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.



Pakistan: South Asia Trade and Non-tariff Barriers

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse, from the perspective of Pakistan, the future of South Asian integration in light of the changing patterns of trade. The scaling down of tariffs has shifted the focus of researchers working on the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) towards the plethora of non-tariff barriers (NTBs). The member countries of SAARC have been forthcoming in reducing their tariff barriers as agreed under SAFTA. In fact, India has implemented all of the tariff reductions that were agreed under the SAFTA, well before the deadline. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have also been responsive in reducing tariff rates in compliance with this agreement. However, this liberalisation of tariffs has had little impact on trade and integration within the region. Whereas, India has allowed duty-free imports for all products except for the ones specified on the sensitive/negative list, it has conversely put in place harsh requirements, which have in turn created procedural complexities, making trade flows unviable.


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