Study on Intraregional Trade and Investment in South Asia

Publication | November 2009

Regional economic cooperation and integration are seen as a route to economic prosperity. Present data on South Asia show that of the region’s total trade volume of $517.5 billion in 2007, only 4% was intraregional trade.

This study broadens and deepens intraregional cooperation and integration in trade and investment among South Asian countries. It showcases the benefits of regional integration and presents an array of policy recommendations to maximize and realize such gains. Three parallel initiatives are needed: first, reduce nontariff barriers to deepen the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA); second, expand SAFTA's scope to include investments and services; and third, focus on key industries to succinctly demonstrate the process and benefits of reforms. These translate into six component studies: (i) the Role of Trade Facilitation in South Asian Economic Integration; (ii) Textile and Clothing Industry; and (iii) four country investment studies for Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The study invigorates the debate and focus on South Asian integration as a means to further growth and reduce poverty.

Contents 

  • Foreword
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • The Role of Trade Facilitation in South Asian Economic Integration
  • The Textiles and Clothing Industry
  • Four Country Investment Studies
  • Bangladesh Country Investment Study
  • India Country Investment Study
  • Nepal Country Investment Study
  • Sri Lanka Country Investment Study
  • Country and Regional Policies and Initiatives For Greater Intraregional Trade and Investment