Challenges to Economic Cooperation
Chapter 30: The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
Page 275 30 The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) We take a mapoftheworld view of Asia and examine the South Asian regionspecific institutionalized cooperation of India and six other sovereign nationstatebased economies. Belonging to the map of the region is the core argument for geoeconomics. The sovereign economies of Laos, Cambodia and Mayanmar wait to become members of one or another regional association. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is another institutionalized expression of a specific regional grouping of seven sovereign member economies—Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka—with a population base of 1.12 billion in 1990. (Bangladesh—113.68 million; Bhutan—1.54 million; India—846.19 million; Maldives—213, 000; Nepal—19.57 million; Pakistan—118.12 million, and Sri Lanka—17.23 million) (United Nations, 1994, p. 108). The push factor of geoeconomics has been evident. In 1985, the Western European economic community adopted the Single European Act. It was evident that the economic regionalization movement in Western Europe would continue to gather momentum and the rest of the world was anticipating what then came as the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, followed by the institution of the EU. The ANZCER agreement was signed in January 1983. In neighboring Southeast Asia, ASEAN— Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand—encouraged by their achievements of intraregional cooperation since 1967, signed the Bali Declaration in 1976 with a more pronounced intraregional economic agenda. In 1985, Brunei Darussalam became a...
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