Regional : Regional Project Development Support for the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Operational Plan, 2016-2025
The TA seeks to support the implementation of the SASEC Operational Plan 20162025, and to support new initiatives to address emerging development issues and opportunities in the SASEC countries. The operational plan lists 40 projects worth around $25 billion being considered for ADB financing from 20162018. A number of these projects require further work (e.g., scoping, pre-feasibility studies). The operational plan also contains a long list of potential projects which the TA will further work on to develop a firm pipeline through 2025. Moreover, emerging issues and opportunities in SASEC will require studies and analytical work to determine possible new approaches and initiatives consistent with the strategic objectives and priorities of the operational plan. These include ports-led connectivity, economic corridor development, and links to Southeast Asia via Myanmar, which is expected to become a member of SASEC.
South Asia Department
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- Industry and trade
|Regional Project Development Support for the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Operational Plan, 2016-2025
|Country / Economy
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance
|Source of Funding / Amount
|Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change
|Governance and capacity development
|Sector / Subsector
Education / Education sector development
Energy / Electricity transmission and distribution - Energy sector development and institutional reform - Oil and gas transmission and distribution
Industry and trade / Industry and trade sector development - Trade and services
Transport / Multimodal logistics - Road transport (non-urban) - Transport policies and institutional development
Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Other urban services - Urban policy, institutional and capacity development
|No gender elements
|The TA seeks to support the implementation of the SASEC Operational Plan 20162025, and to support new initiatives to address emerging development issues and opportunities in the SASEC countries. The operational plan lists 40 projects worth around $25 billion being considered for ADB financing from 20162018. A number of these projects require further work (e.g., scoping, pre-feasibility studies). The operational plan also contains a long list of potential projects which the TA will further work on to develop a firm pipeline through 2025. Moreover, emerging issues and opportunities in SASEC will require studies and analytical work to determine possible new approaches and initiatives consistent with the strategic objectives and priorities of the operational plan. These include ports-led connectivity, economic corridor development, and links to Southeast Asia via Myanmar, which is expected to become a member of SASEC. The TA will cover the following: (i) support for project identification, scoping, and preliminary assessments; (ii) RCI studies and other analytical work to address key development issues in the subregion, including the preparation of framework agreements on new initiatives; and (iii) conferences, workshops, and other outreach activities on RCI, economic corridor, and other priority initiatives. The first will help refine the initial list of potential projects in the operational plan towards developing a firm pipeline of well-formulated projects through SASEC 2025. The second will generate analytical work on emerging issues in SASEC as the basis for framing new initiatives, including cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder programs (i.e., economic corridor development). The third will provide the forums to disseminate the results of studies; promote awareness of issues and discuss possible approaches or initiatives; and share knowledge, experiences, and good practices.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
|The next 10 years will be particularly challenging for South Asia as it strives to regain and sustain its growth momentum and, more importantly, ensure that this growth is inclusive. The key challenges include (i) increasing productivity and investment; (ii) creating jobs; (iii) mitigating macroeconomic and structural vulnerabilities; (iv) addressing the problem of lagging regions and improving social services delivery to these areas; (v) addressing vulnerabilities to global trends in energy and food, and confronting climate change's effects; and (vi) addressing constraints to faster integration, such as the high cost to trade, and low quality of infrastructure and institutions. These challenges are compounded by the wide diversity among countries in the region in terms of market size, geography, and resource endowments, making for highly uneven growth patterns. A huge infrastructure deficit is impacting growth, and more importantly, the quality of life. Connectivity among the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) countries and with those outside the subregion is poor. Within SASEC countries, many areas do not have access to reliable electricity connection, safe water supply, and adequate road and transportation facilities. Regional cooperation and integration (RCI) will play an important role in addressing these challenges amid the significant economic developments happening in Asia and the rest of the world. To address these challenges, the SASEC Operational Plan 20162025 aims to expand SASEC's focus beyond intra-regional cooperation to linkages with Southeast and East Asia, thus widening the scope of transport, trade facilitation, and energy cooperation. Economic and industrial corridor development, which will arise from improved connectivity, has been added as a priority initiative. Studies on developing economic and industrial corridors in SASEC countries is either planned or under way to help address some of the key challenges facing the SASEC subregion.
