Title A Glass Half Full
Subtitle The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia
Author Sanjay Kathuria
ISBN 9781464812941
List price USD 39.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 254
Book size 178 x 254 mm
Publishing year 2018
Original publisher The World Bank
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“Recently, significant progress has been made in specific areas for improving the enabling framework for boosting regional trade. The future holds considerable promise as Sri Lanka negotiates to deepen its free trade agreement (FTA) with lndia and considers an FTA with Bangladesh. This publication provides readers with excellent and insightful analysis of the opportunities and changes that need to be addressed to fulfill the potential for a transformative impact in regional trade.”

—Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Governor Central Bank of Sri Lanka

“The South Asian region contains many of the world’s poor. White other regions have integrated themselves through trade, investment flows, and connectivity, South Asia lags far behind. This highly illuminating study based on empirical work demonstrates that it is not rhetoric but very much in the realm of reality that trade and connectivity can generate huge gains for all the countries in the region. Policy makers in these countries are well advised to listen to this sane advice and work to bring large untapped benefits for the poor of this region.”

—Ishrat Husain, former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan and Professor Emeritus Institute of Business Administration, Karachi

“This report meticulously analyzes the key barriers to achieving greater South Asian economic integration, which has remained far below potential. Remarkably. the report finds that despite a regional free trade agreement, South Asia has more restrictive trade within the region than with the rest of the world. Based on in-depth case studies of reaping the benefits of regional trade, the report comes up with key practical policy directions that demand the attention of policy makers and the informed public.”

—Wahiduddin Mahmud, former Professor of Economics, University of Dhaka, and Chairman, South Asian Network of Economic Research Institutes (SANEI)

“This boon fortified my belief that women-to-women trade is key to achieving regional integration and peace in South Asia. The rich case study on India-Bangladesh border haats shows how haats can create trade and empower women. The key policy recommendations in the book for scaling up and replicating such cross-border regional initiatives deserve serious consideration.”

—Reema Nanavaty, Director, Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA)

“Creating a zone of stability, peace, and prosperity in South Asia—one of the world’s hot spots—is a major challenge for the world and an existential imperative for India. This terrific report carefully. insightfully, and convincingly shows that regional integration can play a critical role in meeting that challenge.”

—Arvind Subramanian, former Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India

“This book shorn with compelling fresh evidence how-by chipping away at soft and hard barriers that restrict the flow of goods, capital ideas, and people-the region can regain its promise of becoming a global economic dynamo. The book is a vital resource for a new generation of policy makers who are unencumbered by the past and keen to steer South Asia toward greater wealth and human security In the 21st century.”

—Swarnim Waglé, former Vice Chair, National Planning Commission, Nepal


Trade has played a critical role in global poverty reduction. In harnessing the potential of trade, some of the most successful countries have developed strong trade relationships with their neighbors. However, many South Asian countries have trade regimes that often offset the positive impact of geography and proximity.

This report documents systematically the gaps between current and potential trade in South Asia and addresses important specific barriers that have held trade back. These barriers include tariffs and paratariffs, real and perceived nontariff barriers, connectivity costs, and the broader trust deficit. This policy-focused report unpacks these critical barriers to effective trade integration in South Asia through four in-depth studies that produce new, detailed, on-the-ground knowledge. Three of the studies are based on extensive stakeholder consultations. Two also rely on tailored surveys. The fourth study, on tariffs, benefits from new data on paratariffs.

The report also marshals new evidence showing how trading regimes in South Asia discriminate against each other. Given the South Asian context, incremental, yet concrete steps aimed at tapping the potential of deeper integration are appropriate. The report has been drafted in this spirit. It offers precise, actionable policy recommendations that could help achieve measurable progress in key areas of trade and integration that would be to the advantage of all countries in the region.




About the Editor and Authors


Executive Summary • Why Is There Such a Large Gap between the Reality and the Potential? • Can We Begin to Imagine the Possibilities? Have There Been Any Actual Breakthroughs? • How Can South Asia Turn Its Proximity from a Burden to an Advantage? • What Are the Considerations in the Careful Management of Trade Integration?

Overview - Sanjay Kathuria and Priya Mathur • The Issue • The Symptoms • The Barriers • Toward Realizing South Asia’s Trade Potential • A Synopsis • Note

Chapter 1: South Asia: A Work in Progress - Sanjay Kathuria and Priya Mathur • Introduction • Establishing the Context for Intraregional Trade in South Asia • The Untapped Trade Potential • Barriers to Intraregional Trade and Investment • The Benefits of Current Trade Patterns • Conclusions • Annex 1A: Tables • Notes • References

Chapter 2: Border Tax Distortions in South Asia: The Impact on Regional Integration - Sanjay Kathuria and Guillermo Arenas • Introduction • Trade Protection in South Asia • Tariff-Related Constraints on SAFTA’s Effectiveness • Conclusions and Directions for Reform • Notes • References

Chapter 3: A Granular Approach to Addressing Nontariff Barriers: India’s Trade with Bangladesh and Nepal - Nisha Taneja • Introduction • Approach of the Chapter • Institutional Framework and Regulations Governing NTMs • NTM Restrictiveness, Regulations, and Procedural Obstacles • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations • Annex 3A: Classifi cation of Nontariff Measures by Chapter • Annex 3B: Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Technical Barriers to Trade • Annex 3C: Classifi cation of Procedural Obstacles • Annex 3D: Harmonized System Codes, Selected Items • Annex 3E: Questionnaire for the NTM Survey: India and Nepal • Annex 3F: Plant Material in Nepal Requiring Pest Risk Analysis • Annex 3G: Summary of NTM Findings • Notes • References

Chapter 4: Reducing Connectivity Costs: Air Travel Liberalization between India and Sri Lanka - Sanjay Kathuria, Mauro Boffa, Nadeem Rizwan, Raveen Ekanayake, Visvanathan Subramaniam, and Janaka Wijayasiri • Introduction • Air Services Agreements • Evolution of the Regional Market for Air Services • Impact of Air Services Liberalization on Traffic between India and Sri Lanka • Changes in Competition and Market Composition • Conclusion • Notes • References

Chapter 5: Bangladesh–India Border Markets: Borders as Meeting Points - Mohini Datt, Prithviraj Nath, Indranil Bose, and Sayandeep Chattopadhyay • Introduction • Border Markets Elsewhere Range in Size and Degree of Formality • The Scope for Scaling-Up • Main Findings • Conclusions and Policy Recommendations • Annex 5A: Market Details • Annex 5B: Haat Regulations and Procedures • Annex 5C: Study Structure • Annex 5D: Number and Type of Respondents • Annex 5E: Detailed Suggestions to Improve the Border Haat Initiative • Notes • References

About the Editor:

Sanjay Kathuria is Lead Economist and Coordinator, South Asia Regional Integration, in the World Bank’s Macroeconomics, Trade, and Investment Global Practice, based in Washington, DC. In more than 25 years at the World Bank, he has worked in several regions, including Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South Asia. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a Fellow at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations in New Delhi. He graduated from St. Stephen’s College, and he received his master’s at the Delhi School of Economics and his doctorate from Oxford University. His research interests include economic growth, international trade and trade policy, economic integration, competitiveness, technology development, fiscal policy, and financial sector development.

Target Audience:

People interested in Economics and Trade Relations.

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