First News
Volume:7, Number:49
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Business & Finance 3

UN Urges Economic Integration in South Asia

A United Nations report describing South Asia as the world’s least integrated sub-region has emphasized that it needs to integrate more broadly into Asia-Pacific and explore the possibilities for greater interaction in the broader Eurasian economic space. The UN ESCAP report, ‘Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in South Asia’, said that a broader and more open platform for regional cooperation could also help to diffuse the political tensions. The report suggested that the three overlapping groups of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Economic Cooperation Organization and The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation could create an institutional arrangement to assist cross-fertilization and learning, linking programs to exploit alliances and network area that could become an arc of advantage. The intra-regional export potential in South Asia was USD812 billion in 2014 against actual exports of only USD26.8 billion, indicating that nearly 67 percent of the potential remained untapped.

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