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.



Dealing with Non-tariff Barriers in South Asia

There is considerable heterogeneity across South Asian countries in terms of the extent to which they trade and the relative importance of trade in goods and services. Information on trade in services is simply not available for countries such as Afghanistan and Bhutan. Among others, Pakistan has the lowest level of trade as a share of GDP in the region: exports of goods and services comprise just 13 per cent of GDP. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India each have a share of trade in goods and services of around 20 per cent of GDP, with trade in services accounting for 13 per cent of GDP in India compared with just 6 per cent in Bangladesh and 11 per cent in Sri Lanka. The smallest economies of the South Asian region – Afghanistan, Bhutan and Nepal – which are also landlocked, in general have higher shares of trade as a percentage of GDP. This is also the case for the island states of Maldives and Sri Lanka.


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