Subregional Cooperation in the East South Asia Subregion ESAS

Subregional Cooperation in the East South Asia Subregion ESAS

Facilitating Trade and Investments for Subregional Growth


1. The East South Asia Subregion (ESAS) consisting of the eastern states of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal has, within its boundaries, a total population of around 420 million and a potential combined GNp of about USD 142 bn. The ESAS covers a total land area of over one million square kilometres with substantial water courses, arable land, forests and natural resources. Intra-ESAS merchandise trade, however, is low and constitutes only around 2.4 percent of the total trade of the four countries2. This low figure, nonetheless, masks the extent of informal trade that already occurs within the subregion3.

2. Despite the low levels of cross-border trade, the subregion has vast potential for cooperative development of cross-border investments in many large-scale projects including hydopower, hydro-carbons, water, tourism, forestry, and agriculture. Current estimates of cross-border investments indicate that only a small proportion, USD 359 fin, of such projects have been undertaken with the average value of such investments being very low, USD 1.3 mn.

3. Unlocking the deep potential that exists within ESAS requires a broad strategy that has to be consonant with the national priorities of each country while exploiting the economies of scale and scope offered by subregional cooperation. Within this context, not only are there opportunities to build on large-scale projects but also opportunities to foster a higher degree of trade and investment generated by the small-scale sector. The low average value of current cross-border investments highlights the importance of the small and medium scale sector in promoting the inherent economic dynamism of the subregion.

4. The benefits of subregional cooperation are many but difficult to quantify at the onset. At the most basic level, subregional cooperation in facilitating trade can reduce transport and transaction costs while improving the movement of goods and some services such as tourism and banking. However, within the ESAS there are several export items that are common to all or most of the member countries, implying competition in the export of these goods. The differences in factor costs in each location within the ESAS may, however, provide opportunities for cross- border investments in these exports to take advantage of the benefits of distributed production. Inevitably, the facilitation of trade by its very nature sets in train opportunities for cross-border investments, which, in turn, can intensify and deepen trade relationships. In this process, the wider spill overs to the rest of the economy and changes in labour mobility may act to buttress and strengthen the business fabric which binds the subregion.


5. The vast resource endowments of the ESAS point to the potential for several large-scale projects that could benefit the subregion. Many of these projects require substantial financial and technical resources. They also call for a joint approach within the ESAS because of scale effects, common resource pools, and the need for some form of sharing agreements. The need for scale economies and the call on extensive financial and technical resources imply a need for public and private sector participation in many of these projects. In some, there may well be a need for support from multi-lateral agencies. More importantly, some of these projects with a wider impact are already being pursued at national level with the assistance of multi-lateral agencies. For a fuller benefit to be achieved, and to reduce the impact of potentially negative spillovers, it may well be necessary to seek cross-border solutions to the fruitful completion of some of these programmes.

6. Within the ESAS, the power sector is illustrative of the potential advantages through multi-country cooperation. India, for example, has an extensive grid network covering most of its eastern states, Bhutan and Nepal. Within the ESAS there is an estimated undeveloped hydropower potential of between 40,000 and 60,000 MW while the expected peak demand in the subregion will only be 20,000 MW by the year 2010. India has been involved in developing the 230 MW Chhukha and the 1000 MW Thala hydropower projects in Bhutan, with the excess capacity being exported to India. A previous project resulted in discussions to create cross-border transmission links between Krishnanagar in West Bengal and Ishurdi in Bangladesh, and similarly between Shahjibazar in eastern Bangladesh with Kumarghat in Tripura. Such interconnections would overcome the bifurcation of Bangladesh by the Padma-Meghna river system which makes it highly expensive to develop a cross-river transmission network for the country. There are similar advantages for the remote areas of Bhutan and Nepal to tap into India’s expansive grid along the border. The surplus power generated in the ESAS would continue to be exported to the southern states of India through the existing high voltage direct current (HVDC) link through Orissa. The economics of these interties would be cheaper power for eastern India and for western Bangladesh. More importantly, the reliability of supply in Bangladesh would increase significantly as it would mitigate the outages that currently affect the western part of the country. These connections, if constructed, would create a multi-country transmission grid across most of the ESAS and a subregional power system master plan has been proposed by the Asian Development Bank. This multi-country plan will allow for significant cost efficiencies to be achieved in the longer-term.

