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.

T he key theme of the 14th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit concluded in New Delhi in April 2007 was having better connectivity within south Asia. This article presents a critical examination of economic connectivity in the region and a possible way forward to strengthen it.

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