An enhanced regional cooperation can bolster the region’s capabilities to fight the Covid pandemic and its economic losses in the near term and simultaneously bring long-term benefits through increased intraregional trade, acceleration in shared growth and poverty reduction, according to the International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh.
ICC Bangladesh in its quarterly news bulletin (January-March) published on Wednesday also said that the governments and businesses must come together to that extent.
In South Asia’s intraregional trade accounts for barely 5 per cent of total trade, compared to the ASEAN region where intraregional trade makes up 25 per cent.
Trade among South Asian countries currently totals just $23 billion — far below an estimated value of at least $67 billion. To grow back stronger, South Asian countries will need first to redouble their efforts to diversify their economies, while at the same time taking stock of global trends initiated by the crisis, such as restoring of global value chains and a decreased appetite for contact-intensive services, it said.
Achieving resilience to external shocks should be among the most important considerations within the decision framework for policymakers in South Asia who are currently rethinking their industrial policies.
The whole world again advancing towards lockdowns and other social restrictions, which will impact the region’s economy further, it added.
Under the circumstances, it is unpredictable to estimate further economic damages, it said, adding ‘But as most of the South Asian countries are able to manage crisis, it is of utmost importance for the governments and all stakeholders to work together and share their experiences, like in the past, to face the challenges successfully and lead the world economy in future.’
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