7. In the gas sector, eastern Bangladesh has estimated reserves of over 25 trillion L cubic feet of natural gas, which can last for around 35 years at current domestic consumption levels. There are, in all, seventeen gas fields among which the Titas, Habiganj, Rashidpur and Kailashtilla fields are the largest. The low domestic demand makes it uneconomical to continue developing the gas fields unless export markets are found. There is a proposal for a pipeline from the gasfields in eastern Bangladesh to Haldia in West Bengal for the offtake to be used as feedstock in petrochemical production and as fuel in the furnaces of the iron and steel industry. For India, the conversion of these coal and naphtha-fired plants to natural gas would result in a cleaner environment and cheaper long-run costs. For Bangladesh, India offers a ready market for its gas with the excess supply being liquefied for sale in international markets.

8. There are similar opportunities in transportation, water resource development, eco-tourism and environmental protection within the ESAS. All of these potential projects have significant cross-border impact and need to be addressed in a comprehensive and systematic manner so as to reduce the negative externalities that may arise. For example, water resource development requires joint agreement amongst the neighbouring countries through which the rivers flow to overcome flow-rate restrictions, manage seasonal demands and to reduce pollution levels. Similarly, eco-tourism and environmental protection projects in one country may need to be addressed in conjunction with developments across common borders to ensure that the benefits are not negated by the effects of different objectives. The ESAS has several such projects with cross-border implications and addressing v them jointly can ameliorate the negative consequences of purely disjointed project development within national boundaries. These moves, if done in consonance with national development priorities, would, in turn, lead to enhanced cross-border flows of trade and investment in the subregion. The potential impact of these opportunities could be the transformation of a slow growing region, which is also home to the largest concentration of the world’s poor, into a dynamic growth area with a rapid reduction in poverty incidence.


9. Within the ESAS, there are already several cross-border investments. For example, these include investments in sectors such as chemicals, cement, electricity generation, textiles, hotels and banking, to name a few. Among the larger, and more familiar, ones are companies such as Nepal Battery Company, Nepal Lever Ltd, Triveni Cements, Annapurna Textiles, Apollo Steel Industry Ltd, Asan Paints (Nepal) Ltd and Nepal Power Engineering which are Indian investments in Nepal

10. There are many more private-sector led projects which could benefit from the wider economic space offered through the ESAS. In the secondary sector, these include cement, fruit processing, textiles, soap, metals, handicrafts, carpets, matches and plywood production, jute, leather, textiles, edible oils, flour, machinery, pharmaceuticals, tea, marine and dairy products. Each of the ESAS member countries already has the capacity to participate in some or all of these sectors. The eastern states of India have, in addition, a significant industrial base, which includes engineering industry, chemicals, petrochemicals, oil refining, iron and steel production and mining.

11. Many of the secondary sector manufacturing projects will depend on the relative factor costs existing across the ESAS, and the first impetus would be to achieve wider market access throughout the subregion. At a more distant level, there would be a thrust to redistribute such manufacturing plants throughout the ESAS to exploit the changing comparative advantages offered by the different countries. It is clear that even in industrial redistribution, the likelihood is for a greater spread of labour intensive and low-value added manufacturing within the ESAS given the large population size and dominance of the agricultural sector in employments.

12. Within the services sector, there are several opportunities in hotels, tourism- related projects, software development, IT, telecommunications, banking, insurance, warehousing and logistics, distribution and setting up retail networks. Many of these have already been pursued by the small and medium scale sector through either formal or informal channels. There is a need for greater information dissemination across the ESAS to widen the opportunities in several of these smaller scale projects and businesses. .

13. The changing nature of telecommunications and IT, however, point to the potential for more immediate tie-ups between businesses within the ESAS by harnessing the potential offered through the internet. There are several business opportunities that can be immediately tapped in this context. The first is the use of the internet to overcome the difficulties of document transfers for cross-border transactions. Examples include marketing, finance, insurance, bills of lading and payment authorisations. The second is in the use of the internet to track movement of goods by rail, road and water. The third is in developing digitally exportable services such as back office accounting, order processing, editing, translations, and the like. It is likely that the use of IT can circumvent the rigidities associated with the movement of labour across borders in the current environment. There is a large of pool of IT -related skills within the ESAS, mainly in the eastern states of India, but a well-crafted strategy can act to tie businesses within the subregion and also reach out to the wider global markets at low cost. This may also obviate the need to move some goods across the internal borders of the ESAS, as an international order for an item may be processed in India, and delivered directly from Bangladesh to a customer in the US. This web of business linkages requires new modes of thinking and accessing the internet, and lends itself readily to the needs of the small and medium scale sector, and also addresses, to a limited extent, the needs of land-locked neighbours such as Bhutan and Nepal.


