Watch the full video of the virtual talk and panel discussion on 'Topping the Glass Half Full: Opportunities for Regional Trade in South Asia'. The talk was delivered by Dr Sanjay Kathuria (Senior Visiting Fellow, CPR) who is the editor of the book, and was followed by a panel discussion featuring Ambassador Shyam Saran (Former Foreign Secretary & Senior Fellow, CPR); Dr Nagesh Kumar [Director and Head, South and South-West Asia (SSWA) Office, UNESCAP]; Dr Selim Raihan (Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka); and chaired by Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya (Senior Visiting Fellow, CPR).
It would be no overstatement to say that seventy years after the decolonisation of South Asia, economic integration of the region remains disappointing. Intraregional trade as a share of regional gross domestic product (GDP) hovers around only 1 percent in South Asia, versus 2.6 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa and about 11 percent in East Asia and the Pacific. Yet, world history has repeatedly shown trade to be a crucial tool for poverty reduction. Centered around the book A Glass Half Full: The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia, this event discussed various challenges to regional economic integration and lessons that can be learned from some success stories.