Navigate to CUTS International
                                                                        Give us a Hand – An Appeal for Donation |
CUTS 30th Anniversary Lecture Series

Last updated: August 29, 2014

WWW This Site


You are here: Home > Media >Huge gains for South Asian consumers


Huge gains for South Asian consumers
Himalayan Times, November 09, 2011

KATHMANDU: South Asian consumers stand to gain hugely from enhanced intra-regional trade, according to the experts. One of the main reasons why intra-regional trade in South Asia failed to take

off is lack of political will in taking the SAFTA negotiations to the next stage, said secretary general of CUTS International Pradeep Mehta, speaking on the importance of the summit of South Asian leaders. “The annual savings of consumers could be as much as $2 billion,” Mehta said, adding that many products with regional trade potential are still kept out of bounds of the Agreement’s tariff liberalisation programme for fear of disturbance to domestic industries from import competition.

According to a study undertaken by CUTS with support from The Asia Foundation and in collaboration with prominent think tanks from five major South Asian countries, the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) holds the key to realise this gain.

The SAARC Summit to be held in Maldives in this week provides a good platform for South Asian leaders to renew their commitment toward greater regional integration.

Though South Asian economies have achieved significant growth in international trade, expansion of trade relationships has been mostly with trading blocs outside the region.

There are many product categories in which imports are currently sourced by South Asian countries mainly from Europe, South East Asia and the Middle East, while they could resort to cheaper imports from regional trading partners, who have export competence in such products.

The CUTS study entitled Cost of Economic Non-Cooperation to Consumers in South Asia shows that in about 355 excluded products listed by SAFTA members, there exists very strong prospects for higher regional trade if preferential tariff rates under the Agreement are applied to them.

This news item can also be viewed at:,


India Corner...

Media Corner...


April - June 2014                                           <<Archive>>


Better Governance for Inclusive Growth
CUTS 30th Anniversary Lecture Series 2013-2014

Growth & Equity
Essays in Honour of Pradeep S Mehta

Mega External Preferential Trade Agreements
and their Impacts on the Indian Economy

Economic Diplomacy: India's Experience

Consumers and Economic Cooperation
Cost of Economic Non-cooperation to Consumers in South Asia

Intra-BRICS Trade & Its Implications for India



April - June 2014                                           <<Archive>>

Preferential Trade Agreements & India
April - June 2014                                           <<Archive>>

CUTS CITEE in Action
April - June 2014                                           <<Archive>>


India in the International Trading System
October 20-22, 2014, New Delhi, India
Agenda | Backgrounder

Project Review Meeting
Addressing Barriers to Rice Seeds Trade between India and Bangladesh

July 18, 2014, Jaipur, India
Agenda | Backgrounder | Report

3rd Focused Expert Group Meeting between Clientele Group, Financial Intermediaries and Apex Financial Regulators
 to address  Lack of Reliable and Fast Payment Options to Facilitate Trade Transactions in South Asia

May 24, 2014, New Delhi, India
Agenda | Press Release | Report

Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio in South Asia
CUTS Workshop with Strategic Partners

May 15-16, 2014, Kathmandu, Nepal
Agenda | Report

Google Groups Google Groups

Visit this Group | Subscribe

Visit this Group | Subscribe