Nepal: Regional Cooperation

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

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.