Chapter

Why Services Integration?

Rupa Chanda

in Integrating Services in South Asia

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780198069959
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080021 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198069959.003.0002
Why Services Integration?

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Regional integration remains unfulfilled in South Asia due to a general lack of dynamism and political will. Despite progress on the bilateral front between member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan has proved to be a major hindrance. This chapter discusses the potential benefits of services integration under the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) by analyzing trends in services growth, output, employment, investment, and trade in each of the countries in the region (India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives). Based on performance and contribution characteristics, it identifies a representative set of services and issues that hold most promise for discussion under SAFTA. These include two infrastructure or producer services (energy and telecommunications), two social services (education and healthcare), and one commercial service (tourism).

Keywords: South Asia; South Asian Free Trade Agreement; SAFTA; regional integration; services; employment; trade; investment; output; tourism; education

Chapter.  16320 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Business and Management

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