ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Towards Greater Economic Connectivity in South Asia

To strengthen economic connectivity in south Asia, members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation should not depend solely on the SAARC framework, and the agreement on the South Asia Free Trade Area. The natural market integration process that started in south Asia with the high growth in India in particular, can give an impetus to strengthening economic connectivity. The private sector in south Asia, through the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has to play a key role as a pressure group to remove impediments for economic integration. Steps also need to be taken to not overload the SAARC agenda with soft issues so that economic connectivity issues receive due attention.

WTO and South Asia

WTO negotiations so far have shown that when countries forge alliances they can generate synergies and become powerful players. The EU, Cairns Group and the African bloc have emerged as influential groups within the WTO. Several factors have stalled the evolution of a common position among south Asian countries: regional politics and antipathies, the economic disparity in the region, and the temptation for individual countries to draw up independent arrangements with developed countries in return for trade favours often detrimental to regional interests. Will south Asian countries function with a common agenda at Cancun?

Sri Lankan Exports to India

Since the Indo-Sri Lanka Bilateral Trade Agreement came into existence in March 2000, Sri Lankan export to India has registered a sharp increase. A disaggregated analysis shows however, an unevenness which indicates the need for smoothening the trade process and regulations.

Sri Lankan Economy of War and Peace

The experience of economic liberalisation in Sri Lanka has coincided with the nearly 20-year long civil strife in the nation's north and east. An attempt is made here to trace the economic reform programme since the war began. For the economy to be brought back on track the cumbersome task of balancing the needs of long-term economic management with the immediate demands of the current ceasefire and peace initiatives has to be undertaken.

Indian Ocean Regionalism: Is There a Future?

The Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation was launched to affect a quicker process of liberalisation in countries disadvantaged in one way or other in the WTO regime, so that through open regional arrangements and agreements they could all gain quickly from the transforming trade and investment environment. An assessment of its five-year existence.

Sri Lankan Economy in Turbulent Times

Political crises and economic mismanagement are to account for the grave state of Sri Lanka's finances. While reform programmes under the aegis of the IMF promise some succour, these are accompanied by strict conditionalities. The new Sri Lankan government has thus to take some vital political decisions - negotiating with the LTTE to end the long-drawn civil strife in the north-east and implement a harsh budget that will assist a revival of the economy in the long run.

Open Regionalism and APEC

APEC has now functioned for more than one decade but its record is not very impressive. This article argues that the operational aspects of APEC have clearly highlighted the limitations of APEC's governing framework, i e, open regionalism. The paper shows that APEC's trade liberalisation strategy is a frail initiative and argues that APEC might be betteroff focusing on deep economic integration issues.

Development in Independent Sri Lanka: What Went Wrong?

Independent Sri Lanka's failure to live up to its initial promise in the area of economic development could be attributed inter alia to: (a) a foreign-exchange crisis which persisted till 1977 because the exigencies of electoral politics bound the country to welfare-oriented, inward-looking policies; and (b) the eruption of conflict between the two main communities as of 1983.

Stabilisation and Adjustment Sri Lankan Experience 1977-1993

Experience, 1977-1993 David Dunham Saman Kelegama This article views the Sri Lankan reform experience in relation to economic and political circumstances and the economic and political objectives of the incumbent government. In the inevitably politicised process of tradeoffs incorporating political responses, there is bound to be tension between stabilisation and adjustment policies. In the Sri Lankan experience it was stabilisation that was given lower priority. Ad hoc piecemeal reform had a rationale of its own.
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