The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The paper evaluates the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) within the global structure of overlapping regional trade agreements (RTAs) using a modified gravity equation. First, it examines the effects of the Trade Liberalization Program which started in 2006. SAFTA would have a minor effect on regional trade flows and the impact on custom duties would be a manageable fiscal shock for most members. Second, the paper ranks the trade effects of other potential RTAs for individual South Asian countries and SAFTA: RTAs with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the European Union (EU) dominate one with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).