IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

India’s Role in South Asia Trade and Investment Integration


  • Kumar, Rajiv

    () (Indian Council for Research on International Economics Relations)

  • Singh, Manjeeta

    (Indian Council for Research on International Economics Relations)


Recent developments in South Asian countries, especially the re-emergence of democratic governments, new growth momentum despite the global economic downturn and greater openness, warrant a fresh look at the region’s prospects for economic integration. On the basis of a thorough review of the literature on potential and prospects of regional integration in South Asia and after examining the trends in intra-SAARC trade and investment flows, this paper finds that the progress in regional cooperation has been far short of potential. The paper, therefore, focuses on the ‘real impediments’ to regional integration and on that basis makes a set of policy oriented recommendations for furthering deeper regional integration in South Asia. It also emphasizes that given its dominant size, human resources, and aspirations for a global role, India will have to take on a disproportionately larger responsibility for promoting regional cooperation in South Asia. However, regional integration will not be achieved by India’s unilateral actions alone. Neighboring governments will have to respond positively to Indian initiatives for successful regional integration in South Asia.

Suggested Citation

  • Kumar, Rajiv & Singh, Manjeeta, 2009. "India’s Role in South Asia Trade and Investment Integration," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 32, Asian Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbrei:0032

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hassan, M. Kabir, 2001. "Is SAARC a viable economic block? evidence from gravity model," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 263-290.
    2. Samantak Das & Sanjib Pohit, 2006. "Quantifying Transport, Regulatory and Other Costs of Indian Overland Exports to Bangladesh," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(9), pages 1227-1242, September.
    3. Michael G. Plummer & Reid W. Click, 2009. "The ASEAN Economic Community and the European Experience," Chapters,in: Towards Monetary and Financial Integration in East Asia, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Rahman, Mohammad Mafizur, 2005. "Bangladesh-India Bilateral Trade: Causes of Imbalance and Measures for Improvement," Working Papers 1, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    5. Aradhna Aggarwal, 2008. "Regional Economic Integration and FDI in South Asia - Prospects and Problems," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22141, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    6. 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.
    7. Kabir, ASM, 2007. "Sanguinity and aspiration toward South Asian Regional integration: a case study of the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) Agreement," MPRA Paper 3871, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    South Asia; economic integration; regional trade; foreign direct investment;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:adbrei:0032. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ivan B. de Leon). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.