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Rejuvenating SAARC: The Strategic Payoffs for India


  • Sawhney Aparna

    () (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

  • Kumar Rajiv

    () (Indian Council for Research in International and Economic Relations)


The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC, founded in 1985, has floundered since its inception due to the lack of a strong political will. This article evaluates the political-economic and strategic benefits of deeper integration in South Asia from the Indian perspective. The abysmally low level of integration witnessed so far in the region has been driven by a myriad of constraints that restrict economic interaction among the South Asian countries. Gains from regional integration can emerge only after these constraints are effectively addressed. The central argument of the article is that recent global developments and increasing openness of SAARC economies are moving the principal drivers of this process towards a more supportive stance for SAARC and this creates a new window of opportunity. This opportunity must be seized by India as it has taken on the chairmanship of the organization, because a successful SAARC directly contributes to India's strategic objectives both in the region and also globally. In this context the article discusses ten reasons for India to rejuvenate integration efforts and revive regional cooperation in South Asia.

Suggested Citation

  • Sawhney Aparna & Kumar Rajiv, 2008. "Rejuvenating SAARC: The Strategic Payoffs for India," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-19, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:8:y:2008:i:2:n:8

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    Cited by:

    1. Rajiv Kumar, 2011. "SAARC: Changing Realities, Opportunities and Challenges," Chapters, in: Ulrich Volz (ed.),Regional Integration, Economic Development and Global Governance, chapter 1, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Iyabo Masha & Ding Ding, 2012. "India's Growth Spillovers to South Asia," IMF Working Papers 12/56, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Mustafizur Rahman & Towfiqul Islam Khan & Ashiqun Nabi & Tapas Kumar Paul, 2010. "Bangladesh's Export Opportunities in the Indian Market: Addressing Barriers and Strategies for Future," CPD Working Paper 90, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
    4. Ramesh Chandra & Rajiv Kumar, 2010. "South Asian Integration: Prospects and Lessons from East Asia," Chapters, in: Masahiro Kawai & Jong-Wha Lee & Peter A. Petri & Giovanni Capanelli (ed.),Asian Regionalism in the World Economy, chapter 12, Edward Elgar Publishing.

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