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Jose Daniel Rodríguez-Delgado
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).
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In a press release issued on July 28, the IMF announced it has approved a 17-month Stand-By credit for Russia equivalent to SDR 3.3 billion (about $4.5 billion) to support the government’s 1999–2000 economic program. There will be seven equal disbursements of SDR 471.4 million (about $640 million), with the first installment to be released immediately. Subsequent installments will depend on quarterly reviews being completed and performance criteria and structural benchmarks beingmet. At the conclusion of the IMF Executive Board meeting, IMF First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer made the following statement.