotiation on trade in services was organized in August 2012 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The meeting came up with a proposed common schedule for negotiation of trade in services.

SAARC STAT Portal was developed and turned over to SAARC Secretariat.

The First Draft of the Study on Regional Economic Integration (Phase II) was considered and approved by the SAARC Summit Standing Committee on 26-27 November 2014. The committee also considered and approved the Report of SAARC-ADB

On 14-15 April 2015, a Special Meeting of Representatives of Commerce and Finance Ministries will be held in Goa, India to diiscuss the Regional Economic Integration.

The 9th Informal SAARC Finance Ministers' Meeting was held in Baku, Azerbaijan on 3 May 2015.

Geographical Location SAARC member states (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka)
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design SAARC Secretariat is being closely consulted on the TA design and implementation arrangements. SAARC Secretariat, SAARC entities, and SAARC member states, will fully participate in the activities of the TA.
During Project Implementation Relevant stakeholders are consulted and if necessary are invited to participate during meetings.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services Consulting Services yet to be determined
Responsible ADB Officer Ronald Antonio Q. Butiong
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Div, SARD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong
Metro Manila, Philippines
P.O. Box 789, 1099 Manila,
Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 25 Aug 2008
Fact Finding 17 Dec 2007 to 18 Dec 2007
MRM -
Approval 12 Dec 2008
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 03 Oct 2008
Last PDS Update 22 May 2015

TA 6512-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
12 Dec 2008 - 12 Dec 2008 28 Feb 2011 15 Jun 2016 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
1,725,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,725,000.00 12 Dec 2008 1,485,607.05
Title Document Type Document Date
Promoting South Asian Regional Economic Cooperation II Technical Assistance Reports Dec 2008

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