Leveraging Digital Innovation for Promoting Cross-Border Connectivity in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) Subregion

April 24
2:45 pm
 – 4:00 pm

The BBIN subregion – constituted by Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal – has considerable trade and industrial potential that is yet to be realized, principally due to lack of efficient and cost-effective connectivity. High trade costs constrain the growth of trade-oriented industries in the region. Better connectivity is necessary to improve efficiency of supply chains and formation of value chains within BBIN. This would in turn help to enhance the competitiveness of the subregion’s manufacturing sectors in the global markets, delivering new opportunities for economic prosperity and sustainable development.

Improving connectivity in the subregion requires trade and transport facilitation reforms oriented on modernizing customs administration, streamlining trade and transport procedures, and upgrading land ports. Digital technologies such as paperless trade systems and electronic cargo tracking systems (ECTS) can help to bring about these reforms and transform the logistics sector for the benefit of traders and investors.

Sevel initiatives to modernize trade procedures and logistics are underway in the BBIN countries. While electronic interfaces and single window systems have been introduced in all four countries their deployment is to be scaled up to cover all ports and transit points. Huge efficiency gains are offered by harmonization of trade and transport operations utilizing advanced cargo information systems, electronic cargo tracking using satellite positioning and communication technologies, application of electronic seals in containers etc.

The objective of the side event is to explore how digitalization can offer better and more efficient tools and solutions for improving connectivity in the BBIN subregion. The discussions will aim to; (1) identify priority areas for utilization of digital technologies to optimize cross-border connectivity, and (2) recommend collaborative actions by BBIN countries for advancing the agenda of digitalization in connectivity.