Publications List

Comprehensive listing of books, reports, and research on regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in South Asia and relevant global RCI publications, including publications on transport, trade facilitation, energy, and economic corridors in the SASEC region.

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Global Investment Competitiveness Report 2017/2018: Foreign Investor Perspectives and Policy Implications

This report provides analytical insights and empirical evidence on foreign direct investment’s (FDI) drivers and contributions to economic transformation. Data are categorized by sector and geographic origin and destination of investment, including analysis for SASEC countries using data for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The report explores the potential of FDI to create growth for local firms, assesses the effectiveness of fiscal incentives in attracting FDI, and gives practical recommendations to developing countries.

Author: World Bank Group

Year: 2018

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, FDI, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Trade, WB, Myanmar

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2017: Channelling Trade and Investment into Sustainable Development

This report provides analyses of trends and policy developments in trade in goods and commercial services in Asia-Pacific. It shows that merchandise trade remained subdued in 2016, with South and Southwest Asia accounting for 8% of Asia-Pacific exports and 12% of Asia-Pacific imports. Foreign direct investments inflows In South and South-West Asia decreased slightly by 4% to $66 billion in 2016. The report also argues for targeted trade and investment policies that strike a balance between economic development and social and environmental development.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Year: 2017

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Tags: Trade, Investment, FDI, ASEAN, India, Services, South Asia, Sri Lanka, Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCAP

2017 Handbook of Statistics

This report presents statistics and indicators on international trade, investment, and development. It includes data on developing economies in South Asia, which in 2016 accounted for about $401 billion in merchandise exports and $529 billion in merchandise imports, $192 billion in service exports and $175 billion service imports, and 6.7% gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Year: 2017

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Tags: FDI, South Asia, Trade, Transport, UNCTAD

World Investment Report 2017

This report presents foreign direct investment (FDI) trends and prospects at global, regional and national levels. FDI flows to developing Asia contracted by 15% to $443 billion in 2016. This decline was relatively widespread, except in South Asia, where several countries including Bangladesh and Nepal are expected to receive more FDI in the coming years. The report investigates the internationalization patterns of digital multinational enterprises, as well as the effect of digitalization on global companies across all industries. It provides insights to policymakers on how the digital economy impacts investment policies and how investment policy can support digital development, with a view toward achieving the SDGs.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Year: 2017

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Tags: FDI, Global Value Chains, Investment, Policy, South Asia, UNCTAD, Bangladesh, India, Nepal

June 2017 Global Economic Prospects: A Fragile Recovery

The World Bank forecasts that global growth will strengthen to 2.7% in 2017 amid a pickup in manufacturing and trade, rising confidence, favorable global financing conditions, and stabilizing commodity prices. In South Asia, growth is projected to remain strong at 6.8% in 2017. India is recovering from the temporary adverse effects of the end-2016 withdrawal of large-denomination currency notes. Activity in Bangladesh is moderating, reflecting a pullback in domestic demand and industrial production. Regional growth is expected to steady in 2018-2019, reaching an average of 7.2%, supported by strong domestic demand, a small rise in exports, and strong foreign direct investment. The regional outlook has been slightly revised down from January, reflecting a more protracted recovery in private investment in India than previously expected.

Author: World Bank Group

Year: 2017

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Tags: WB, Bangladesh, FDI, India, Manufacturing, South Asia, Trade

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016: Recent Trends and Developments

The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016 reports that the Asia-Pacific region is still the largest exporter of goods globally, with a share of 40%. Its share in commercial services trade is also on the rise, while restrictiveness of services trade has not increased. Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows is also growing at a much faster pace compared to the global average, with special economic zones being used as one of the modalities to attract FDI. India, in particular, has been attracting an increasing portion of FDI inflows, both from outside and inside the region. While economies in Asia and the Pacific continue to make progress toward trade facilitation, there are still huge gaps among subregional economies, with much needing to be done to reduce trade costs. Furthermore, efforts undertaken to reduce trade costs through trade facilitation have been partially offset by imposition of a large number of new trade distortive measures globally and regionally, with most of these new measures falling under the non-tariff category.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Year: 2016

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Tags: Export, Trade Facilitation, Non-Tariff Measures, FDI, South Asia, India, Special Economic Zones

Asian Economic Integration Report 2016: What Drives Foreign Direct Investment in Asia and the Pacific?

