RIS Discussion Papers 

(Relevant to Asian Economic Cooperation)

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Potential of Asian Economic Integration: A Perspective from the Strategy of Japanese Enterprises

Author: Tetsuji Kawamura

Number: 136, 2008

Abstract: The progress of the cooperation and economic integration of the region has a big potentiality for further industrial and economic development of the whole Asian region in general. IT industries have big potentiality for the future economic development of each country in the region. IT sectors will stimulate high-tech and lead the technological innovations in the economy and possibly lead the economic development of the region. Japanese firms have significant roles, as demonstrated by the experiences over the past three decades. The effective transfer of its capability-building system, or its significant human resources management and development system still has the key importance.

East Asian Infrastructure Development in a Comparative Global Perspective: An Analysis of RIS Infrastructure Index

Author: Nagesh Kumar & Prabir De

Number: 135, 2008

Abstract: Development of infrastructure is one of the key priorities of East Asia Summit (EAS) countries. By constructing an Infrastructure Index for 104 countries comprising all the EAS members, this paper examines the levels of infrastructure attainment of EAS countries in a comparative global perspective over time and space. It makes observations on the gaps between EAS countries in terms of infrastructure development, their overtime performance, and provides some policy recommendations for narrowing the gaps. The Infrastructure Index developed in this paper reveals very wide gaps in terms of infrastructure attainment across the EAS region, which seem to have widened rather than narrowed over time. The findings of this paper suggest that infrastructure development in the lagging EAS region needs to be paid due attention if the regional inequalities are not to widen further. The paper recommends creating a regional mechanism in order to utilize the region’s foreign exchange reserves for development of regional cross-border connectivity and other infrastructure services, which, if followed, will not only assist in generation of new demand within the region but also strengthen the regional integration process in EAS.

Towards An Asian “Bretton Woods” for Restructuring of the Regional Financial Architecture

Author: Ramgopal Agarwala

Number: 133, 2008

Abstract: Despite a plethora of programs for increased financial co-operation in Asia, there has been very little real progress in developing a regional architecture for financial co-operation in Asia. While the risks of repetition of 1997-98 style financial crisis in Asia are not high today, there are new risks of financial turbulence originating from sub-prime crisis in the US and new opportunities for using the financial strength of the region for accelerated growth with equity. To guard against these risks and to exploit these opportunities, a bold new initiative in the region is needed. The idea of Asian Monetary Fund proposed by Japan in 1998 needs to be revived, perhaps with a different nomenclature and a different terms of reference. This paper proposes a Reserve Bank of Asia which will be a combination of IMF and the World Bank at regional level. In order to respond to the current crisis, the major players in the region should develop a consensus on the outline of a regional financial architecture and call a conference of EAS countries to prepare Articles of Agreement for the institution much as was done at Bretton Woods some sixty years ago.

Regional Cooperation and Integration Prospects in Asia

Author: S Rajat Nag

Number: 131, 2008

Abstract: There is indeed a strong opportunity for South Asian countries to benefit from intensifying regional ties. As a regional policy dialogue becomes stronger and barriers are gradually eliminated, or at least substantially reduced, economic integration will intensify in the next decade or two. This is partly due to the very low level of integration it starts from. For instance, intraregional trade in South Asia accounts for only 5.5 per cent of total trade, as opposed to East Asia’s almost 60 per cent. As the region continues to build its economic infrastructure and new cross-border projects are implemented, these will not only intensify trade in goods and services, but also facilitate the movement of people. Easing existing cross-border impediments to trade and labour movements, will likely be the strongest economic driver over the coming decade. But the key to any experiment in cooperation and economic integration is political will.

Welfare Gains from Regional Economic Integration in Asia: ASEAN+3 or EASs

Author: S.K. Mohanty and Sanjib Pohiti

Number: 126, 2007

Abstract: The experiences of Asian countries suggest that the region has substantial economic potentials and synergies between these countries can be better tapped with comprehensive economic cooperation. With this approach formation of an Asian Economic Community is not too far away from now. Next phase of liberalisation in Asia should focus on deep economic integration. Sitting on the driving seat, ASEAN’s economic liberalisation in Asia. The core issue is , which group of countries between ASEAN+3 and East Asian Summit (EAS) countries, would elicit maximum benefit to the region in general and ASEAN in particular? Using an Applied General Equilibrium model in a monopolistic framework, the paper suggest that next Round of economic liberalisation may start with EAS.

