SASEC Programme

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program brings together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, 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 developing connectivity and trade with Southeast Asia through Myanmar, to the People’s Republic of China, and the global market.

The SASEC Program focuses currently on three priority areas: (i) transport, (ii) trade facilitation, and (iii) energy. The SASEC Operational Plan, 2016–2025, endorsed in

The SASEC Operational Plan 2016–2025: Strategic Objectives

• Enhancing physical connectivity through multimodal transport systems aligned more closely with the development of markets.

• Adopting a comprehensive approach to transport and trade facilitation that will expand the current focus from land-based to seaborne facilitation, to complement investments in multimodal networks.

• Enhancing electricity trade, which will lead to an expanded and diversified energy supply to meet energy needs and secure power reliability.

• Promoting synergies between economic corridors being developed in individual SASEC countries, and optimizing development impacts of these economic corridor investments through improved cross-border links.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a total of nine projects costing $2.42 billion as part of the Operational Plan (OP) 2016-2025 of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program. These projects will receive ADB financing of $1.43 billion. These nine projects represent a significant increase compared to the previous 15 years, when the annual average value of projects approved was only about $500 million.

Practice question:

1. Which of the following statements related to ADB is/are correct?
1. ADB has weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members' capital subscriptions.
2. Japan and China holds the largest proportion of shares in ADB.


a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both

d) None

Ans: a
Exp: As of 31 December 2016, Japan and United States hold the largest proportion of shares at 15.607%. China holds 6.444%, India holds 6.331%, and Australia holds 5.786%.