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Integrating Services in South AsiaTrade, Investment, and Mobility$
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Rupa Chanda

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198069959

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198069959.001.0001

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Why Services Integration?

Why Services Integration?

(p.15) 2 Why Services Integration?
Integrating Services in South Asia

Rupa Chanda

Oxford University Press

Regional integration remains unfulfilled in South Asia due to a general lack of dynamism and political will. Despite progress on the bilateral front between member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan has proved to be a major hindrance. This chapter discusses the potential benefits of services integration under the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) by analyzing trends in services growth, output, employment, investment, and trade in each of the countries in the region (India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives). Based on performance and contribution characteristics, it identifies a representative set of services and issues that hold most promise for discussion under SAFTA. These include two infrastructure or producer services (energy and telecommunications), two social services (education and healthcare), and one commercial service (tourism).

Keywords:   South Asia, South Asian Free Trade Agreement, SAFTA, regional integration, services, employment, trade, investment, output, tourism, education

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