Regional Integration in South Asia

Trends, Challenges and Prospects

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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.



Commodities Super-cycle: Implications for South Asia

At the beginning of this millennium, there was a significant turnaround in primary commodity prices. After two decades of low, and at times dwindling, prices, many primary commodity prices have registered a steep increase since 2002. The marked price increases began to gather pace first in 2002–03 and then in 2006–07, culminating in an all-time high peak in nominal terms in 2008 across commodities, just before the onset of the global financial crisis. The sharp increase in nominal prices was so marked that it has also resulted in a sharp upturn in real commodity prices in the first decade of the new millennium, though the scale of the increase differs among commodities and the real prices of agricultural commodities are still lower than the peaks previously attained during the Korean war and oil shocks of the early 1970s. This price movement has led many observers to conclude that commodities had entered into a new price super-cycle in the early 2000s (e.g. Kaplinsky 2010).


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