Investment Provisions in Regional Trading Arrangements in Asia: Relevance, Emerging Trends, and Policy Implications

Author: Nagesh Kumar

Number: 125, 2007

Abstract: This paper summarizes the conceptual rationale for investment liberalization to fully exploit the potential of regional trading arrangements. It goes on to examine the treatment of investment in emerging FTAs/RTAs in the Asia-Pacific region and the specific investment provisions and their consistency with the existing multilateral provisions on investment, viz. WTO’s TRIMs Agreement. The provisions of ASEAN framework on investment area and industrial cooperation are summarized in Section 4. Section 5 briefly examines the trends in India’s RTAs policy in Asia and the emerging patterns of efficiency-seeking industrial restructuring unleashed by it. Finally Section 6 concludes the paper with a few remarks on the importance of a broader framework for regional economic integration.

Regional Economic Integration, Foreign Direct Investment and Efficiency-Seeking Industrial Restructuring in Asia: The Case of India

Author: Nagesh Kumar

Number: 123, 2007

Abstract: This paper examines the India’s RTAs policy in Asia and the emerging patterns of efficiency-seeking industrial restructuring unleashed by it. Section 2 provides a discussion of the analytical relationship between RTAs, patterns of trade, FDI resulting from the industrial restructuring. It also summarizes some examples of industrial restructuring of the type the EU’s Single Market Plan has led to. Section 3 summarizes the India’s RTA policy in Asia and indicators of its growing economic integration with East Asian countries. Section 4 highlights the emerging patterns of industrial restructuring resulting from India’s RTA’s policy. Section 5 concludes the paper with a few remarks on the importance of a broader framework for regional economic integration.

India’s Rising Role in Asia

Author: Mukul G. Asher

Number: 121, 2007

Abstract: This paper analyses recent developments in India’s external economic relations, with particular reference to Asia. India’s demonstrated capacity to sustain moderately high growth over a prolonged period, primarily led by private-sector companies provides an avenue for global risk diversification for major economic powers. The paper demonstrates that India’s qualitative and quantitative integration with the rest of Asia (and the world) is far deeper than commonly perceived. India must continue with the integration process; and with efforts to shift to 8 to 10 per cent sustained growth path if it is to reduce poverty and improve quality of life of its 1.1 billion people. There is no room for complacency as India faces severe challenges in sustaining and developing competitiveness in manufacturing, agriculture and services. Higher growth path will require enhancing complementarities and cooperation among public and private sectors; and taking advantage of India’s demographic trends. The paper strongly urges India’s political parties, media, and other elites to strategically and vigorously pursue country’s core economic and strategic interests to meet challenges arising from competing nations.

Addressing Global Growth Asymmetries through Regional Trade Integration: Some Explorations

Author: Ram Upendra Das & Ramaa Sambamurty

Number: 116, 2006

Abstract: Globalization process has entailed trade openness, greater emphasis on foreign direct investment, stabilization policies, redefining the role of the state, among others. Given that another major global trend observed is one of regional trade integration, the paper explores whether due to this trend there has been any concrete relationship with the growth convergence/divergence outcomes. Tests of Beta-convergence under different model specifications suggest that over time developed and developing countries have not converged in terms of their real per capita GDP though they have converged within their own groups of developed and developing countries. Thus, it is concluded that regional trade integration leads to growth convergence regionally and both openness to global trade and regional trade openness are important. However, the results of the paper need to be interpreted with caution due to the presence of non-stationarity, though the problem is not uniform across variables, tests and regional groupings. A policy inference that can be drawn is that at the global level ‘economic cooperation for economic growth convergence’ needs to be flagged and appropriate institutional mechanisms created to intensify the processes of trade and FDI integration. Broadly, the results are in consonance with the predictions of the New Growth Theories.

