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          Regional Trade Integrations: A Comparative Study - The Cases of GAFTA, COMESA, and SAPTA/SAFTA (English)
          Case study by Awad, Talib; Bakir, Amir; Mehra, Meeta Keswani; Pant, Manoj; Rojid, Sawkut; Sannassee, Vinesh; Seetanah, Boopen; Suraj, Fowdar, 2008, 92 pages
          Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, VI Members Research

          The study analyzes and compares three regional integration schemes in terms of their impact on intra-regional trade: the Great Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the South Asia Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA). Using revealed comparative advantage and regression analyses, the study finds that there is very limited potential for intra-regional trade within each of the three regions; that there was no substitution effect of the trade agreements between intra-regional trade and trade with the rest of the world; that there was not much trade created by the agreements; and that intra trade was characterized by a high level of geographical concentration, mainly among neighboring countries. A number of obstacles to trade are identified, which are somewhat similar across regions. Finally, policy recommendations are given to tackle these obstacles, which stem from political, economic, administrative, tariff and non-tariff, transportation and external factors. The study will be useful for scholars with an interst in the effectiveness of regional trade agreements, particularly in the three compared regions and might provide useful illustrations for relevant economics classes.

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