India’s Export Potential to Other SAARC Countries: A Gravity Model Analysis
India’s export potential to other SAARC nations (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) was calculated with the help of gravity model of exports using panel data methodology (pooled model, fixed effect model and random effect model) by taking the time period 1981-2005. To find out the convergence and divergence of India’s exports to SAARC members, speed of convergence was used. Moreover, study has also tried to find whether there is convergence of the actual data towards the estimated equilibrium. The study reveals that there was presence of convergence in India exports with SAARC countries and in the other words, actual India’s exports to SAARC countries converged towards the estimated export potential. Among SAARC countries, India’s export potential exists for Maldives, Bhutan, Pakistan and Nepal. India is the only SAARC member that shares land border with four members and sea border with two. No other SAARC country shares a common border with each other. In terms of trade, commerce, investments etc., India is a source of potential investment and technology and a major market for products from all other SAARC members. Therefore, it is essentially in India’s interest to put her weight behind SAARC.
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