Panels and speakers > Panel list

Wednesday 28
M - SAARC: Challenges and future
Coord. Prashant Sawant
› 9:00 - 10:30 (1h30)
Description de l'atelier / Panel description
Prashant Sawant  1@  , Varalakshmi Subrahamanyan  2@  , Archana Mishra  2@  
1 : IHS Markit  -  Website
133 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7BX -  Royaume-Uni
2 : Mumbai University

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), an eight-nation organisation established in 1985, has been increasingly at the behest of disputed bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan, undermining the economic potential of the regional blog. Indeed, the association has managed a significant progress in terms of lowering the levels of poverty, malnutrition, hunger and unemployment – essential for economic development, and fostering cultural ties among member countries. Nevertheless, the attempts to create a free trading zone within member countries, which account for nearly 6% to global GDP, have had limited success due mainly to trade barriers, including, an extensive list of non-tradeable items. Given that these eight countries are host to one of the largest pool of growing middle class and skilled labour, the region has a strong growth potential, driven mainly by a network of small and medium enterprises.

The panel will look into current challenges faced by SAARC. Can India afford to put aside, albeit momentarily, the border issues and use SAARC to assert its economic power in the region? Can SAARC withstand its independence with China's growing assertion, territorial and economic, in the region? Importantly, can the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) – group of countries from South Asia and South East Asia, excluding Pakistan and China, undermine the importance of SAARC?


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