14. As the ESAS is a nascent idea, and the current flows of intra-subregional trade and investment are fairly small, any attempt to provide comprehensive views of the potential of subregional cooperation is fraught with a high degree of uncertainty. On this basis, the best way forth is to understand the broad underpinnings of growth, and to provide some conservative, but credible, scenarios for the evolution of the region.

15. The current GNP of the ESAS is estimated to be USD 150 bn, based on a growth of 5.6 percent in the period 1998 to 1999. Labour force participation within the subregion is estimated to be 194 million and growing at 2.1 percent, while intra- ESAS trade has been estimated to be growing at a conservative level of 2.5 percent. Total investment growth within the ESAS countries has been highly volatile over the last decade, but in general terms has averaged 150 percent over the last five years. These broad parameters set the basic dimensions of growth within the ESAS.

Scenario 1 – With trade facilitation alone. in three years

16. The potential for improving intra-ESAS trade is significant. If various trade facilitation measures such as improvements in customs procedures

Scenario 2 – With trade facilitation and increased investments. in three years

17. The creation of ESAS should provide the catalyst for increasing cross-border investment flows and also for capturing foreign direct investment from outside the sub-region. If investment growth doubles within the next three years, while a programme of trade facilitation is implemented, the impact on growth of intra- ESAS trade is expected to be an increase from 2.5 percent today to around 5.0 percent in that time. This translates to an increase in labour force participation of around 6.5 million, while total ESAS GNP is expected to grow to USD 191 bn over the same period.

Scenario 3 – With trade facilitation and investments in the power and 2as sectors. over three years

18. In this third scenario, trade facilitation accompanied by investments in the power and gas sectors over three years is considered. The full impact of this strategy will be to raise the overall ESAS GNP to USD 199 bn in three years, while increasing labour force participation by around 10 million. Intra-ESAS trade is expected to accelerate to around 6.7 percent from the current 2.5 percent. It is clear that investment in the power and gas sectors and the attendant increase in trade will have the greatest impact on the growth prospects of the ESAS.

19. Appendix One provides the assumptions and growth estimates for all three scenarios, which are conservative. The growth of the subregion, and employment creation can be substantially boosted if many of the large-scale cross-border projects are also implemented over the next five to ten years. These larger projects will have significant downstream effects, and have spil10vers to the small and medium scale sector which will act as multipliers within the ESAS. The gross effect of a combination of all three scenarios can, of course, be a significant shift in the economic landscape of the subregion. Nevertheless, there is a need to temper these broader optimistic projections with the increase in population within the subregion resulting from inward migration which may dampen the growth prospects unless extensive social safety nets are also built into the growing’ economic fabric.

20. It is important to note that in Scenarios Two and Three, in which investment growth is considered to be the main driver of trade growth and labour force participation through the engine of gross product, there will be a dampening effect resulting from the need for capital imports and the associated problem of financing them. At a conservative level, the cost of capital imports may increase by around USD 9 bn in both cases over the same period, based on current trade balance estimates. Unless export revenues can accelerate significantly, the foreign exchange burden of such capital imports may act to diffuse the potential gains from exploiting intra-regional trade and investment. Nevertheless, this valid concern can best be addressed through the creation of wider market access for products from the subregion so that hard currency earnings can be sustained, in addition to the fostering of intra-regional trade.


21. It is apparent that trade facilitation can have an immediate impact on the prospects for growth, employment creation, and alleviating some of the poverty that pervades the ESAS. However, trade facilitation requires dedicated effort amongst the policy-makers of all four countries to agree on several important measures. While some measures require all parties to agree, many of the more immediate measures only require bilateral discussions and agreement.

. 22. Simplification of sales tax and other fiscal documents. One of the more pressing 81- concerns in facilitating trade is the need for simple documents and easier processing. Within the ESAS, there is the added complication that three of the four member countries can set national-level decisions for application at border posts while India, which has a devolved decision-making structure, requires state- level decision-making on many border transactions. Standardisation of the required documents in sales tax administration and related documents at all border checkpoints would help to alleviate these current concerns.

