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Trade in Services and Investment Flows in South Asia

Author

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  • Rajesh Chadha

    (National Council of Applied Economic Research)

  • Geethanjali Nataraj

Abstract

Despite being a group of contiguous countries South Asia is one of the least integrated regions in terms of intra-regional investment and trade relations. The share of services in GDP of South Asian countries has increased substantially with South Asia exhibiting a high revealed comparative advantage in commercial services and more particularly in other services including computer and information technology enabled services. Analysis of the FDI inflows in South Asia reveals that the number of total sale deals including Greenfield investments and Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) have increased in recent years. Though India is ranked as the second most attractive destination for FDI, South Asian countries, including India, do not rank high in terms of the FDI performance and potential indices and are also ranked low in the global competitiveness index. The study points out the investment constraints in South Asia and cites poor infrastructure and labour market inefficiencies as the bottlenecks in attracting higher FDI inflows. Emphasising the importance of Doha Development Agenda on the one hand, the paper lays out the importance of larger and broader RTAs like Pan Asia Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA) instead of narrow RTAs like SAFTA. The success of SAFTA in enabling regional integration would depend on turning its current shallow constitution in favour of a deep agreement taking into account various behind the border issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Rajesh Chadha & Geethanjali Nataraj, 2008. "Trade in Services and Investment Flows in South Asia," EABER Working Papers 21796, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:wpaper:21796
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    File URL: http://www.eaber.org/node/21796
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jaya Prakash Pradhan & Abhinav Alakshendra, "undated". "Overseas Acquisition Versus Greenfield Foreign Investment: Which Internationalization Strategy is better for Indian Pharmaceutical Enterprises?," Working Papers 0607, Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID).
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    5. NS Siddharthan & Stanley Nollen, 2004. "MNE Affiliation, Firm Size and Exports Revisited: A Study of Information Technology Firms in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(6), pages 146-168.
    6. Borensztein, E. & De Gregorio, J. & Lee, J-W., 1998. "How does foreign direct investment affect economic growth?1," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 115-135.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    trade; Services; investment; Flows; South Asia;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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