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Is SAFTA a Myth or Reality?

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The concept of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) is the out come of Uruguay Round. Since then, the different regions had created regional trading block. Recognizing the role of trade and investment flows in the process of regional economic integration, a trade block among SAARC members was created April 1993 known as SAPTA. Later on SAARC region was declared as Free Trade Area (FTA) and accordingly, SAFTA was formed on January 1, 2006. Keeping in mind the flow of trade among SAARC countries, it appears that the spirit behind its creation has been defeated and it is a myth not a reality. The present paper reviews the emerging trends of trade among SAARC countries and suggests how SAFTA could prove to be a reality.


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1. Asian Development Bank, (2009) Study on Intraregional Trade and Investment in South Asia; Report by: Asian Development Bank (ADB); Development Partnership Program for South Asia. PP. 7677. ISBN 978-971-561-829-8.
2. Ibid, P-101.
3. Ibid, P-101.
4. Ibid, P-103.
5. Ibid, P-142.
6. Ibid, P-143.
7. Ibid, P-117.
8. Ibid, P- 167-168.
9. Dubey M. (2004, January 10); SAFTA: A Perspective. Retrieved on; September 2, 2011.
10. Hossainy S. (2011, June 29); growth. Retrieved on: August 30, 2011.
11.; Suman A. (2008, June 20); Safta and its Impact on Indian Economy Retrieved on:
12. Manoharan N. (2006, January 19); "SAFTA: A First Step towards South Asian Economic Union?; South Asia – Articles; #1929". Retrieved on : September 6, 2011.
13. Ratna R.S., Sidhu G. (n.d); Making SAFTA a Success: The Role of India. (Revised Draft, CUTS, Jaipur.) P- 5, 6, 15, 36-39, 52-55.
14. Razzaque Md. A.,(n.d); "Weaker Economies in SAFTA: Issues and Concerns". Accessed on: September 1, 2011. PP- 373-374, 394-396, 396-397. Available at:
15. Trade Liberalization between India and Pakistan: A Regional Perspective; Retrieved on: September 9, 2011.
16. Trade Statistics – 2007; Ministry of Export Development & International Trade. Prepared by: Statistics Division. Printed by: Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka.
17. USAID, (2006, May); Facilitating Freer Trade under SAFTA: Issues in Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan; United States Agency- International Development, P- 2.
18. Ibid. P- 23.
19. (2011); Implement SAFTA in Letter and Spirit: India; Economy and Politics; Posted: Sun, Feb 6 2011. Retrieved on: September 2, 2011.
20. (2011); Fifth SAFTA Ministerial Council Meeting (Male, 13th June 2011); June 22, 2011. Retrieved on: September 6, 2011.

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