23. Common days and time of operation of border checkpoints. The common border checkpoints have different days of operation and time of operations. India, for example, observes Sunday as a holiday while Bangladesh observes Friday and Saturday as holidays. This means, in effect, a loss of three working days each week for cross-border goods movement. This inefficiency is further aggravated by different opening times at the border checkpoints. All in, this state of affairs has led to congestion, backlogs, and inordinate delays in transhipment.

24. Multiple visa for traders. At present, most traders obtain single entry visa for cross-border activity. There is also the added disadvantage of obtaining visas which are only issued after lengthy scrutiny. While the need for legitimate control is clear, trade movement can only be improved if visa formalities are also simplified and expedited. Multiple visa for genuine traders will go a long way to enhancing cross-border trade and diverting some of the illegal trade that currently takes place.

25. Common insurance and banking procedures. The current insurance and banking procedures vary in the different jurisdictions. This results in goods being uninsured once they have entered another jurisdiction. Acceptance of cross-border insurance and financial practices will alleviate some of these trade restricting measures, and also allow for better administration of goods in transit. There is also concern over the use of letters of credit and the inability to confirm them. This depends on overall country risk assessment and credit limits, and will require discussions among the respective central banks to arrive at a suitable arrangement within the ESAS.

26. Common transfer and transport modes. Although there are licensed cross-border freight forwarders, the lack of acceptable cross-border insurance, variations in institutional practices, and the different laws applicable to transportation have made it necessary to transfer goods between freight forwarders at border checkpoints. While this structural rigidity has been overcome to some extent through private sector relationships and practices, intra-ESAS trade could get a boost if these requirements are relaxed and a standardised approach to distribution and warehousing is applied. This requires agreement in institutionalising reforms amongst transport, trade, finance, and home ministry officials as they involve several issues going beyond purely trade.

27. Infrastructure improvements. Trade facilitation also depends on several infrastructure improvements. These include upgrading and widening roads that link the ESAS, railway rehabilitation, designing and constructing warehousing and parking facilities at border checkpoints, improving border checkpoint facilities. and installing an IT network which can track movement of goods. While many of the infrastructure requirements are time-consuming and costly, the setting up of an IT -based goods tracking system at the ESAS border areas can be more easily done as it can feed off the existing telecommunications network.


28. The ESAS is unique in that cross-border investments have already been taking place, albeit at low levels. More interestingly, many of these appear to be amongst the small and medium scale sector. Investment enhancement measures require the active participation of both the private and public sectors. In the ESAS, it is apparent that the private sector has already done exploratory work in identifying projects of interest. This has further been strengthened by the continuing work in infrastructure development by multi-lateral agencies such as the Asian Development Bank.

29. At a public sector level, there is a need to arrive at a common investment framework within the ESAS. This will reduce the need for competition in incentives and alleviate the concerns over impending revenue losses. A common framework is also useful for investors seeking subregional locations for distributed production. It has to be realised, however, that this framework can only be effective if it is done in parallel with several of the policy-driven trade facilitation measures. Designing a common investment framework requires the intervention of central governments, state-level agencies, and the private sector so that a clearly articulated and well-defined investment architecture is operationalised.

30. In order to ensure that a common set of goals be set, and a unity of purpose is achieved within the ESAS, there is a need for a better information dissemination mechanism relating to investment opportunities, issues and resolutions. This mechanism should involve three levels of interaction. At one level, there should be closer networking amongst the investment, tourism and industrial promotion agencies in all the four member nations comprising the ESAS. This closer networking should address the possibility of developing ‘one-stop shops’ for investments, resolve issues relating to comparative incentive schemes, project priorities, resource sharing and raise other similar cross-border concerns that affect investments. At a second level, it should comprise interlinkages amongst the various private sector participants through the various chambers of commerce. This common network of the private sector should raise private sector concerns to the policy-makers in the public-sector network, and provide investment information on markets, structure, incentives, and the like to members and propagate such information onto the global network for prospective foreign investors. An internet-based linkage of the private sector chambers could start this process fairly rapidly and consolidate country or state information for uploading on a joint-web page, with hyperlinks to the separate chambers for more detailed information. As the ESAS develops, a consolidated private sector web portal could be designed and maintained for the ESAS as is being done for the Indian Ocean Rim countries. At a third level, there is a need for better support in private and public sector infonnation gathering, analysis and recommendations. This can be done through a strong network of research organizations within the ESAS, with public and private-sector funding for supporting such activity. Ideally, the research network should tailor specific analysis to support the decision-making agenda for the public and private sector networks.

31. The full impact of the potential of the ESAS can only be felt if there is a concerted marketing effort. A clear marketing strategy for investments has to be designed and executed with a well-defined time line and perfonnance measurement. The marketing of the subregion has to be focused on investors within the subregion, as well as foreign investors. The strategy should look beyond the use of infonnation dissemination through the media – internet and publishing, and also seek synergies through trade fairs, use of foreign missions abroad, association with foreign chambers of commerce, joint-activities with bilateral chambers, use of multi-lateral agency venues for major meetings and the like. Ultimately, the ESAS requires a leader, organization or individual, that can champion the cause of the ESAS throughout the member countries, and in external venues. This is a daunting challenge given the increased competition for investments amongst subregions.

32. There is also the need for human resource development in managing ‘one-stop shops’, designing and maintaining infonnation databases and websites, developing and implementing marketing strategies, and in addressing the concerns of the small and medium scale sector. While this is an essential ingredient within the ambit of investment enhancement measures, some elements of this capability are also needed in supporting trade facilitation. It is important to note that investment promotion goes hand in hand with trade facilitation since the requirements of investors are common to both.


33. The ESAS has the potential to become an important subregional growth area. At a conservative level, several cross-border initiatives relating to trade facilitation and investment promotion can be instrumental in generating jobs, increasing subregional GNP, improving intra-subregional trade and deepening the economic fabric. While intra-subregional activities can be expected to improve through these measures, the wider impact would be the creation of an area of interest to foreign investors seeking export platfonns as well as access to internal markets.

34. Many of the measures needed to create a viable ESAS require support from different quarters. These include the various central governments, the state administrations, the private sector, and non-government organizations such as research bodies. Unlike some of the other sub-regional growth areas in Asia, the ESAS has a robust body of administrative capabilities, strong research capacity, and a private sector constituency with experience and knowledge of industries, sectors and internationally accepted business practices. These key strengths need to be marshalled and focused if the potential of the ESAS is to be fully tapped.

Immediate Action Steps

35. Creating an ESAS entity with a clear vision and action plan for the future requires political will to address and implement the following key tasks:-

– Fonnation of a top-level Private Sector Forum steering committee, with special invitees from Government and academia as required

– Setting up an investment co-ordination network at two levels . Private sector network amongst the business chambers . Network amongst ESAS research bodies

– Developing an agenda and action plan for investment enhancement measures

– Setting up a trade facilitation action group consisting of private sector representatives, officials, and researchers

– Developing an action plan for improving trade facilitation

36. The key responsibility for establishing the Private Sector Forum lies with the major participants who will benefit from the development of the subregion. Successful development of ESAS will ultimately depend on the steering committee and its constituent parts taking ownership of the action plan and results. Multi-lateral agencies such as the Asian Development Bank can playa role as facilitators in this process by supporting some of the important research conference activities, assisting policy-makers in addressing key cross-border sensitivities, and in participating in some of the major investment projects.

Appendix One

Scenarios and Assumptions on ESAS

Base Case

Elasticities based on the base case

Investment Growth/Trade Growth 60

Trade Growth/GNP Growth 0.45

Labour Growth/GNP Growth 0.38

Scenario 1 With trade facilitation alone

Scenario 2 With double investment I!rowth in 3 vears. and trade facilitation

Year Grwth GNP Grwth Labour Grwth Trade Grwth Investment Grwth

1 5.6 2.1 2.5 150

2 8.3 3.2 3.8 225

3 11.1 4.2 5.0 300

Scenario 3 With investments in Dower and I!as over 3 vears. and trade facilitation


1. The key assumption in these scenarios is that the elasticities remain static. This is a . conservative stance as new technology often causes dramatic shifts in the elasticities, and may result in greater positive impact on GNP growth and labour formation.

2. In all cases, the impact of trade facilitation and investments is only expected to take effect from the second year. There is, therefore, a gradual increase in investment growth resulting in a gradual growth in trade.

3. In Scenario 3, investments in the power and gas sectors are only expected to reach fruition in three years with tied contracts for distribution and cross-border sales. This three year horizon may be optimistic, but draws upon already concluded contracts within national boundaries with only a need for interties in the immediate term.

