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GTAP Resource #3368

"Income Distribution and Regional Trade Liberalization in South Asia"
by Gilbert, John and Reza Oladi

Like other regions in the world, South Asia has actively pursued a regional trade reform agenda. Foremost among the agreements is SAFTA, the South Asian Free Trade Agreement. Signed in 2006 by the seven South Asia countries that form the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), it aims initially to reduce tariffs for intraregional trade among the seven SAARC members, and ultimately to achieve higher levels of economic integration.

The purpose of this paper will be to analyze the potential economic impact of completion of the SAFTA agreement on the economies of South Asia. However, one of the defining characteristics of the economies of South Asia is relatively high levels of poverty and income disparity. The issues surrounding the potential for adverse trade liberalization impacts on food security and income distribution have been a major area of contention in other contexts, most notably the multilateral trade negotiations under the Doha Round where concerns over rural poverty led to demands by India and others for enhanced safeguards for developing countries. Given this, we need to assess potential effects of regional economic integration not only on aggregate measures such economic welfare, but also on social measures such as income distribution.

Resource Details (Export Citation) GTAP Keywords
Category: 2010 Conference Paper
Status: Published
By/In: Presented at the 13th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, Penang, Malaysia
Date: 2010
Created: Gilbert, J. (4/15/2010)
Updated: Gilbert, J. (5/18/2010)
Visits: 1,233
- Preferential trading arrangements
- Asia (South-Central)

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