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Trade facilitation for economic corridors in South Asia: the perspective of Pakistan

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  • Vaqar, Ahmed
  • Ghulam, Samad

Abstract

This study outlines the role of trade facilitation in Pakistan for economic corridors in South Asia. We study the current state of trade related infrastructure in Pakistan and its connectedness particularly with Afghanistan and India. The implications of recently initiated Afghanistan – Pakistan transit trade agreement are discussed. Current impediments in expanding trade relations with India are revisited. A perception survey reveals the issues faced by importers and exporters particularly those dealing with Afghanistan and India. We also held detailed focus group discussions where government functionaries and commercial counselors also participated. The policy recommendations are grounded in existing literature and survey results. The report has highlighted the required improvements in infrastructure arrangements to facilitate trade for fostering cooperation in South Asia between Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. However, trade facilitation also requires harmonizing customs procedures and harmonizing the regulatory framework of other controlling authorities at the border crossings. Linkages need to be established among the customs organizations of the respective countries to exchange data so that export document of one country could serve as the import document of the other country. The phytosanitary and other quality standard of the countries need to be exchanged and harmonized to the extent possible to eliminate the technical barriers to trade. Finally the relations between India and Pakistan must be broad-based and allow guarantee towards non-reversal of a liberalized bilateral trading environment. Towards achieving this objective governments on both sides must be helped by the business community and civil society. Pakistan must also realize that while additional investment in trade infrastructure is necessary for sustaining economic growth, an equal emphasis is required to address issues that keep the existing infrastructure underutilized. In its overall infrastructure score, Pakistan is almost in line with its regional competitors, however it fares poorly when it comes to organizing and managing the already available assets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 31368.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31368

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Keywords: Trade facilitation; economic growth; economic corridors;

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  1. John Gilbert & Nilanjan Banik, 2010. "Socioeconomic Impacts of Cross-Border Transport Infrastructure Development in South Asia," Working Papers id:3105, eSocialSciences.
  2. Soloaga, Isidro & Wilson, John S. & Mejia, Alejandro, 2006. "Moving forward faster : trade facilitation reform and Mexican competitiveness," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3953, The World Bank.
  3. Wilson, John S. & Mann, Catherine L. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro, 2004. "Assessing the potential benefit of trade facilitation : A global perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3224, The World Bank.
  4. Nilankan Banik & John Gilbert, 2008. "Regional Integration and Trade Cost in South Asia," IDB Publications 48978, Inter-American Development Bank.
  5. César Calderón & Luis Servén, 2005. "The Effects of Infrastructure Development on Growth and Income Distribution," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_056, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
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  7. Hoekman , Bernard & Nicita, Alessandro, 2008. "Trade Policy, Trade Costs, and Developing Country Trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4797, The World Bank.
  8. Arvis, Jean-Francois & Raballand, Gael & Marteau, Jean-Francois, 2007. "The cost of being landlocked : logistics costs and supply chain reliability," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4258, The World Bank.
  9. Biswa N Bhattacharyay, 2010. "Institutions for Asian Connectivity," Working Papers id:2646, eSocialSciences.
  10. Wilson, John S. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro, 2007. "Regional integration in South Asia : what role for trade facilitation ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4423, The World Bank.
  11. Douglas H. Brooks & Susan F. Stone, 2010. "Accelerating Regional Integration : Issues at the Border," Trade Working Papers 23009, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  12. Wilson,John S. & Mann, Catherine L. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro, 2003. "Trade facilitation and economic development : measuring the impact," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2988, The World Bank.
  13. De, Prabir, 2010. "Governance, Institutions, and Regional Infrastructure in Asia," ADBI Working Papers 183, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  14. Helble, Matthias & Shepherd, Ben & Wilson, John S., 2007. "Transparency, trade costs, and regional integration in the Asia Pacific," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4401, The World Bank.
  15. Shepherd, Ben & Wilson, John S., 2009. "Trade facilitation in ASEAN member countries: Measuring progress and assessing priorities," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 367-383, September.
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