The Sri Lankan economy has seen robust annual growth at 6.4 percent over the course of 2003 to 2012. Almost five years after the end of the three-decade civil conflict, Sri Lanka is now focusing on long-term strategic and structural development challenges as it strives to transition to an upper middle income country.
Read More »
There is great excitement for the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit being held this week in Kathmandu. A big question is whether there will be faster progress toward... Show More +s greater regional trade, which could boost economic growth and spread prosperity across South Asia. Against this backdrop, this article discusses the importance of a well-functioning free trade area in South Asia and how gains would be shared not only by the larger country (India), but also smaller countries in the region.South Asian leaders have long advocated for an economic union in South Asia. An essential condition for such a union is the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA). Though SAFTA came into effect in 2006 to promote mutual trade and economic cooperation, considerable work remains before South Asia’s 1.67 billion consumers can enjoy the benefits of free trade. Under SAFTA, all countries are allowed to maintain so-called “sensitive lists”, encompassing hundreds of products, where usual FTA tariff concessions do not apply. These lists are a major barrier to free trade and there are no determinate plans to eliminate them. Show Less -