India’s Regional Trading Arrangements

Author: Rajesh Mehta and S. Narayana

Number: 114, 2006

Abstract: This paper presents a brief non-technical overview of the conceptual basis of RTAs by highlighting the implications of concepts like trade creation and trade diversion. The paper then moves to pinpointing some of the global trends in RTAs to place the Indian engagements in a perspective. The patterns of India’s regional economic initiatives are analyzed by presenting the factual account of the same. A brief over view of possible welfare and human development implications of RTAs in general and of India in particular are also dealt.

Regional Cooperation for Asian Energy Security

Author: Vipul Tuli

Number: 112, 2006

Abstract: This paper attempts to convey three key messages: First, we believe interdependence in energy among Asian countries is vital for the economic development of key Asian countries. Second, there are several key impediments to increasing Asian interdependence; we believe addressing these impediments is critical. Finally, we suggest some ideas on opportunities for Asian nations to find a common ground on energy security, stability and sustainability.

Monetary and Financial Cooperation in Asia: Emerging Trends and Prospects

Author: Ramkishen S. Rajan

Number: 107, 2006

Abstract: Ever since the currency crisis of 1997-98 there has been a great deal of interest in enhancing regional economic cooperation in Asia. It is important to keep in mind that economic regionalism is multidimensional nature. The focus of this paper is on policy initiatives underway in Asia to enhance monetary and financial regionalism and the analytical bases for these initiatives, rather than on examining the de facto level of financial and monetary links that already exists (which may or may not have been facilitated via regional policy mechanisms). There are many gradations of monetary and financial regional cooperation, ranging from the weak form involving regional policy dialogue and surveillance, on the one hand, to exchange rate and monetary coordination, on the other. To maintain focus, this paper concentrates more narrowly on “medium forms” of monetary and financial regionalism, broadly defined as the development of regional liquidity arrangements and regional financial markets.

Japan and an Asian Economic Community

Author: Masanori Kondo

Number: 106, 2006

Abstract: Until recently, most Japanese considered the gaining momentum of Asian economic integration in the frame of ASEAN+3. With India maintaining a high economic growth rate and its population being predicted to overtake China as the most populous country in Asia is leading many to rethink the importance of India to Asian economic integration. In order to find a political and economic counterbalance to China, the Japanese government has also put effort in vitalizing the Japan-India relationship. India following its ‘Look East’ policy has been successful in improving its economic relations with Korea, China and Japan. However, with some exceptions, Japanese businesses are behind other countries (especially US, UK, and South Korea) towards investing in India. While there are indeed many unique difficulties involved in entering the Indian market, the massive consumer potential of the population combined with a skilled and numerous labour pool allows many South Korean and American firms to attain great success there. Japanese and Indian policymakers have great designs for the relationship between the two countries, but it is only when Japanese firms step up and make the needed large scale commitment in India that Indo-Japanese trade will start to grow.

India-Vietnam Trade: Current Relations and Prospects

Author: Rajesh Mehta

Number: 105, 2005

Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to analyse the level, growth and composition of India-Vietnam Trade in goods, identify sectors/products in which India has export potential in Vietnam, if a duty free regime is agreed between India and Vietnam, and examine the implication of India-Vietnam bilateral free trade agreement. Our preliminary results show that India has export potential in number of sectors, if a duty free regime is agreed between Indian and Vietnam. The identified commodity groups are: edible fruits and nuts, etc., textile and apparel, fruit bear etc., and transport vehicles. These commodity groups have been identified on the basis of criteria that India has comparative advantage, Vietnam has import demand, and Vietnam has relatively high levels of MFN tariffs.

Emergence of China and India in the New Millennium: Will it Facilitate Market Access for LDCs and Developing Countries?

Author(s): S.K. Mohanty and Sachin Chaturvedi

Number: 101, 2005

Abstract: China and India have emerged as highly dynamic economies in recent years. In the Asian region their growth and economic expansion has generated its own complementarities. The paper has empirically shown that surge in the exports of these two countries have significantly contributed to their overall economic growth. Towards this end, both the countries have relied on LDCs and developing countries for their imports and on markets of industrialised economies for exports. The import dependence of India and China is mostly on the industrial intermediate sector, which is critical for their exports. It is advantageous for LDCs and developing countries to closely tie up with these growing economies to get in to their fast expanding markets, but the process is not automatic. Developing countries, particularly LDCs, have to adopt long term strategies to concretise their economic relationship with these two countries to secure persistent market access. Supply and technology constraints in LDCs and other countries may be addressed explicitly, and relevance of these two countries as suppliers of FDI and technology is examined. India and China have made steady progress in frontier technologies such as ICT and biotechnology, and they may provide easy access to these technologies to LDCs and other developing countries.

