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Regional Trade Barriers in South Asia:SAARC Lagging behind ASEAN


  • International Affairs (South Asia), Sciences Po, Paris, France


Low levels of intra-regional trade in SAARC can be attributed to several factors, the primary ones being tariff barriers to trade, non-tariff barriers, trade facilitation barriers and other political factors like India Pakistan territorial dispute. The objective of this paper is to delve deeply into the current trade situation in the South Asia region vis-a-vis levels of informal trade, trade deficiencies - Tariff, Non-Tariff and Facilitation Barriers, and make an assessment as to how the huge untapped economic potential, marred by political impasse, be realized. A case study of the India Pakistan bilateral trade will be discussed to understand the gravity of the problem and a comparative analysis with ASEAN will be presented. Thereafter, a way forward will be suggested for increased intra-regional trade.


ASEAN, India, Non-Tariff Barriers, Pakistan, SAARC, South Asia, Trade.

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