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Assessing the Barriers to Trade in Services in South Asia


  • Arindam Banik

    (Arindam Banik is Professor at International Management Institute, B-10, Qutab Institutional, Area, Tara Crescent, New Delhi, 110 016, India. E-mail:

  • Pradip K. Bhaumik

    (Pradip K. Bhaumik is Professor at International Management Institute (IMI), B-10, Qutab, Institutional Area, Tara Crescent, New Delhi 110 016, India. E-mail:


This study aims to assess barriers to service trade in the education, health, telecom, transport, travel and tourism, and banking and insurance sectors of selected South Asian economies such as India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, including both trade and domestic restrictions. The analysis is focused on the computation of aggregate and modal service trade restrictiveness indices (STRIs) by sector, drawing on information gathered based on detailed questionnaires. The conclusions highlight that while significant regulatory reforms have taken place in certain (for example Telecom) service sectors over the last decade, a broad range of restrictions still remain. The most significant change in these service sectors has been the lifting or softening of the constraints imposed on foreign equity participation. Interestingly, the economies in terms of regulatory reforms are more open to non-South Asian economies and not so much open to each other. However, reforms have had varying degrees of impact on market structure depending on the country and the sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Arindam Banik & Pradip K. Bhaumik, 2014. "Assessing the Barriers to Trade in Services in South Asia," Global Business Review, International Management Institute, vol. 15(4), pages 795-814, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:globus:v:15:y:2014:i:4:p:795-814

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    Cited by:

    1. Safdar Sohail & Noorulain Hanif & Maliha Quddus, 2012. "Liberalization of Trade in Services under SAFTA: Prospects and Challenges for Pakistan," Chapters,in: Regional Integration and Economic Development in South Asia, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.


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