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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2021

Amlan Haque and Md Shamirul Islam

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has presented an opportunity to set aside traditional regional collaborations and take responsible leadership to overcome difficult…

Abstract

Purpose

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has presented an opportunity to set aside traditional regional collaborations and take responsible leadership to overcome difficult times. This paper aims to explore the current COVID-19 vaccination progress and pandemic status for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries and suggests responsible leadership to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to think beyond.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper offers a viewpoint of the current COVID-19 vaccination among eight SAARC nations. It scrutinises the recent COVID-19 vaccination statistics for the eight South Asian countries based on Web-based analytics and comparative analysis until 28 August 2021.

Findings

This paper calls for collaborative decisions and responsible actions for policymakers in the SAARC countries to deal with the COVID-19 vaccination crisis. When South Asian countries are fraught with the increasing number of populations with COVID-19 cases, deaths and acute shortage of life-saving vaccines, it is time for their national and SAARC leaders to strengthen regional cooperations and initiate collaborative actions. The paper demonstrates that implementing responsible leadership can result in favourable outcomes for individuals, organisations, regions and the world. Moreover, this paper suggests SAARC, through responsible actions, has the potentiality to overcome the current crisis of COVID-19 vaccination and enhance the regional sustainability of the South Asian nations.

Originality/value

This paper delivers information about the present developing situation of COVID-19 vaccination in SAARC countries, how the governments and regional leadership are handling and future challenges that have been raised and can be overcome effectively. This paper can be helpful for the policymakers and SAARC leaders for effective public health interventions in the region and to develop a recovery roadmap for the sustainable economic zone.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

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Article
Publication date: 21 December 2020

Mamta Kumari and Nalin Bharti

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test theory-driven hypothesis on trade costs’ effect of logistics performance (LP) and bureaucratic efficiency, primarily from…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test theory-driven hypothesis on trade costs’ effect of logistics performance (LP) and bureaucratic efficiency, primarily from SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper develops hypothesis based on the review of the literature and theory linking LP, trade costs and institutions. The authors test the hypothesis using secondary data sources: World Bank-UNESCAP trade costs database, World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) and Political Risk Service's Political Risk Rating. Fixed-effect approach is used to test the hypothesis.

Findings

The influential role of bureaucratic quality on relationship between LPI and South Asian trade costs (inter-SAARC and intra-SAARC) is evident. The results also point out that bureaucratic quality also conditions the effect of different dimensions of LPI on South Asian trade costs. Further, it is found that bureaucratic inefficiency mitigates the effects of LPI on South Asia's trade costs with its proximate trading partners APEC (Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation) and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia Nations).

Research limitations/implications

The analysis is conducted using short span of data. With the availability of long span of data, the understanding of the relationship studies in this paper will improve.

Practical implications

The results suggests policymakers to improve bureaucratic efficiency for utilizing the full potential effect of LPI in deceasing trade costs. The study inspires businesses to act and advocate in favor of reforms in governance system.

Originality/value

This paper is among the first, which investigates the possibility that the relationship between LPI and trade costs depends on the bureaucratic efficiency. It provides a more detailed description of the LPI-trade costs relationship.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2012

Amzad Hossain

The purpose of this paper is to examine and compare the indicators of k‐economy to assess whether their status of development helps to improve such indicators in the SAARC

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine and compare the indicators of k‐economy to assess whether their status of development helps to improve such indicators in the SAARC. Furthermore, the study also aims to create linkage among the indicators of k‐economy, economic integration process in the SAARC, and the knowledge conversion model.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts comparative analyses of the indicators of k‐economy. Indicators are considered under three tracks such as: socio‐economic, economic and ICT infrastructure. Socio‐economic indicators – poverty index, literacy rate, public expenditure on education, R&D expenditure, enrolment of tertiary education, number of researchers in R&D, participation in international agency. Economic indicators – per‐capita real GDP, real GDP growth rate, share of GDP by sector, structure of trade, inflation and unemployment rate. ICT infrastructure indicators – telephone main lines per 100 people, cellular users per 100 people, broadband per 100 people, and internet users per 100 people. The data are obtained from publications, existing reports and web sites of international organizations.