The 2016 Asian Economic Integration Report reviews regional economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific, amidst the rising global uncertainty following the United Kingdom’s referendum on leaving the European Union and the U.S. election, slower-than-expected global economic recovery, and ongoing economic restructuring in the People’s Republic of China and growth moderation. Asia faces heightened uncertainty–trade growth decelerated in 2015, falling to 2.3% in 2015; subregional trade linkages continue to strengthen, but inter-subregional trade linkages weakened; and non-tariff measures have become major obstacles to trade. In South Asia, SASEC cooperation has improved access to key markets in smaller economies, reduced real trade costs and behind-the-border barriers to stimulate investment; and enabled cross-border power exchanges to ensure power supply affordability, reliability, and overall grid stability. However, the SASEC agenda needs to be framed within wider integration processes taking place in Asia in the next decade to enhance economic linkages, and harness the full potential of Asian integration.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2016

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Tags: ADB, ASEAN, Asia-Pacific, Development, FDI, Free Trade Agreements, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, SASEC, Trade Facilitation, UNCTAD, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Competitiveness of South Asia’s Container Ports: A Comprehensive Assessment of Performance, Drivers, and Costs

As a result of inefficiencies in South Asia’s container ports, the average cost of exporting or importing a container in the region is more than double that in East Asia. Better port logistics could help increase trade, diversify exports, attract more foreign direct investment, and spur economic growth. As container traffic continues to grow in South Asia, the best way to improve port performance is by increasing productivity. This report examines the performance of the 14 largest container ports in the region, identifying key drivers of port performance and examining differences in performance across ports.

Author: Matías Herrera Dappe and Ancor Suárez-Alemán

Year: 2016

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Tags: Customs, Economic Growth, FDI, Infrastructure, Investment, South Asia, Trade, WB

Trade Costs and Inclusive Growth: Case Studies Presented by WTO Chair-holders

These contributions from participants of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Chairs Programme—which supports trade-related activities by academic institutions in developing countries—offer insightful research on opportunities that open up for developing countries when trade costs are reduced. Analyzing the potential impact of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement implementation in various developing regions of the world, this publication offers detailed country-level analysis on benefits of trade facilitation, including export diversification, greater global value chain participation, insertion of SMEs into international trade, the attraction of more foreign direct investments, and better governance.

Author: Robert Teh, Maarten Smeets, Mustapha Sadni Jallab and Fatima Chaudhri, editors

Year: 2016

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Global Value Chains, Small and medium enterprises, FDI, Governance, WTO

Reforming Sri Lanka’s Trade and Investment Policies for Export Growth

This Policy Insight examines four key areas of reform to increase Sri Lanka's competitiveness and promote external trade – trade tariff structure, trade and transport facilitation, promotion of foreign direct investment, and existing trade agreements with neighbors in South and Southeast Asia. It calls for a more transparent, simplified and rationalized tariff regime and adoption of measures to further strengthen trade and transport facilitation, including improvement of publication and administration of trade-related policies; increased usage of ICT for trade; and upgrading of trade-related infrastructure. Furthermore, it recommends pursuing beneficial trade agreements with neighbors, but with a more strategic approach in Sri Lanka's negotiations of trade agreements.

Author: Institute of Policy Studies Sri Lanka

Year: 2015

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Tags: Sri Lanka, Trade, FDI

SAARC: The Way Ahead

This Observer Research Foundation Issue Brief examines the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation as a regional grouping that is almost three decades old. It discusses trade arrangements such as the South Asian Preferential Trading Arrangement aimed towards a higher level of intraregional trade liberalization and economic cooperation, including the South Asia Free Trade Area for reduction of Customs duties on traded goods. The paper further studies areas of energy, connectivity, foreign direct investment, trade in services and subregional cooperation. The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program is offered as one of the steps in the direction of having a viable option for subregional cooperation.