Towards a Broader Asian Community: Agenda for the East Asia Summit

Author: Nagesh Kumar

Number: 100, 2005

Abstract: Drawing upon the recent work conducted at RIS and other think-tanks, this paper finds a compelling case for broader regional economic integration in Asia. It finds a case for formation of a broader economic community in East Asia coalescing the emerging web of FTAs linking Japan, ASEAN, China, India and Korea into a region-wide or an East Asian RTA that could be a core of an East Asian Community. The East Asian Community could be eventually expanded to cover other Asian countries in an Asian Economic Community. It has been shown that economic integration in East Asia or JACIK could enable the region to resume its rapid growth and help it emerge as the center of gravity in the world economy. The simulations made suggest that such a grouping would enhance welfare of the partners as well of the rest of the world, hence would be a win-win for the world economy. It also discusses the potential of cooperation in other areas such as monetary and financial system, energy security, new technologies, global governance and security. It is concluded with an agenda for the East Asia Summit.

Advancing the ASEAN-India Partnership in the New Millennium

Author: Ong Keng Yong

Number: 96, 2005

Abstract: India has an emerging web of cooperation with East Asian countries, especially ASEAN through the ASEAN-India dialogue process, the bilateral free trade agreements with Singapore and Thailand and sub-regional initiatives such as the Mekong-Ganga cooperation and the BIMST-EC. In this discussion paper the ASEAN Secretary-General focuses on the need to develop a partnership between ASEAN and India that has the dual objectives of addressing the challenges of globalisation and working closely to reap the opportunities of the same universal phenomena. There are enough opportunities and challenges to compel ASEAN and India to work closely in maintaining peace and stability, expanding economic linkages and improving the critical human capacities. The paper also presents ten points for Advancing ASEAN-India People-to-People Partnership.

Title: Asian Energy Outlook to 2020: Trends, Patterns and Imperatives of Regional Cooperation

Author(s): Kokichi Ito, Zhidong and Ryoichi Komiyama

Number:  93, 2005

Abstract: With booming economic growth Asia will play increasingly important role in global economic and energy matters. World primary energy consumption is projected to expand at an average annual growth rate of 2.1 percent by 2020. About 70 percent of the increase would be accounted for by non-OECD member economies, two thirds of which are from the Asian region. The increase in demand for oil in Asia will most likely amplify the dependency on shipments from other regions (particularly the Middle East). Ensuring energy security would therefore turn out to be a vital task. In Asia (particularly East Asia), the achievement of the “three Es” (economic development, energy security, and environmental preservation) could no longer be viewed as a task to be addressed by each economy separately. Instead, it should be approached through region-wide cooperation - a goal of common interest.

Title: Regional Trade and Investment Architecture in Asia-Pacific: Emerging Trends and Imperatives

Author(s): Tiziana Bonapce

Number:  92, 2005

Abstract: Regionalism has become a key component of the new international order. It offers to the governments of developed and developing countries a new and attractive complementary strategy to multilateralism. Most countries of the world today belong to one or more regional trading arrangements of some kind covering more than two-thirds of the trade conducted. The Asia Pacific region is no exception to this trend. This paper examines the evolving regional trading panorama in the Asia Pacific region with its recent surge in bilateralism and its implications for evolving a regional trade and investment architecture. It argues that by facilitating the development of a seamless, region-wide zone of trade and investment, the region will enhance its prospects for becoming world’s center of economic growth and prosperity by 2020.

Title: India-East Asia Integration: A Win Win for Asia

Author(s): Mukul G. Asher and Rahul Sen

Number:  91, 2005

Abstract: This paper argues that India’s unilateral liberalization policies since the early 1990s, and purposeful and strategic pursual of its Look East Policy has resulted in considerably greater integration with the rest of Asia than is commonly realized or acknowledged. Moreover, the enabling conditions for greater economic integration among major Asian economies have been laid. If Asia is to increase its economic and political weight in the world affairs, India’s involvement would have to be an integral part of the Asia-wide cooperation. It is in this context that closer cooperation among Japan, ASEAN, South Korea, India, and China would provide considerable win-win opportunities and will have far ranging implications for the world.

