“Trade in Services in South Asia”

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Publication

Sage Publications,
New Delhi, India

ISBN

978-8-1782 9937-2

Published Year

February 2009

Price

US $35

This book explores the opportunities and risks of the liberalization of trade in services in South Asia. It offers an overview of the entire region on market access and regulatory issues as defined by the GATS framework of the WTO and exposes areas for regional and bilateral liberalization. It provides policymakers and other stakeholders in the region with better comprehension of the problems pertaining to these, and consequently, shows them a clearer vision of how to overcome them.

 

Reviews and Highlights in the Media

South Asian Survey,
Review by Nitya Nanda, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI),
New Delhi

“This book is an important addition to the literature of South Asia as it provides significant information and analysis about services trade in the countries of the region in a single volume. It would have been useful if the book had been more comparative and analysed why India would gain from service trade while other countries in the region would not, although they all share a common history and a cultural and institutional legacy.”

South Asia Economic Journal, 10:2, 2009
Review by Rajan Sudesh Ratna, Centre for WTO Studies,
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi
South Asia Economic Journal, 10:2, 2009
Review by Rajan Sudesh Ratna, Centre for WTO Studies,
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi

“The book also provides a South Asian perspective for liberalizing services under South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and the possible gains at the regional as well as multilateral levels while pointing out complementarities that exist among South Asian nations. Interestingly, the book also points out that the complementarities in services sector are more than the trade in goods in case of South Asia.

The book provides broad directions in which services negotiations would be beneficial for the South Asian nations and is not only recommended for compulsory reading for the researchers in the area of services but is equally useful for the policy makers and trade negotiators.”

Journal of South Asian Development, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2010
Review by Prabir De, Fellow, Research and Information System for Developing Countries
(RIS), New Delhi

“The collection of essays in this book in 10 chapters covers trade in services in the seven South Asian countries and provides an overview of the entire region on market access and regulatory issues as defined by the GATS framework of the WTO. The book begins with a discussion on opportunities and risks of liberalizing trade in services in South Asia by the editor himself. Thereafter, we find a rich collection of country reports for each South Asian country..….. This book is a good reading for those who are trade policymakers, researcher scholars and students. It is also a valuable resource for the services trade literature.”

Book Review/March 2010/19
“Filling In The Gaps”
By Sarath Rajapatirana
Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, USA, and former Trade Economist at the World Bank

“This book of essays addresses an important issue of liberalization of service trade in South Asia. It examines seven individual country cases of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan.

Services liberalization is a difficult topic since it is not confined to transactions at the border, typical of goods trade. Besides it is not possible to precisely identify the nature of the service that is offered, as to its content and value. Kelegama takes a more pragmatic approach to the issues under discussion and clarifies them in a lucid manner…”

Trade Insight Vol. 5, No.1, 2009
Beyond goods liberalization

“In South Asia, where services have overtaken agriculture and industry as the top contributor to gross domestic product (GDP) in most countries and foreign trade in services is growing rapidly, services liberalization is a burning issue. Besides the fact that almost all South Asian countries, by virtue of being World Trade Organizations (WTO) members, have to implement the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), the perception that regional trade in services has more complementarities than regional trade in goods is driving efforts to include services in bilateral preferential trading arrangements as well as in the Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA).

Saman Kelegama, of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS), has a knack for coming up with timely publications on topical trade issues in South Asia…”
Foreign Trade Review VOL.XLIV NO. 1, APRIL-JUNE 2009
Quarterly Journal of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

“This book is a collection of essays which throws adequate analysis on the specific Sector of the region. It details the importance of services sector in world economy and focuses on the opportunities and risk that are associated with the sector. It provides set of policies and strategies for various stakeholders to strike at opportunities and guard themselves with a sense of caution wherever it is necessary.

The author further has touched upon a point which needs systematic efforts to be made by SAARC countries. As most South Asian countries are strong in this sector, SAFTA is a viable forum to expand its scope…”

The Hindu, 23 June, 2009 (Raghu Dayal)
Services Trade in South Asia

“The least integrated region in the world, both in goods as well as in the services trade, South Asia bristles with barriers to intra-regional trade, in services more than in goods. The book covers trade in services in the seven South Asian countries (excluding Afghanistan) and provides an overview of the entire region on market access issues and regulatory constraints. An anthology of essays from experts, in addition to the introductory observations by Kelegama and two more on generic subjects, could as well have better synthesized the disparate contributions….”