Policy dialogue on Economic and Transport Development in border Areas for the Eastern South Asia

Date: 
4 Dec 2013 to 5 Dec 2013
Location: 
Shillong (Meghalaya), India

Remote border areas are junctions for connectivity between countries and are very often also poorer places in most countries. In order to alleviate poverty and develop trade and transport connectivity in border areas, many countries opened borders for the purpose of trade and transport, granting those areas the status of border special economic zones. Many such zones have been established in North-East, South-East and Central Asia and have become trade centres, transport hubs and cooperation centres, greatly promoting local economic development and poverty alleviation in border areas.

South and South-West Asia remains one of the least integrated subregions in the world as measured by proportion of intraregional trade, investment, transport connectivity and people-to-people contacts. At below six per cent, the proportion of intra-regional trade in South Asia is the lowest among the subregions. Against this backdrop, the development of border special economic zones in eastern South Asia would greatly contribute to poverty alleviation, investment and trade promotion, cross-border and transit transport and development of the local economy. Such zones have the potential to become important platforms and hubs for cooperation between neighbouring countries.

Organized by ESCAP South and South-West Asia Office, ESCAP Transport Division in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Meghalaya State of India, the Policy Dialogue on Economic and Transport Development in Border Areas of Eastern South Asia will provide an opportunity to exchange experience in the economic and transport development of border areas. It will include a one-day field visit to a border crossing. It is expected to bring together policymakers from ministries in charge of economic development, transport, trade and commerce, finance (Customs) and border control and local governments in the border areas of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.

Contact person:
Mr. Sandeep Raj Jain
Transport Division, UNESCAP
Tel: +66 (0) 2288-1426
Fax: +66 (0) 2288-3050, 2288-1020
E-mail: jain@un.org