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Regional integration in South Asia : what role for trade facilitation ?

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  • Wilson, John S.
  • Otsuki, Tsunehiro

Abstract

The trade performance of countries in South Asia over the past two decades has been poor relative to other regions. Exports from South Asia have doubled over the past 20 years to approximately USD 100 billion. In contrast, East Asia's exports grew ten times over the same period. The low level of intraregional trade has contributed to weak export performance in South Asia. The empirical analysis in this paper demonstrates gains to trade in the region from reform and capacity building in trade facilitation at the regional level. When considering intraregional trade, if countries in South Asia raise capacity halfway to East Asia's average, trade is estimated to rise by USD 2.6 billion. This is approximately 60 percent of the total intraregional trade in South Asia. Countries in the region also have a stake in the success of efforts to promote capacity building outside its borders. If South Asia and the rest of the world were to raise their levels of trade facilitation halfway to the East Asian average, the gains to the region would be estimated at USD 36 billion. Out of those gains, about 87 percent of the total would be generated from South Asia's own efforts (leaving the rest of the world unchanged). In summary, we find that the South Asian region's expansion of trade can be substantially advanced with programs of concrete action to address barriers to trade facilitation to advance regional goals.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4423
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maskus, Keith E. & Wilson, John S. & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2000. "Quantifying the impact of technical barriers to trade : a framework for analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2512, The World Bank.
    2. Clark, Ximena & Dollar, David & Micco, Alejandro, 2004. "Port efficiency, maritime transport costs, and bilateral trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 417-450, December.
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    4. John S. Wilson & Catherine L. Mann & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2005. "Assessing The Potential Benefit Of Trade Facilitation: A Global Perspective," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Quantitative Methods For Assessing The Effects Of Non-Tariff Measures And Trade Facilitation, chapter 8, pages 121-160 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Damodaran, A., 2002. "Conflict of Trade-Facilitating Environmental Regulations with Biodiversity Concerns: The Case of Coffee-Farming Units in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1123-1135, July.
    6. Caroline L. Freund & Diana Weinhold, 2000. "On the effect of the Internet on international trade," International Finance Discussion Papers 693, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
    8. Peter Walkenhorst & Tadashi Yasui, 2004. "Quantitative Assessment of the Benefits of Trade Facilitation," International Trade 0401008, EconWPA.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2009. "The Service Revolution in South Asia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 19332, The World Bank.
    2. 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.
    3. Mr Hasanuzzaman & Zeeshaan Rahman, 2010. "Bangladesh and Regional Connectivity : Best Practices from Global Experiences," Trade Working Papers 23061, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    4. Vaqar, Ahmed & Ghulam, Samad, 2011. "Trade facilitation for economic corridors in South Asia: the perspective of Pakistan," MPRA Paper 31368, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Yann Duval & Chorthip Utoktham, 2009. "Behind the Border Trade Facilitation in Asia-Pacific: Cost of Trade, Credit Information, Contract Enforcement and Regulatory Coherence," Working Papers 6709, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an initiative of UNESCAP and IDRC, Canada..
    6. Prabir De & Abdur Rob Khan & Sachin Chaturvedi, 2008. "Transit and Trade Barriers in Eastern South Asia: A Review of the Transit Regime and Performance of Strategic Border-Crossings," Working Papers 5608, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an initiative of UNESCAP and IDRC, Canada..

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    Keywords

    Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Transport and Trade Logistics; Common Carriers Industry; Trade Policy; Free Trade;

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