Title: Strategic Relevance of Asian Economic Integration

Author(s): Eric Teo Chu Cheow

Number:  90, 2005

Abstract: As the spread of SARS had shown last year, the longer-term goal of an East Asian Community (ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea) may already be crystallizing much faster than was initially thought, thanks to increasing people-to-people contacts and the freer movement of goods, services, tourists and expatriates across the whole region. India appears poised to be joining this Asian movement too.

Title: China Role in the Asian Economic Unification Process

Author(s): Yao Chao Cheng

Number:  89, 2005

Abstract: The 21st century, as being said the world over, will belong to Asia. The regional economic cooperation in Asia is developing fast and well with the ASEAN as a center and with the positive participations of major Asian nations such as China, India and Japan. The cooperation has shown that the Asian economic unification is in process. We believe that the economic unification process shall result in an Asian economic community. The integrated cooperation is the best way for Asian nations to make common development and the "fault lines" as proposed in Samuel Huntington’s paradigm1 can be repaired and transcended in the unification process.

Title: Regional Cooperation for Poverty Alleviation and Food Security in South Asia 

Author(s): Sachin Chaturvedi

Number:  87, 2004

Abstract: This paper explores the various options available within the framework of regional cooperation for addressing issues like poverty alleviation and food security in the Asian region. This becomes important in context of Doha Development Agenda (DDA) which has called for linking up trade with poverty reduction efforts. The paper suggests joint marketing of various products from Asian developing countries for increasing the market profile, apart from collectively addressing issues like introduction of new technologies for enhancing productivity. The paper also addresses some of the policy constraints such as restricted market access, growing digital divide and emerging non-tariff barriers to be attended on a priority basis

Title: Transaction Costs as Barriers to Economic Integration in Asia: An Empirical Exploration

Author(s): Saikat Sinha Roy

Number:  79, 2004

Abstract: This paper examines complementarities in merchandise trade and potentials for intra-regional transfers of investments, technology and skills in Asia. The analysis shows that intra-regional trade was substantial and growing, but trade complementarities were limited. Asian countries have also emerged as sources of as well as destinations for investment, technology and skills. In the event of a formal regional integration arrangement in Asia, there is potential for intra-regional trade, investments, technology transfers and skill movements. Substantial gains in regional welfare are also expected.

Title: Towards Formation of Close Economic Cooperation among Asian Countries

Author(s): S K Mohanty, Sanjib Pohit, and Saikat Sinha Roy

78, 2004

There have been several attempts in the past for the formation of an Asian Economic Community (AEC) with a view to enhance continental welfare within stipulated timeframe. The formation of a Close Economic Relation (CER) among some of the vibrant economies of the region, particularly JACIK Member countries (ASEAN plus three plus one) would be of immense importance in attaining such a goal. Three alternative forms of comprehensive economic liberalisation schemes may be envisaged. In this paper an effort has been made to examine the implication of CER on the region using monopolistic version of Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) for the JACIK countries. The model has been used to examine the implications of complete liberalisation of trade, investment and movement of natural persons. The results show that the proposed CER may enhance global welfare as well as welfare for individual countries in the caucus. Following formation of the proposed CER, the absolute increase in regional welfare may go beyond US$ 210 billion per annum amounting to more than 3 per cent of the region’s GNP. The implications of the CER on the regional economy would be favourable in improving production efficiency, expanding exports apart from increasing returns on capital and labour.

Title: Transaction Costs as Barriers to Economic Integration in Asia: An Empirical Exploration

Author(s): Prabir De

Number:  77, 2004

Abstract: Recent literature has emphasized the importance of transaction costs and infrastructure in explaining trade, access to markets, and regional cooperation under globalization. For most Asian countries, transaction cost works as a strong barrier to trade integration than import tariff. By estimating a structural model of economic geography using cross-country data on income, infrastructure, transaction costs and trade of selected Asian economies, this paper provides evidence that transaction cost is statistically significant and important in explaining variation in trade in Asia. In addition, the study also finds that port efficiency and infrastructure quality are two important determinants of transaction costs.

