South Asia gets over 1 bln USD from World Bank on regional trade, connectivity-Xinhua

South Asia gets over 1 bln USD from World Bank on regional trade, connectivity

Source: Xinhua| 2022-06-29 21:52:30|Editor: huaxia

DHAKA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank approved 1.03 billion U.S. dollars of financing to help improve regional trade in Bangladesh and Nepal by reducing trade and transport costs and transit time along the regional corridors.

The Accelerating Transport and Trade Connectivity in Eastern South Asia (ACCESS) Program Phase 1 will help the respective governments address the key barriers to regional trade -- manual and paper-based trade processes, inadequate transport and trade infrastructure, and restrictive trade and transport regulations and processes, the Washington-based lender said in a statement on Wednesday.

This will help the integration of landlocked Nepal and Bhutan with the gateway countries of Bangladesh and India, it added.

"Regional trade offers enormous untapped potential for the countries of South Asia. Today, regional trade accounts for only 5 percent of South Asia's total trade, while in East Asia it accounts for 50 percent," said Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Vice President for South Asia.

"South Asia can boost economic growth significantly and create opportunities for millions of people by increasing regional trade and connectivity."

The 753.45-million-dollar financing for the ACCESS Project in Bangladesh will upgrade the 43-km Sylhet-Charkai-Sheola road to a climate-resilient four-lane road, connecting the Sheola Land Port with the Dhaka-Sylhet Highway.

On the other hand, the 275-million-dollar ACCESS Project in Nepal will upgrade the 69-km Butwal-Gorusinghe-Chanauta road, along the East-West Highway, to a climate-resilient four-lane highway.