Strengthening transportation and connectivity in South Asia holds the key to boost intra-regional trade between nations, India-based think tank CUTS International has said.
Intra-regional trade among the South Asian nations is mere 5 percent despite a free trade pact mainly due to lack of integration of transportation networks and the high cost of logistics.
The private sector can play a critical role in further improving the regional connectivity in the South Asian region, Secretary General of CUTS International, Pradeep S Mehta said in a statement.
He was speaking at the regional policy dialogue on Connectivity Imperatives in the Bay of Bengal Region".
Speaking at the event, Toe Aung Myint, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar, said that his country is working on various connectivity projects with India, which once completed would help in bridging gaps between South Asia and South East Asia.
He said it was important to speed up implementation of these projects and complete them on time.
Emphasising the importance of connectivity, Amitava Chakraborty, Director, Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute stated that it is essential to have a pact between the neighbouring countries on easing transaction costs.