This volume examines the dichotomy between the two faces of South Asiaߟone poverty stricken and lagging in development, the other highly urbanized and growing rapidlyߟand tries to find a workable solution to bridge this gap. It looks at the many policy and institutional constraints that contribute to this dichotomy, especially regional conflict that has made South Asia one of the least integrated regions of the world.

Bilateral Free Trade Agreements in SAARC and Implications for SAFTA

Bilateral free trade agreements in SAARC and implications for SAFTA
Deshalde Mel


Regional economic integration within South Asia had been mooted since the early 1990s. The emergence of the South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA) in 1995 followed by the decision to deepen it to a South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) in 1996 suggested that there was limited rationale for bilateral trade agreements within the region to emerge. However, the SAPTA had covered limited product lines of trade interests and, when efforts at regional economic integration came to a deadlock in 1998 following competing nuclear tests by the two largest countries in South Asia, countries looked at bilateralism with greater interest. Sri Lanka is involved in ...

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