Singapore, Nov 12 (UNI) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today said it is extending a 1.2 million dollar grant to promote regional cooperation in South Asia by enhancing the capacity of research institutes, think tanks and experts in the region.
The grant, Technical Assistance (TA) for Supporting Network of Research Institutes and Think Tanks in South Asia Phase II, covers consulting services, regional conferences, research programmes and publications.
These activities help mould public opinion and often influence the views of leaders in the region, contributing to stronger political will for cooperation, said the Manila-based bank.
The project will promote regional economic cooperation in South Asia through knowledge sharing, policy formulation and improving the capacity of research institutes through studies and workshops, said ADB's South Asia Department Economist Shunsuke Bando.
ADB is the executing agency and research institutions networks will be the implementing agencies.
Those studies and workshops will recommend policies and plans of joint actions to enhance cooperation among members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) established in 1985 by Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
While most South Asian countries have fairly well developed and analytically oriented research institutes, think tanks and experts, the research activities and the dissemination of findings can be further improved.