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Breaking Barriers : Regional Integration in South Asia (Paperback) (David Gould & Martin Rama & Ritika

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South Asia is one of the most dynamic regions in the world, but it is also one of the least integrated. Countries in the region trade with each other to a much lesser extent than countries in other developing areas, and foreign direct investment among South Asian countries is dismally low. But the region was not always divided: ancient empires transcended today’s borders, its peoples share a common culture, and large ethnic groups span neighboring countries.This volume assesses the gains that would result from greater regional integration in South Asia. It shows that the potential gains from regional electricity trade would be sizeable. Gains from trade liberalization would be substantial too, but in relative terms they would be more important for the smaller countries in the region. Cooperation in river basin management may not sufficiently stabilize water flows, but better forecasting and preparedness can reduce the human and economic cost of floods and droughts.The tension between potentially large economic gains and a substantial trust deficit sheds light on a possible way forward. The volume calls for seizing every opportunity to make progress across all sectors. It also calls for using bilateral and subregional deals as building blocks for broader agreements. Given the region’s asymmetry, generous leadership by India is essential. But activism by the business communities of all countries and people-to-people exchanges are also critical to breaking the barriers to regional integration in South Asia.
South Asia is one of the most dynamic regions in the world, but it is also one of the least integrated. Countries in the region trade with each other to a much lesser extent than countries in other developing areas and foreign direct investment among South Asian countries is dismally low. But the region was not always divided: ancient empires transcended today?s borders, its peoples share a common culture, and large ethnic groups span neighboring countries.This volume assesses the gains that would result from greater regional integration in South Asia. It shows that potential surplus from electricity trade would be sizeable both for India and for its neighbors. Gains from trade liberalization would be substantial too, but they would be much more important for the smaller countries in the region, where liberalization would make both winners and losers. The gains from cooperation in river basin management may be more modest.The different magnitude and distribution of the potential surplus in each sector sheds light on a possible path towards breaking the barriers. The volume calls for a strategy combining generous leadership from India, self-interested activism by the business communities of the other countries in the region, support mechanisms to assist those who could lose from regional integration, and bilateral deals on issues ranging from electricity pricing to border security.
Number of Pages: 208.0
Genre: Business + Money Management
Sub-Genre: Development / Economic Development
Series Title: South Asia Development Forum
Format: Paperback
Publisher: World Bank
Author: David Gould & Martin Rama & Ritika D'souza
Language: English
Street Date: March 12, 2018
TCIN: 16156129
UPC: 9781464800245
Item Number (DPCI): 247-25-2718

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