Appendix Two

Project Concepts for the Private Sector Forum Work Program

– Immediate Action Steps-

Project Profile # 1

i. Project Name:

Establishment of an Private Sector Steering Committee for Trade

Facilitation and Investment Promotion in the ESAS

14.6pt” ii. Objectives:

. Coordination of trade facilitation and investment promotion

. Interface with external agencies, private sector and national governments

27.1pt” iii. Scope

. Serve as focal point for coordination among government agencies involved in international trade and investments

. Act as a forum for discussions between private sector, government agencies and research bodies on issues relating to trade and investment

. Provide common national policy positions within the ESAS

. Assign and design appropriate dispute settlement mechanisms in trade and

investment within ESAS

iv. Expected Impact/Benefits

. Coordinated and seamless trade flow management

. Common investment policy regime in terms of incentives . Better harmonization of trade policies and procedures

27.35pt” v. Estimated Cost

vi. Financing Arrangements/Options

vii. Implementation Arrangements

. National level executive order establishing the institutional arrangement . ESAS country representatives to monitor and provide feedback

16.3pt” viii. Status

. Concept stage

ix. Critical Success Factors

. Commitment to joint approach to trade facilitation and investment promotion

13.65pt” . Delegated authority for national level representatives to reach consensus on key decisions

. Strong private sector participation in all deliberations

Project Profile #2

i. Project Name:

Formation of an investment coordination network in the ESAS

ii. Objectives

. Establish a formal network of business chambers

. Create a platform for joint research amongst ESAS research bodies

13.2pt” iii. Scope

. Develop an agenda and action plan for investment enhancement measures within the ESAS

. Establish linkages amongst ESAS ‘one-stop’ shops

. Disseminate investment data and information for policy-makers and the private sector

. Compile investment regulations and identify weaknesses . Develop a realistic marketing plan for investments . Set up and manage an ESAS investment website

iv. Expected Impact/Benefits

. Reduction in revenue losses through competition in incentives . Wider dissemination of investment prospects in ESAS

. hnproved visibility for the private sector in accessing global markets . Low-cost entry prospects for the small and medium scale sector . Develops increased networking

. Provides actionable inputs to policy-makers

14.6pt” v. Estimated Cost

vi. Financing Arrangements/Options vii. Implementation Arrangements

13.65pt” . Designation of national and state-level ‘one-stop’ shop executives for membership

. Designation of relevant chambers of commerce and industry . Invitation and designation of appropriate research bodies

14.85pt” viii. Status

. Concept stage

Project # 3

13.2pt” i. Project Name:

14.15pt” Establishment of a Private Sector trade facilitation action group for the ESAS


. To identify trade facilitation issues for policy consideration

. To design appropriate trade facilitation measures within the ESAS . To coordinate trade facilitation amongst ESAS members

. To interface with relevant international trade agencies through the respective national bodies


. Consolidation of trade impediments within ESAS

. Developing policy inputs for improving trade facilitation

. Dialogue and discussions with relevant national agencies on improving trade movement within ESAS

. Provide a platform for the private sector to raise issues concerning movement of goods and services across borders within ESAS

. Determine national positions on ESAS trade cooperation

. Develop an action plan for improving trade facilitation within ESAS

26.4pt” iv. Expected Impact/Benefits

. Creation of a consolidated list of trade impediments

. Supports comprehensive redesign of trade facilitation measures . Provides workable inputs for policy change at national levels

. Develops a network of trade officials, private sector and researchers




. Designation of appropriate trade agencies and executives as members of the trade facilitation action group

. Designation of an appropriate trade sub group from within the various chambers of commerce and industry in ESAS

14.6pt” . Selection of appropriate research bodies from ESAS to support the action group


. Concept stage

Project # 4

i. Project Name:

11.75pt” Design of a human resource development program for investment

promotion and trade facilitation in the ESAS

ii. Objectives

. To identify the existing human resource capabilities for investment promotion and trade facilitation in the ESAS

. To develop a targetted human resource development program . To share resources and common training modules

iii. Scope

. Stocktake of current capabilities in the ‘one-stop’ shops

. Dialogue and discussions with relevant state and national agencies on requirements for investment promotion and trade facilitation

. Discussions with private sector chambers on the needs of investors and traders

. Consolidate findings and assign key institutions to develop different HRD modules for the ESAS

. Identify institutions that can effectively commit resources for HRD program


. Creation of a skills mix list

. Provides the backdrop for skills development in investment promotion and trade facilitation

. Develops a network of institutions

13.65pt” . Supports speedier implementation of investment promotion and trade facilitation reforms



. Designation of appropriate institutions and business chambers to develop the format ofHRD analysis

13.65pt” . Sourcing of funds to support the data gathering, analysis and program development


Concept stage