Title: Transport Cooperation in BIMST-EC: Issues and Way Forward

Author(s): Prabir De

Number:  75, 2004

Abstract: The growth of regional trading blocs has been one of the major developments in international relations in recent years; all countries are now members of at least one bloc and many belong to more than one. The major contributing factor to rising regional integration across many parts of the world has been improved integrated transport systems which has facilitated nesting of regional and/or sub-regional markets. This paper finds that the scale of intra-regional infrastructure disparity in BIMST-EC is quite significant resulting in wider scope for stronger economic interdependence in the region. The paper concludes that although at present there is limited interdependence among BIMST-EC members in terms of intra-regional trade, a stronger and desirable intra-regional trade is contingent upon improved transport network among BIMST-EC countries. This is not a difficult task as these countries not only belong to the same geographical rim but also they have a strong historical and cultural bond.

Title: ASEAN-India Economic Relations: Current Status and Future Prospects

Author(s): Rahul Sen, Mukul G. Asher and Ramkishen S. Rajan

Number:  73, 2004

Abstract: This paper analyzes recent trends in merchandise trade, services, investments, and manpower flows between India and ASEAN, and assesses future prospects for economic cooperation. Since India’s Look-East policy initiated in the early 1990s, there has been steady progress in economic cooperation and supporting institutional structures between India and ASEAN. There has also been a welcome diversification of India’s trade with ASEAN both in terms of the share of individual members in total trade, and goods and services being traded. The analysis in the paper is consistent with the view that India’s economic structure is largely complementary to ASEAN economies, and therefore there are significant opportunities for mutual gain. In Indian policy and business circles, ASEAN continues to be regarded as an economically important region. The paper however argues that a mindset change is needed among ASEAN policy makers and businesses before potential for mutual gains can be fully tapped. The paper concludes with specific suggestions for expanding cooperation between India and ASEAN countries.

Title: National Innovation Systems and India’s IT Capability: Are there any lessons for ASEAN Newcomers?  

Author(s): Nagesh Kumar  and K.J. Joseph

Number:  72, 2004

Abstract: This paper traces the factors that have led to the build-up of substantial IT capability by India. It is shown that the National System of Innovation evolved overtime as an outcome of the policies initiated by the government, has been instrumental in facilitating India’s IT success. These included, but not limited to, development of a system of higher education in engineering and technical disciplines, creation of an institutional infrastructure for S&T policy making and implementation, building centres of excellence and numerous other institutions for technology development. In addition, the institutional interventions like the setting up of the software technology parks were highly helpful for IT exports. The paper then draws lessons from the Indian experience for the new members of ASEAN viz. Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam in their attempt in harnessing the potential of ICTs. The paper argues that though the road ahead is long as well as rocky, much could be learned from India in to facilitate their leapfrogging. The paper also underscores the need for cooperating with India in developing their IT capabilities.

Title: Monetary Cooperation in South Asia: Potential and Prospects

Author(s): Sweta Chaman Saxena and Mirza Allim Baig 

Number:  71, 2004

Abstract: This paper examines the potential and prospects of monetary cooperation in South Asia. A close appraisal of optimum currency area criteria, macroeconomic convergence criteria, and geo-political factors suggests that there are huge potential and growing prospects for monetary cooperation in the region. The study recognizes that monetary cooperation is essential for growth and prosperity in the region, but a lot more needs to be done to achieve the goal of monetary and economic union. The paper suggests road map on the way to the full form of monetary cooperation in the region

Title: India-ASEAN Cooperation in Information and Communication Technologies: Issues and Prospects

Author(s): K.J Joseph and Govindan Parayil 

Number:  70, 2004

Abstract: Against the backdrop of India-ASEAN cooperation since the early 1990s, and the recent initiatives towards taking the partnership to new heights, the present paper examines India ASEAN cooperation in IT during the recent past and highlights the prospects for the future. It has been argued that India-ASEAN cooperation could be instrumental in addressing the ASEAN divide – the development gap between old and new ASEAN countries. For India, it could help diversifying its software export markets on the one hand and facilitate reviving its lagging hardware sector. Also, an exploitation of the synergies between India’s software capability and the hardware capability of old ASEAN could facilitate enhancing the IT capability in Asia as a whole – a prerequisite for making 21st century Asia’s century. While, a good beginning has been made at the instance of Governments and private sector, the paper calls for hastening the process and highlights certain specific areas for focused actions.

