BIMSTEC and Japan: Exploring Prospects for Renewed Cooperation
The Bay of Bengal region is rising as an economic and strategic hub, with the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) playing a key role in promoting growth and development in the region. BIMSTEC is also being seen as a potential driver of integration between South Asia and Southeast Asia. Given Japan's relationship with BIMSTEC nations, this brief makes a case for deeper engagement between Japan and BIMSTEC. The benefits could include cooperation in infrastructure, connectivity, and energy projects. A free trade agreement between the two entities would also be mutually beneficial.
Author: Vindu Mai Chotani
Tags: ASEAN, Bangladesh, Bhutan, BIMSTEC, Connectivity, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Free Trade Agreements
The Asian Economic Integration Cooperation Agreement: Lessons for Economic and Social Development
This paper focuses on the impact of regional integration on development and poverty reduction in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic community. It examines economic growth, rapid trade, and investment expansion and looks at challenges presented by the deterioration in trade balances in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. It also explores the role of regional integration in addressing the development gap in ASEAN countries.
Author: Amelia U. Santos-Paulino
Tags: ASEAN, Free Trade Agreements, Least Developed Countries, Myanmar, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, WTO
Digital Trade Facilitation: Paperless Trade in Regional Trade Agreements
Most regional trade agreements now feature one or more measures for electronically exchanging trade-related information. These measures are becoming essential to maintaining trade competitiveness and enabling effective participation in cross-border e-commerce. This paper examines the extent to which measures enabling paperless trade are included in regional trade agreements (RTAs), such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-India Free Trade Agreement. India leads the region with the highest number of RTAs involving paperless trade measures. Asia-Pacific RTAs now increasingly cover specific areas of paperless trade such as electronic certificates of origin and sanitary and phytosanitary certificates.
Author: Yann Duval and Kong Mengjing
Tags: ADB, ASEAN, Free Trade Agreements, India, Regional Cooperation, Trade Facilitation, UNESCAP, WTO
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
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
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
Tags: Regional Cooperation, SAARC, Trade, Connectivity, Energy, FDI, Investment, Free Trade Agreements, Services, South Asia
Mega-regionals and the Regulation of Trade: Implications for Industrial Policy
This report reviews key industrial policy issue areas being negotiated in mega-regional free-trade agreements—in particular, the Trans-Pacific Partnership—and evaluates how possible outcomes will impact the international trading system. Reviewing areas where the mega-regionals may impose systemic constraints, including border measures, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and e-commerce measures, the report discusses a possible future framework for industrial policy that integrates the additional policy constraints and changes introduced by these agreements.
Author: Dan Ciuriak and Harsha V. Singh
Tags: Trade, Trade Facilitation, Free Trade Agreements
Deepening Economic Cooperation between India and Sri Lanka
This book analyzes the performance and impact of the India-Sri Lanka free trade agreement over the past decade and suggests the way forward. India became an important source of imports for Sri Lanka immediately after the implementation of the free trade agreement.
Author: Asian Development Bank
Tags: Regional Cooperation, Trade Policy, India, Sri Lanka, Trade, Economic Cooperation, India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, Free Trade Agreements, Services, Trade Facilitation, Exports, Import
The Institutions of Regionalism in South Asia - Do Institutions Matter?
This paper assesses the contribution of key institutions of regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in South Asia, and suggests ways in which the Asian Development Bank and other development partners can strengthen their support. It attempts to enhance understanding on the interplay between politics and RCI, including how good bilateral political relations or improvements have advanced RCI. With the overall political environment growing increasingly open to RCI, the paper suggests the time has come for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to consider strengthening the capacity of the SAARC Secretariat to meet the growing challenges and work load of managing the anticipated increase in RCI.
Author: Prabhu Ghate
Tags: Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, Development, SAARC, Trade, Services, Trade Facilitation, Energy, Free Trade Agreements, SAFTA, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Transport
In today's globalized world where the economic fates of nations are inevitably linked, weathering the present economic storm for Asia will increasingly depend on harnessing regional dynamics particularly on the trade front. Pan-Asian Integration: Linking East and South Asia is a rich volume of perspectives from leading thematic experts on regional patterns of trade and investment, trade-related infrastructure, trade facilitation, among others.
Author: Asian Development Bank
Tags: Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, Trade Policy, Transport, Trade Facilitation, Economics, India, Free Trade Agreements
Quantification of Benefits from Economic Cooperation in South Asia
The study examines the implication of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) on South Asian countries and on the region as a whole, employing both a quantitative and qualitative assessment on the outcomes of SAFTA. The research aims to provide support in the formulation of concrete policy measures for trade to ensure greater gains for the region, while at the same time mitigating potential negative impacts. Economic and social assessments through analytical tools and rational causal chain analysis further enrich the study.
Author: Asian Development Bank / United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Tags: Economic Corridor, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, SAFTA, Free Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Services, SAARC, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka