Aid for Trade: An Investment-Benefit Road Map from South Asia

Publication | September 2013

This report lays out a framework for prioritizing Aid for Trade’s potential trade-related interventions and investments in northeastern countries of South Asia.

  • US$30.00 (paperback)

Aid for Trade came to prominence just over a decade ago at the launch of the World Trade Organization's Doha Round. With its focus on helping least developed countries and economies escape the poverty trap, it aims to strengthen their capabilities to meet market demand and to reduce supply-side constraints such as a lack of trade infrastructure.

In accordance with that objective, this report lays out an applied framework for prioritizing potential trade-related interventions and investments according to the expected strength of their combined economic impacts. Along the way, and for the first time, the economic geography of northeastern South Asia has been comprehensively mapped. Computer-driven modeling provides a dynamic portrayal of the economic geography that is a resource for decision makers (and investors).

By bringing to light new avenues yielding very high economic benefits for investment and reforms, the framework can give guidance for undertaking trade improvements under Aid for Trade on pilot projects within a national setting, between neighbors or spread to partners further afield. In all cases, the endeavor is the same: expressed in the metaphor of hard investment, it is to build bridges to export markets so that people in the economic periphery have a better opportunity to take poverty off their own maps.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • The Modeling Approach to Priority Investments
  • Investment Scenarios and Model Simulations
  • Computations Behind Model Simulations
  • Transportation-Cost Scenarios in the Linear Economy
  • The Region: Production, Population, and Poverty Space
  • Transit and Trade Initiatives and their Value-Chain Implication
  • Value Chain Reference - Indian Bamboo Floor Tiles
  • Ceramic Tableware Value Chain in Bangladesh
  • Medicinal Plants Value Chain in Bhutan and Nepal
  • The Way Forward to Overcome Barriers to Trade
  • Strategic Road Map for the Development of Selected Export Trades
  • Conclusions
  • References

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • Finance sector development
  • Industry and trade
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Nepal
  • RPT136015-2
  • 978-92-9254-254-2 (Print)
  • 978-92-9254-255-9 (Web)

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