Title: Issues Related to India’s Energy Trading with Central Asian Countries

Author(s): Barnali Nag 

Number:  69, 2003

Abstract: India, with its rapidly increasing energy demand and stagnating domestic oil reserves offers a large potential market for the oil and gas reserves of the Central Asian countries. This paper discusses the various issues, which need to be resolved before India can venture into any long-term energy import agreement with the countries of Central Asia. These include factors related to geopolitical stability, geographical inaccessibility and underdeveloped international as well as domestic gas markets. Additionally, detailed cost benefit comparison of transportation routes is required along with evaluation of transportation options of oil and gas through pipelines vis-ŕ-vis road.

Title: India’s Monetary Integration with East Asia- A Feasibility Study

Author(s): Sweta Chaman Saxena

Number:  64, 2003

Abstract: This paper examines the relevance of India’s monetary integration monetary integration with east and Southeast Asia in particular the existence of the economic criteria for a common currency. The analysis in this paper shows that significant complementarities in trade exist among these countries, most of them experience similar shocks and labour mobility is already present. These results point to the fact that the cost of adopting a single currency may be minimal, while huge benefits could accrue from enhanced trade. The paper also recognizes the importance of yen for the success of the monetary union in Asia.

Title: Economic Cooperation between India and Central Asian Republics with Special Reference to Uzbekistan

Author(s): Abdurahim Okunov Abduraxmonovich

Number:  53, 2003

Abstract: The issue of economic cooperation between India and Central Asia and Uzbekistan, in particular, is the focus of this study. Section I analyzes economic development of Uzbekistan and India. Section II profiles briefly the economic performance of Central Asian countries. Indo-Uzbek bilateral economic relations are analyzed in Section III. A special emphasis is placed in Section IV on identifying constraints in cooperation. Finally, in Section V some policy recommendations have been made for intensifying  economic cooperation between India and Uzbekistan. 


Title: India and the Asian Economic Community

Author(s): Mukul G. Asher and Sadhna Srivastava

Number:  51, 2003

Abstract: There is increasing recognition that even as Asian countries engage in competition, Asia-wide communication and dialogue, constructive co-operation, and institution building through JACIK (or similar forum) provide much sounder base for securing Asia’s future and its rightful place in the world community than the current sub-regional efforts. There is therefore urgency in establishing an Asia-wide forum such as JACIK. Given India’s gradual emergence as a knowledge-based economy and the existence of wide-ranging complementarities with other JACIK countries, India is poised to play an important role in the proposed new Asian Economic Community.

Title: ASEAN's Contribution to the Building of an Asian Economic Community

Author(s): K.Kesavapany

Number:  50

Abstract: Currently, ASEAN holds separate annual summit meetings with China, Japan and Korea within the ASEAN+3 framework, and will also be holding similar meetings with India. In the context of an Asian Economic Community, ASEAN thus could serve as a vital link between India and the East Asian economies. Hopefully, this could lead to the establishment of an ASEAN+4 framework. Such a framework would enable North and Southeast Asia to interact more effectively with India.

Title: A Road to Common Prosperity-- Examination of An FTA between India and China

Author(s): Li Wei

Number:  49, 2003

Abstract: In this paper the authors makes a strong plea for a bilateral FTA between India and China.


Title: Towards an Economic Community- Exploring the Past

Author(s): Vineeta Shankar 

Number:  47, 2003

Abstract: The paper sketches the historical roots of the Asian community. It shows that these historical ties run deep and can be traced back to the pre-Christian Era. It brings out the close economic links that bound the region into a highly developed, complex and flourishing network of regional trade. It also highlights the importance of these regional economic relations not only in the growth and prosperity of the region but also as the very basis of the expanding long distance trade. Interaction among the Asian countries was not limited to the economic but went beyond to include social, political, cultural and religious aspects.