Author: Jayshree Sengupta

Year: 2015

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Tags: Regional Cooperation, SAARC, Trade, Connectivity, Energy, FDI, Investment, Free Trade Agreements, Services, South Asia

Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2015

In the Asia-Pacific region, 36 out of the 58 economies are considered countries with special needs (CSN), which include least developed countries (LDC), landlocked developing countries, and small island developing States. This report highlights important areas that should be addressed as key priorities by CSNs such as economic diversification, external trade, South-South cooperation, and official development assistance including foreign direct investment. Bhutan and Nepal met the criteria for graduation from LDC status as of 2013. Other countries such as Bangladesh have a good chance of meeting the graduation criteria by 2018. Among the Small island developing States, Maldives is considered a success story in broadband internet connectivity. The results of this research show that Asia-Pacific CSNs must choose their paths to diversification carefully, depending on country circumstances.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Year: 2015

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Tags: Asia-Pacific, Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Energy, FDI, Investment, Maldives, Nepal, Trade, Transport, UNESCAP

Outward FDI by Indian Manufacturing MNEs: Impacts and Implications

This Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade Working Paper investigates the home country effects of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) on domestic activity of Indian multinational enterprises (MNEs). The empirical evidence suggests that OFDI by Indian MNEs has a positive impact on export intensity and research and development. In order to derive desired complementary benefits of OFDI by manufacturing firms, policies may be directed to enhance the country’s international supply chain connectivity for greater participation in global value chain and production network.

Author: Khanindra Ch. Das

Year: 2015

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Tags: India, FDI, Global Value Chains, Trade, Export, Development, Manufacturing, UNESCAP

Industrial Policy as a Tool of Development Strategy: Using FDI to Upgrade and Diversify the Production and Export Base of Host Economies in the Developing World

This paper is different from the older trade-protection approach and starts with foreign direct investment (FDI) promotion as a tool to attract multinational corporations into sectors that bring the host country to the frontier of technology, management, and quality control. It focuses on harnessing FDI to promote broad-based development, with economic and social spillovers and externalities. It also introduces new data that show FDI in manufacturing offering opportunities for host governments to use in the structural transformation of the host economy.

Author: Theodore H. Moran

Year: 2015

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Tags: FDI, Economics, Trade Policy

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2014: Recent Trends and Developments

This Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2014 provides an analysis of recent regional trends and developments in: (a) intraregional trade in goods and services; (b) foreign direct investment (FDI); (c) trade facilitation measures; (d) trade policy measures; and (e) preferential trade agreements. According to this report, South and South West Asia’s FDI inflow improved, registering a 6% increase, with India holding the largest FDI share. However, performance in key trade and investment indicators was weak in 2013, with merchandise exports decreasing by 0.2%, around 71% of exports going to destinations outside the Asia-Pacific region, and around 64% of merchandise being imported from extra-regional sources. This publication also provides a preliminary regional assessment of the implementation of trade facilitation measures included in the TFA. This section concludes by identifying areas that countries need to focus on in order to further advance trade facilitation in the region.

Author: UNESCAP

Year: 2014

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Tags: FDI, Trade, Trade Facilitation

Impact of Trade Facilitation on Foreign Direct Investment

This United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Trade and Investment Working Paper attempts to quantify the potential impact of trade facilitation on foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. The study uses bilateral FDI data from 2006 onward from both developing and developed countries, including South-South FDI flows, wherein contiguity (common border between source and host country) and geographic distance are found to be much more important factors. In applying an augmented FDI model framework to determine the effect of comprehensive international trade costs, the results show that both non-tariff and tariff costs are important determinants of FDI inflows.

Author: Yann Duval and Chorthip Utoktham

Year: 2014

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Tags: FDI, Trade Facilitation, Bilateral Trade, UNESCAP, Investment, Tariff, Bangladesh, Maldives

Attracting Foreign Direct Investment: What Can South Asia's Lack of Success Teach other Developing Countries?

Despite South Asian nations experiencing increased foreign direct investment (FDI) flows over the past decade by gaining a large share of cross border investments, FDI inflows in South Asian countries still remain the lowest relative to gross domestic product (GDP) among developing country regions. This paper uses an empirical model that accounts for possible trends in convergence in the ratio of FDI to GDP between countries and cross-sectional data for 78 countries from 2000 to 2011. In examining the historical patterns of South Asia’s FDI and its connection with the policy environment, policymakers can identify constraints to FDI and boost potential for broad-based growth.

Author: David M. Gould, Congyan Tan and Amir S. Sadeghi Emamgholi

Year: 2013

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Tags: South Asia, Trade Policy, FDI, GDP, Investment, Governance, Transparency, Economic Growth, Financial Sector, Regional Cooperation, Trade

Returned 17 publications