Trade and economic cooperation within SASEC subregion increased, economic linkages between SASEC subregion and East and Southeast Asia enhanced, and inclusive economic growth in the SASEC subregion improved and sustained
|Description of Outcome
Investments in RCI and other key regional development initiatives in the SASEC subregion scaled up
|Progress Toward Outcome
|SASEC countries endorsed the SASEC Operational Plan Update during the Meeting of SASEC Nodal Officials' and Working Groups in Seoul, ROK on 18-19 March 2019.
|Description of Project Outputs
3-year rolling pipeline of priority regional cooperation projects and initiatives agreed by the SASEC member countries
RCI analytical work and other operationally- relevant knowledge products completed
Knowledge sharing and capacity development of SASEC countries implemented
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
The SASEC Operational Plan 2016-2025 was updated and discussed during the Meeting of the SASEC Nodal Officials and Working Groups held in Singapore on 5-6 March 2018.
The TA will assist in developing 3 flagship initiatives identified under the SASEC vision document, which are:
1. supporting cross border power trade
2. supporting LPG transshipment and storage hub
3. supporting pipeline corridor for crude oil and petroleum supply
The TA also conducted a Study on Promoting SASEC as a Tourist Destination, which has been identified as a flagship initiative in the SASEC Vision document.
The TA supported the meeting of the SASEC Customs Subgroup held on 30-31 July 2018 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The TA supported the holding of the Meeting of SASEC Nodal Officials and Working Groups held in Seoul, ROK on 18-19 March 2019.
The TA was updated on 3 April 2020 to support SARD DMCs (i) a rapid desk-review assessment of COVID-19 impact on health sector; (ii) rapid desk-review assessments of COVID-19 impact on education sector; (iii) rapid desk-review assessments of the affected groups across selected DMCs, gaps in existing social protection systems, and potential measures to address the major gaps; (iv) a quick survey on the use of online learning resources and other means of teaching and learning support during school closures; (v) organize virtual idea competitions; and (vi) due diligence support such as procurement, financial management, environmental and social safeguard for preparation of potential intervention measures.
The TA supported the recruitment of consultants (animal health and human health experts) for a One Health Scoping Study, to assess key capacity gaps, constraints and unmet resources needs in the implementation of One Health in SASEC member countries at both country and regional level and identify opportunities for addressing issues in different sectors with One Health relevance through regional cooperation approach.
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
|During Project Design
|During Project Implementation
|The TA will engage 59 person-months of international consultants and 63 person-months of national consultants as individuals. These consultants will report to the designated international staff member of SARD, who will act as team leader and supervise the consultants' work. Consultants will be recruited in accordance with the ADB Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time).
|Responsible ADB Officer
|Responsible ADB Department
|South Asia Department
|Responsible ADB Division
|Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Div, SARD
Asian Development Bank
|07 Sep 2016
|15 Nov 2016
|Last Review Mission
|Last PDS Update
|30 Nov 2021
|15 Nov 2016
|15 Nov 2016
|20 Nov 2020
|14 Nov 2021
|01 Feb 2022
|Financing Plan/TA Utilization
|28 Jul 2022
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|Regional Project Development Support for the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Operational Plan, 2016-2025: Technical Assistance Completion Report
|TA Completion Reports
|Regional Project Development Support for the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Operational Plan, 2016-2025: Major Change in Technical Assistance
|TA Change in Scope, Amount, and Implementation Arrangements
|Regional Project Development Support for the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Operational Plan 2016–2025: Technical Assistance Report
|Technical Assistance Reports
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