Department of Management Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus,
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Countries located in the SAARC region were reluctant to open-up their economies during 1960-70. During that time, protectionist policies failed generally in global world. East Asian economies (Asian Tigers) realized the importance of open trade policies and hence they adopted policies of outward orientation. In sub-sequent years they achieved remarkable growth rates. On the other hand, South Asian (SAARC) economies focused on the import substitution policies for their growth process.
However, observing growth journey of Asian Tigers, there was a shift in policies from inward-oriented to outward-oriented during late 1980s. Pakistan started to open its economy in 1988 after signing a structural program with IMF while India opened its economy in 1992. However, still trade to GDP ratio for the SAARC region is still very low as compared to other economies of the World.
Therefore, we are interested to find out the reasons and issues existing in the trade policies of the SAARC region countries.