Development Knowledge and Learning

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The Development Knowledge and Learning series is geared toward making specialized World Bank knowledge rapidly available to policy makers and the development community. Studies in the series comprise the knowledge outputs of the Bank's operational work, tend to be focused on narrowly defined topics, and can include works in progress that are disseminated for discussion purposes.

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    Strengthening Cross-Border Value Chains: Opportunities for India and Bangladesh
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020) Kathuria, Sanjay ; Mathur, Priya ; Kathuria, Sanjay ; Mathur, Priya ; Gitau, Ciliaka Millicent W. ; Khanna, Aman ; Manghnani, Ruchita
    It is widely agreed that, over the past decade, accelerating infrastructure investments in India's North Eastern Region (NER) and neighboring countries, along with connectivity agreements with Bangladesh, hold immense promise for unlocking NER's economic potential. Other global trends, such as the growing incomes and consumer awareness in India and neighboring countries; a rising preference for fresh, healthy, safe, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible products; the growing role of services in manufacturing; and increasing demand for skilled resources are also very favorable for NER. Together, these developments can help NER showcase its strengths in agriculture and services, thereby developing value chains in these sectors, which will lead to sustainable, better-paying, job opportunities for the people of NER. In this context, the World Bank, in consultation with stakeholders--government, private sector, and academia--analyzed two cross-cutting constraints that are encountered across all value chains and sectors in NER: connectivity and logistics, and product standards and quality infrastructure. These are discussed in Playing to Strengths: A Policy Framework for Mainstreaming Northeast India (Kathuria, S., and P. Mathur, eds., 2019, World Bank). This volume is a companion piece to that report; it analyzes four value chains--fruits and vegetables, spices, bamboo and related products, and medical tourism--and provides an assessment of how Bangladesh can benefit from NER’s increasing connectivity and growth prospects. The sector studies emphasize the need to reorient the supply base in NER toward serving the changing global demand and puts an explicit focus on women as well as the bottom 40 percent of the workforce. In light of the mutual benefit offered by economic exchange, improvements in connectivity offer a win-win opportunity for NER and Bangladesh.