Regional Integration in South Asia

Trends, Challenges and Prospects

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Regional Integration in South Asia

Publication date: 1 November 2014
Size: 240mm x 165mm
ISBN: 978-1-84929-121-7
Pages: 518

Regional Integration in South Asia: Trends, Challenges and Prospects presents an objective assessment of trade and economic co-operation among South Asian nations and highlights policy issues to foster regional integration. The analyses presented in this volume go beyond the usual discussions on trade-in-goods to provide insightful perspectives on potential new areas of co-operation, emerging challenges, and country-specific views on regional and bilateral trade co-operation issues.

Written by influential analysts and researchers, the volume’s 24 chapters include perspectives from Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and examinations of new areas of co-operation such as investment, regional supply chains, energy and cross-border transport networks.

ContentsExpand or collapse me
List of tables, figures and boxes
Abbreviations and acronyms

1. Regional Integration in South Asia: An Overview by Mohammad A Razzaque and Yurendra Basnett
1.1 Background
1.2 About this volume
1.3 Taking forward South Asian integration: An agenda for immediate action


2. Has South Asia Benefitted from Growth in India? by Rashmi Banga
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Brief review of existing literature
2.3 Trends in growth rates in India and the rest of South Asia
2.4 Are the growth rates linked?
2.5 India’s growth linkages with countries in South Asia
2.6 Conclusions and policy implications

3. Assessing Gains from SAFTA by Selim Raihan and Mohammad A Razzaque
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The pattern of South Asian intra-regional trade
3.3 Potential implications of SAFTA: Review of qualitative and quantitative studies
3.4 The welfare impact of SAFTA considering improved trade facilitation measures in South Asia
3.5 Conclusion

4. The Cost of Economic Non-Co-operation in South Asia by Bipul Chatterjee and Joseph George
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Potential impacts of SAFTA on consumer welfare: A quantitative assessment
4.3 Perceptions and expectations about regional economic co-operation in South Asia
4.4 Conclusions

5. Building Regional Supply Chains in South Asia: The Case of the Textiles and Clothing Sector by Rashmi Banga and Mohammad A Razzaque
5.1 Introduction
5.2 A brief review of the literature
5.3 Methodology for identifying potential supply chains
5.4 Implications on potential supply chains
5.5 Policy implications


6. Non-tariff Barriers in South Asia: Nature and Modalities to Address the Attendant Issues by Mustafizur Rahman and Mohammad A Razzaque
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Non-tariff barriers: Concept and typology
6.3 Non-tariff barriers in South Asia
6.4 Cross-country experience in resolving non-tariff barriers
6.5 Dispute settlement mechanisms in SAFTA and its efficacy: SAFTA committee of experts
6.6 Policy initiative to address the NTBs
6.7 Concluding remarks

7. Dealing with Non-tariff Barriers in South Asia by Jodie Keane, Jane Kennan, Sheila Page and Christopher Stevens
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Significant barriers to trade
7.2.1 Choosing priorities
7.3 Models of non-trade barrier monitoring and trade surveillance
7.4 Conforming to regulations and standards
7.5 Upgrading producers in meeting standards: Lessons from regional economic communities
7.6 Linking non-trade barrier monitoring and surveillance mechanisms to dispute resolution mechanisms: lessons from regional economic communities
7.7 Conclusions

8. Regional Investment Co-operation in South Asia by Khondaker G Moazzem
8.1 Background
8.2 Foreign direct investment in South Asia: A brief overview
8.3 An overview on Foreign Direct Investment-related policies of South Asian countries
8.4 Institutional approach for enhancing regional investment: An analysis of SAARC initiatives
8.5 Experience of ASEAN towards enhancing regional investment: Learning for SAARC
8.6 Suggestions for accelerating SAARC’s institutional initiatives for enhancing intra-regional investment in South Asia
8.7 Conclusion

9. Regional Trade in Services in South Asia by Selim Raihan
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Overview of the services sector in South Asia
9.3 Experiences of South Asian countries in General Agreement on Trade in Services negotiations
9.4 Services trade liberalisation negotiations in South Asia
9.5 Domestic preparedness of services trade liberalisation in South Asia
9.6 Concluding remarks

10. Connectivity and Regional Co-operation in South Asia by Prabir De
10.1 Introduction
10.2 An overview of regional connectivity in South Asia
10.3 Challenges to regional connectivity
10.4 Vision of an integrated South Asia: The regional co-operation agenda
10.5 Conclusions

11. Productive Integration of Least Developed Countries into Regional Supply Chains: The Case of South Asia by John Serieux
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Major constraints to least developed countries’ participation in regional supply chains
11.3 Policies and programmes to improve the conditions for the operation of supply chains
11.4 South Asian least developed countries in context
11.5 Conclusion

12. International Trade, Regional Integration and Food Security in South Asia by Ramesh Chand
12.1 Introduction
12.2 South Asia in a global setting
12.3 Hunger and nutrition
12.4 Production, consumption and surplus at regional level
12.5 Country-wise production, domestic use and surplus/deficit
12.6 International trade at regional and country level
12.7 Price and market integration
12.8 Trade liberalisation: Potential and constraints
12.9 The way forward

13. Promoting Regional Energy Co-operation in South Asia by Leena Srivastava, Neha Misra and Shahid Hasan
13.1 Introduction
13.2 Challenges faced by the subregion
13.3 Regional co-operation: Historical context and ongoing efforts
13.4 Encouraging the potential for subregional energy co-operation: A suggested approach
13.5 Conclusions

14. Commodities Super-cycle: Implications for South Asia by Machiko Nissanke and Sophie van Huellen
14.1 Introduction
14.2 South Asia’s role in commodity trade
14.3 Implications of the super-cycle for South Asia
14.4 Concluding remarks


15. Tariff and Non-tariff Barriers in South Asia Trade: A Bangladesh Perspective by Zaidi Sattar
15.1 Introduction
15.2 Lack of integration hypotheses
15.3 Potential non-tariff barriers for exports to Bangladesh
15.4 SAFTA, regional trade and Bangladesh
15.5 Making SAFTA effective in South Asia
15.6 The way forward

16. Tariff and Non-tariff Barriers to Trade in South Asia: An Indian Perspective by Nisha Taneja, Shravani Prakash and Samridhi Bimal
16.1 Introduction
16.2 Trends in trade
16.3 Liberalisation of tariffs under SAFTA and India’s bilateral FTAs
16.4 Non-tariff barriers
16.5 Transport
16.6 Transit
16.7 Prioritising India’s agenda for future regional trade integration
16.8 Concluding remarks

17. Pakistan: South Asia Trade and Non-tariff Barriers by Usman Khan
17.1 Introduction
17.2 Integration efforts in South Asia
17.3 Pakistan’s trade relations with South Asia
17.4 Intra-industry trade in South Asia: Evidence and issues
17.5 Conclusion

18. Nepal and SAFTA: Issues, Prospects and Challenges by Ratnakar Adhikari and Paras Kharel
18.1 Introduction
18.2 Nepal’s trade performance
18.3 Trade with India
18.4 SAFTA membership and trade with India
18.5 SAFTA: Trade with other South Asian countries
18.6 Supply-side constraints
18.7 Conclusion

19. The Way Forward on Tariffs, Non-tariff Barriers, SAFTA, Bilateral Free Trade Agreements: The Case Study of Sri Lanka by Indra Nath Mukherji
19.1 Introduction
19.2 Import tariff
19.3 Non-tariff measures/barriers
19.4 Trade liberalisation under preferential/free trade agreements

20. South Asian Trade: What it Means to Maldives by Ismail Nashid
20.1 Introduction
20.2 Overview of the Maldivian economy
20.3 Trade policy framework
20.4 Trade in merchandise
20.5 Trade with South Asia: Application of SAFTA
20.6 Barriers to effective application of free trade agreements
20.7 Way forward: Greater trade facilitation through the elimination of non-tariff barriers
20.8 Conclusion


21. Indo-Bangla Trade: Composition, Trends and the Way Forward by Md. Abul Basher
21.1 Introduction
21.2 Bangladesh’s trade policies and implications for Indo-Bangla trade
21.3 Composition and trend of Indo-Bangla trade
21.4 Explaining Indo-Bangla trade
21.5 Non-tariff trade barriers between Bangladesh and India
21.6 Conclusions and policy recommendations

22. India–Pakistan Economic Co-operation: Implications for Regional Integration in South Asia by Selim Raihan and Prabir De
22.1 Introduction
22.2 Bilateral trade: Trends and bottlenecks
22.3 Trade complementarity is there between India and Pakistan?
22.4 Pakistan‘s granting most favoured nation status to India and its impact on bilateral and regional trade
22.5 Role of foreign direct investment in narrowing Pakistan‘s trade gap with India
22.6 Ways to facilitate bilateral trade and policy options: Some recommendations
22.7 Concluding remarks

23. India–Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement and the Proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement: A Closer Look by Saman Kelegama
23.1 Introduction
23.2 Experience of the ISLFTA: Recent trends
23.3 The comprehensive economic partnership agreement: Way forward towards increased integration
23.4 Concluding remarks

24. The Promise and Potential of Trade Between Pakistan and India by Arif Zaman
24.1 Background
24.2 Drivers and rationale
24.3 Trade potentials
24.4 Barriers and constraints
24.5 Opportunities and openings
24.6 Recommendations and way forward

About the authors

About the contributors Expand or collapse me

Mohammad A Razzaque (Editor)

Mohammad A Razzaque is Adviser and Head, International Trade Policy Section at the Commonwealth Secretariat. His primary area of work includes applied trade policy analysis. He has written extensively on trade and development issues, edited several volumes, and managed a number of multi-country trade policy projects.

Yurendra Basnett (Editor)

Yurendra Basnett is a Research Fellow in the International Economic Development Group of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London. He leads ODI’s research and technical advisory work on trade and economic development policies.