NEW DELHI: India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have been partnering on the economic corridor approach for some time now. Economic Corridor Development contributes to and stimulates economic development along the route. The economic corridor approach involves leveraging infrastructure connectivity and developing urban areas as growth centers and gateways, to unlock the full potential of markets.
“This India-ADB partnership has in fact yielded useful lessons on Economic Corridor Development (ECD), through their joint work on the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC), India’s first coastal corridor” noted Mr. Ronald Antonio Butiong, Director of ADB South Asia Department’s Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division. “The ECEC, which runs along the entire East Coast from Kolkata to Kanyakumari, is a multimodal, regional maritime corridor that can play a vital role in unifying the large domestic market, as well as integrating the Indian economy with the dynamic global value chains of Southeast and East Asia.”
Phase 1 of the ECEC is the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) which covers 11 districts in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. ADB helped prepare the Conceptual Development Plan (CDP) and Regional Perspective Plan (RPP) for VCIC, which served as the bases for the Visakhapatnam–Chennai Industrial Corridor Development Program, which was approved by the ADB Board in September 2016.
ADB’s indicative lending pipeline for 2017–2019 to support economic corridor development in South Asia includes:
(i) the VCIC Development Program MFF Tranche 2 in India in 2018, with an ADB loan: $250 million; and (ii) Regional Urban Development Project in Nepal in 2017, with an ADB loan: $150 million.
Earlier, ADB has developed a SASEC (South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation) Operational Plan (OP) 2016-2025 which identifies promoting economic corridor development (ECD) as of one its key strategic focus areas. Under the SASEC OP, the operational focus on economic corridors will involve promoting synergies between corridors across SASEC countries.