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Inclusive growth and trade facilitation: Insights from South Asia

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South Asian economies have made substantial gains in output during recent years, with expansion rates that have far exceeded the global averages. This acceleration of growth, in which international trade has played an important role, has helped South Asian economies make impressive strides in human development. However, the region still contains about 47 per cent of the world’s poor earning US$ 1 per day, of which a majority is living in least developed countries and in border areas of other South Asian countries. Apparently, people in border areas and landlocked countries in South Asia are among those most affected by a lack of adequate access to trade-led globalization. The welfare of South Asia’s poor strongly depends on how trade at borders benefits the local economy including landlocked areas, where the concentration of the poor is comparatively high. This policy brief discusses some emerging issues concerning trade facilitation and pro-poor growth in South Asia, many of which are also relevant to other developing Asian subregions.

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