Title: Towards a Multipolar World of International Finance

Author(s): Ramgopal Agarwala and Gauri Modwel

Number:  46, 2003

Abstract: The domestic policy reforms proposals have to be seen in the political economy context of the benefits accruing to the leader under the current unipolar international financial system. The only viable alternative to the countries adversely affected by the unipolar financial world is to reduce their dependence on the current international system and develop their own regional financial architecture. Europe has made a good beginning in that direction. Asia should now follow suit.

Title: Possibility of Close Economic Cooperation between India and Singapore

Author(s): S.K Mohanty

Number:  45, 2003

Abstract: This paper shows that the two countries have high degree of economic potentials to complement each other for mutual benefit. The close economic cooperation should not be extended only up to Free Trade Area, but should encompass more strategic economic areas for cooperation such as investment, joint production and marketing, and cooperation in trade in services


Author(s): Rajesh Mehta

Number:  41, 2003

Abstract: The paper examines the scope, extent and focus of a possible free trade agreement between India and Singapore. Section I gives an overview of the Singapore economy. A brief outline of Singapore trade policy regime is presented in Section II. Further sections of the paper deals with: measures affecting Singapore imports; Singapore’s trade; Indo-Singapore trade relations; foreign direct investment flows; electronic industry; information technology; and some select issues economic cooperation between India and Singapore.

Title: Towards an Asian Economic Community- The Relevance of India

Author(s): Nagesh Kumar

Number:  34, 2003

Abstract: This paper, takes a detailed look at the relevance of India in the core group JACIK for initiating the Asian Economic Community. This is examined in terms of the macroeconomic performance indicators, progress of reforms and liberalization, attempts at regional economic integration, intensity of economic linkages and complementarities with other JACIK economies.

Title: Towards an Asian Economic Community- Monetary and Financial Cooperation

Author(s): Ramgopal Agarwala

Number:  33, 2002

Abstract: It argues that Asia is now trapped in the greatest slump of the last fifty years and is becoming more dependent on non-regionals. Business as usual with fragmented efforts at regional cooperation, growing dependence on outside players in terms of trade, finance and investment as well development paradigm is likely to lead to a continuation of the present slump. What is needed is restoration of confidence in the Asian development paradigm (as pioneered by Japan and successfully followed by major East Asian countries) and establishment of Asian institutions to provide intellectual and financial support to such policies that can restore growth momentum in Asia.

Title: Towards an Asian Economic Community--Vision of Closer Economic Cooperation in Asia- An Overview

Author(s): Nagesh Kumar

Number:  32, 2002

Abstract: This study was conducted under the project, ‘Enhancing Trade and Investment Cooperation in Asia: Issues, Policies and Institutional Reform’, (now known as Towards Asian Economic Community, after broadening of its scope and the nature of its policy recommendations) which presents a case for an Asian Economic Community (AEC) that would be broader in coverage than the current programs for economic co-operation in regions such as East Asia, South Asia and Central Asia. Such a grouping would facilitate fuller exploitation of the region’s considerable resources –material as well as human—for expediting the process of its development. The project seeks to review the rationale, significance and relevance of Asia-wide economic integration and to provide a vision and a framework for the AEC. This would include the scope and coverage of AEC covering various key segments and sequencing. Finally it will discuss the policy challenges and will outline a roadmap for further work on the subject. The Project was launched in October 2001 with the financial support of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. This paper presents an overview of the progress of the work completed so far and outlines the work planned for the 2002-2003 period.

Title: Establishment of Free Trade Arrangement Among BIMSTEC Countries- Some Issues

Author(s): Rajesh Mehta

Number:  23, 2003

Abstract: In order to achieve the goal of entering into a free trade agreement, the meeting of BIMST-EC Trade and Economic Ministers, in April 2000, decided to constitute a Inter-Governmental Group (IGG) to prepare a concept paper “on possible approaches towards a preferential trading arrangement leading to a free trade area in BIMST-EC.” The IGG discussed the various issues related to formation of FTA of BIMST-EC.

Sections II, III and IV of this paper discuss the three aspects relating to free trading arrangement of BIMST-EC: (i) impact of free trade agreement on trade creation and trade diversion, (ii) pros and cons of alternative approaches of FTA, and (iii) trade relation of India with BIMST-EC countries. Section V summarises concluding observations.