The report, Key Proposals for Harnessing Business Opportunities in South Asia, said South Asia, with a potential market of 1.5 billion people has significant comparative advantages in industries ranging from textiles and garments, to tourism, pharmaceuticals and information technology.
But it is also home to half of the world's extreme poor, with 40 per cent of its total population living on less than $1.25 a day, it added.
The report has been prepared by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Intraregional trade remains modest compared with other parts of the world, and numerous impediments prevent the private sector from taking a bigger economic role.
Cutting nonphysical barriers to trade and improving the climate for investment across borders will encourage greater private sector activity, lifting growth, cutting poverty and strengthening regional integration, the report says.
Among the steps it suggests are liberalising a South Asia visa exemption scheme, adopting a regional motor vehicular agreement to speed up the passage of goods vehicles across borders and streamlining procedures at land customs stations.
It notes that while South Asia has made steady progress in cutting tariff barriers, it still needs to address non-tariff issues such as inconsistencies in regulations, and the imposition of product quotas.
The report also highlights the need for South Asia to remove barriers to intra-regional investment, and to promote cross border investments in areas such as hydropower and other energy sector projects, which could support regional trade in energy and aid integration.
It suggests allowing foreign direct investment in excluded or sensitive sectors in specific cities, urges countries to conclude bilateral investment treaties and double tax avoidance treaties and calls for a study into the establishment of an umbrella investment body for the region.
Friday, March 05, 2010
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The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw