In this era of globalization, every region and country in the world is pursuing some kind of integration to further its economic, geo-political, and strategic interests. This book explores the prospects for and challenges to services integration in South Asia through an in-depth analysis of some representative services-telecommunications, energy, tourism, health, and education. Identifying trends in performance, policy issues, and the status of intraregional trade and investment initiatives in services, the book argues the case for services integration under South Asian Free Trade Association (SAFTA). It also stresses the need to address cross-cutting issues of regional mobility of service providers, taxes, transport, trade facilitation, research and development, data collection and dissemination, and regulatory cooperation. Expanding the existing work on South Asian integration to cover services from an intraregional perspective, this book can help inform the ongoing services negotiations and future academic and policy work in South Asia.
The industry-, country-, and regional-level statistics on services provided by the book serve as a useful reference for taking stock of output, employment, trade, and investment in services in this region.