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India has said it will take proactive measures to reduce barriers in trade and services to ensure greater economic integration in the South Asian region and would substantially reduce tariff barriers for the countries like Pakistan and Sri Lanka(as it has done for the least developed countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan).

 

Surging capital inflows, booming stock markets and a fast-appreciating currency suggest the India story is again shining after a dismal 2011.Dig a little deeper, and problems afflicting Asia's third-largest economy remain largely unabated and unaddressed.

 

The secretary-level meeting this time has recommended establishing a regional development bank and a fund where the members and donors will contribute. The finance secretaries also forwarded a proposal for promotion and protection of investment among the Saarc members.

 

About 55 per cent of the total potential for intra-regional trade in South Asia has not been fully exploited.Despite huge natural resources and mineral deposits, the state of intra region trade in South Asia was dismal.

 

 

According to UNCTAD’s Global Investment Trends Monitor, South-East Asia continued to outperform East Asia in growth of FDI, while South Asia saw its inflow rise by one-third after a slide in 2010. 
 

 

Veteran journalist and former diplomat Kuldip Nayar  backed the emerging idea for the formation of a South Asian Economic Union with “soft borders” among the nations and free movement of people to promote understanding and cooperation and unite the people across the boundaries.      
 

Bangladesh has been given the 130th place among the 184 countries rated as the freest to carry out business in.So far as South Asian nations are concerned, Bangladesh with its score point at 53.2 is trailing behind Sri Lanka (58.3), Bhutan (56.6), Pakistan (54.7), and India (54.6).

 

Moving past the global economic powerhouses like the UK, Germany and France, the Indian economy would become the world's fifth largest by 2020 – a major jump from its 10th rank currently, a report has said. As per the CEBR forecast, India would be followed by Brazil (6th), Germany (7th), UK (8th), France (9th) and Italy (10th) in the top-ten league.As per the report, CEBR's chief Douglas McWilliams told BBC Radio 4 that Brazil overtaking the UK was part of a growing trend.

 

Poverty affects 40 percent of people in Bangladesh, and malnutrition is among the highest in the world, with 56 percent of preschoolers underweight. In an effort to combat these alarming numbers, the International Potato Center (CIP) is launching a new program in disaster-prone southern Bangladesh to raise incomes and improve nutritional health through potato, sweetpotato, and vegetables.  

 

Notwithstanding strong opposition to foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, a Citi report today said the entry of global retailers like Walmart will increase competition in India's organised retail sector.In addition, USD 15-20 billion in FDI could flow into the country over the next 10 years as a result of the government's decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, the report by the global financial services major said.

 


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