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Regional Integration in South Asia


Ongoing Projects


Gender Dimensions of Trade Facilitation Agreement: Evidence from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (GDTFA)

In December 2017, at WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, 118 WTO member countries and observers have agreed to make collective efforts in curbing gender discrimination and start the same by emphasising on building gender inclusive trade and development policies. CUTS International along with its country partners from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal with the support from U.K’s Department for International Development is implementing this project with an aim to prepare cases in favour of gender inclusive trade policies to enhance participation of women in trade and related income-generating activities. The evidence will be collected from women led/managed/owned Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in BBIN countries.

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Mainstreaming Gender in International Trade (MGIT)

CUTS efforts on integrating gender sensitive initiatives in trade negotiations at bilateral and multilateral level has been an on-going task. Grassroot insights from South Asia indicates that mainstreaming gender in international trade begins at the national and sub-regional level. For example, border markets along the borders of South Asian and East African countries exhibit similar trade practices, with slightly different governance and regulation mechanisms. Hence the women traders within these border markets generate different models of revenue turn-out. Cross-regional interventions and exchange of policy practices can enhance the participation of women in international trade.

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Demystifying Non-Tariff Barriers to India-Bangladesh Trade in Agricultural Products and their Linkages with Food Security and Livelihood (NTBAGR)

Bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh is affected by a plethora of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) that act as major barriers and undermine the potential of trade between these two nations. NTBs are particularly harmful in case of agriculture products which not only escalate the cost of products but also restrict effective market access for producers and consumers. This project aims to identify and document the bottlenecks and challenges faced by Indian exporters and importers while trading with Bangladesh, particularly in agricultural trade. This project also sheds light on other related issues of trade & livelihood and trade & food security.

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South Asia Regional Connectivity Conference (SARCC)

The goal of this project is to bring together key interlocutors to discuss challenges and solutions to economic, investment, and security issues relevant to South Asia and the United States. CUTS is collaborating with East West Center (United States) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (India) for this project which is funded by the US State Department.

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Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement: Facilitating implementation and stakeholder buy-in in the BBIN sub-region (BBINMVA)

South Asia is one of the least integrated and connected regions of the world. Intra-regional trade is around five per cent of the total trade of South Asian countries. This lack of connectivity and integration has long been accepted as one of the biggest contributors to the sub-optimal utilisation of the region’s economic potential.

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Linkages and Impacts of Cross-Border Informal Trade in Agricultural Inputs in Eastern South Asia (LITA)

With an objective to understand the dynamics of informal trade in agricultural inputs across the border of India-Bangladesh and India-Nepal, and its impact on livelihoods of farmers, including the gender dimension of those impacts, CUTS International has undertaken a project titled “Linkages and Impacts of Cross-Border Informal Trade in Agricultural Inputs in Eastern South Asia”, with support from Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

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Promoting Consumer and Producer Gains (PCPG)

The purpose of this project is to facilitate trade in agricultural products between Bangladesh and a North East Indian state – Tripura – through knowledge generation, facilitative public-private dialogues and evidence-based advocacy.

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Trade and Transport Facilitation Audit in South Asia (TTFA)

The purpose of this project is to provide remedies to the transportation system so as to reduce the time consumption while doing trade, thus to contribute towards economic growth and poverty alleviation in South Asia by enhancing economic integration in the region.

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Indo-Bangla Trade Assessment- Phase II (IBTA-II)

The purpose of this project is to examine the key issues which affect bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India through land routes and to explore trade opportunities and welfare outcomes that can be generated by addressing such issues. In particular, the project will assess the benefits of two trade related bilateral agreements between Bangladesh and India namely; Motor Vehicle Agreement and an agreement on Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary measures.

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Projects Completed >>





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