fbpx Workshop on Energy for Regional Integration in South Asia: Building Capacity for Greater Connectivity | Asian Development Bank

At the forefront of growth and development in Asia and the Pacific

Workshop on Energy for Regional Integration in South Asia: Building Capacity for Greater Connectivity

Event | 25 - 26 October 2017 Thimphu, Bhutan


The electrification rate in South Asia is as low as 40% and as high as 90%, with most countries relying on one predominant form of energy while leaving other sources of energy largely untapped. This dependence on a single source limits their ability to meet their energy demands and undermines their energy security. Furthermore, energy insecurity also hinders the region’s economic growth by widening the supply–demand gap for electricity consumption. Establishing a regional power trading market, or indeed any cross-border power trading agreement, could address these issues as it can leverage each country’s strengths and complement others to meet their current and future energy needs. Energy trading would, thus, allow more optimal utilization of resources, improvement of regional energy security and reliability, and increase economic efficiency. For example, the potential excess capacity of hydropower in Bhutan and Nepal may be exported to high-demand countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

The lack of regional cooperation among South Asian countries as well as their domestic political, financial, commercial, and technical issues limit their cross-border power trade potential. Moreover, both hard infrastructure such as energy transmission facilities and soft infrastructure such as regulatory frameworks and trade facilitation mechanisms are mostly absent in these countries. The political, legal, and regulatory uncertainties also increase the financial and commercial risks hampering the development of infrastructure. The situation is further compounded by technical incompetencies in power system planning and operational standards’ harmonization, which need to be resolved.

ADBI and the Institute for Policy, Advocacy, and Governance will jointly organize the workshop on “Energy for Regional Integration in South Asia: Building Capacity for Greater Connectivity.” The workshop will bring together experts, government officials, and policy makers to focus on (a) governance and policy, (b) economics of cross-border power trade, (c) potential of non-conventional power trading, (d) technical integration, (e) building institutional capacity, and (f) financial constraints hampering development of energy projects in South Asia.


  • Highlight current challenges of promoting power trading and improving energy self-sufficiency in South Asia.
  • Discuss ways to ensure energy security and cooperation in the region.


Sixteen mid-level government officials from the ministries of power, energy, environment, or any agencies involved in the power and energy policy of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Participant responsibilities

Attend all sessions and participate in discussions.


  • Shared knowledge and experience on cross-border power trading in South Asia based on the complementarities that exist in the region;
  • Greater understanding of geopolitical, financial, commercial, and technical risks that impede the progress of power trading in South Asia;
  • Good case examples of regional power trading;
  • Knowledge-sharing and discussion platform for the participants and draft of a way forward to promote cross-border power trading and regional cooperation in South Asia; and
  • Presentation materials, to be published on ADBI.org.

How to register

By invitation only.




The Institute for Policy, Advocacy, and Governance (IPAG)

Time of event

09:00 - 18:00