Extended South Asian Region - I
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Issue Vol 22.2 Apr-Jun2007 | Date : 01 Oct , 2011

India is seen as a potential market for US products.

In South Asia global economic integration is viewed as a dangerous virus, invading and destroying traditional cultures and values – generating gender and societal confusion, crushing the aspirations of millions of under-skilled workers, and exacerbating inequality, unemployment, insecurity and instability. The focus has, therefore to be on regional cooperation and security, which is tied to economic progress. South Asia needs integrated rail and road systems, regional power and gas grids and the dismantling of artificial impediments to the free flow of goods, services and capital. Restrictions on bilateral trade are forcing import of goods from third countries, which can be traded far more economically and efficiently at prices that can be competitive.

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Bifurcation of India into Pakistan and India and later Bangladesh, split a single economic entity into three parts that ceased all economic cooperation amongst themselves. Though the best way to avoid war is to make nations inter-dependent, the depths and historical roots of the suspicion and hatred that many national groups have for each other are profound in South Asia. A beginning has been made to secure regional interests through the platform of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). It is the largest regional economic and political organisation in the world, established on 8 December 1985 by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. Its GDP (PPP, 2005) is $4,074,031 million. Its increasing importance is underscored by increase in its membership and countries having observer status at its meetings. However, SAARC trade is less than 5% of overall trade of the region.

India is seen as a potential market for US products. Let us take the example of Coca-Cola, the most ubiquitous brand in history, with 9 million retail outlets all over the world (not considering bars and restaurants), with 1.2 billion servings (8 oz.) consumed daily around the world. Coke has 18% share of the global non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverage market, with about $ 60 billion as its estimated annual global sales (including its bottling partners. The per capita annual consumption of Coca Cola (8 oz. servings).

Continued…: Extended South Asian Region – II 

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