Findings

The indicators of k‐economy demonstrate deprived developmental status with increasing trends in the SAARC member countries. As a result, SAARC demonstrates poor growth in terms of knowledge development as compared to other economic integrations in Asia such as APT. There is a considerable variation in most of the indicators among the member states as measured by CV (coefficient of variation) although they lay in low‐income county status. The people of the SAARC countries like to adopt with the ICT easily if the opportunity is provided. The study revealed that the countries in the SAARC should carefully follow the knowledge creation, conversion, implementation and reverse follow‐up process to meet specific indicator based needs of the specific sector of particular members considering their social and financial affordability in the local context.

Research limitations/implications

The study does not use the same year's data for all the indicators applied in this paper due to lack of data availability.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper will be useful to formulate effective policies to improve the indicators of k‐economy in the SAARC. This will be influential for the SAARC to be a competitive integration.

Originality/value

This study provides comparative empirical evidence of variation in the indicators of k‐economy among the SAARC member countries contribute to improve such indicators. The paper also creates linkage among the indicators of k‐economy, economic integration process in the SAARC, and the knowledge conversion model.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Monica Singhania and Shachi Prakash

The purpose of this paper is to examine cross-correlation in stock returns of SAARC countries, conditional and unconditional volatility of stock markets and to test…

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1398

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine cross-correlation in stock returns of SAARC countries, conditional and unconditional volatility of stock markets and to test efficient market hypothesis (EMH).

Design/methodology/approach

Stock indices of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are considered to serve as proxy for stock markets in SAARC countries. Data consist of daily closing price of stock indices from 2000 to 2011. Since preliminary testing indicated presence of serial autocorrelation and volatility clustering, family of GARCH models is selected.

Findings

Results indicate presence of serial autocorrelation in stock market returns, implying dependence of current stock prices on stock prices of previous times and leads to rejection of EMH. Significant relationship between stock market returns and unconditional volatility indicates investors’ expectation of extra risk premium for exposing their portfolios to unexpected variations in stock markets. Cross-correlation revealed level of integration of South Asian economies with global market to be high.

Research limitations/implications

Business cycles and other macroeconomic developments affect most companies and lead to unexplained relationships. The paper finds stock markets to exist at different levels of development as economic liberalization started at different points of time in SAARC countries.

Practical implications

Correlation between stock indices of SAARC economies are found to be low which is in line with intra-regional trade being one of lowest as compared to other regional groups. Results point towards greater need for economic cooperation and integration between SAARC countries. Greater financial integration leads to development of markets and institutions, effective price discovery, higher savings and greater economic progress.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on EMH and risk return relation for SAARC nations.

Details

South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2045-4457

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2011

Palamalai Srinivasan, M. Kalaivani and P. Ibrahim

This paper aims to investigate the causal nexus between foreign direct investment (FDI) and economic growth in SAARC countries.

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2789

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the causal nexus between foreign direct investment (FDI) and economic growth in SAARC countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Johansen's cointegration test was employed to examine the long‐run relationship between foreign direct investment and economic growth in SAARC countries. Besides, the vector error correction model (VECM) was employed to examine the causal nexus between foreign direct investment and economic growth in SAARC countries for the years 1970‐2007. Finally, the impulse response function (IRF) has been employed to investigate the time paths of log of foreign direct investment (LFDI) in response to one‐unit shock to the log of gross domestic product (LGDP) and vice versa.

Findings

The Johansen cointegration result establishes a long‐run relationship between foreign direct investment and gross domestic product (GDP) for the sample of SAARC nations, namely, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The empirical results of the vector error correction model exhibit a long‐run bidirectional causal link between GDP and FDI for the selected SAARC nations except India. The test results show that there is a one‐way long‐run causal link from GDP to FDI for India.

Research limitations/implications

This paper employed annual data to examine the causal nexus between FDI and economic growth. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to test the FDI‐growth relationship further by using quarterly data.

Practical implications

The SAARC nations should adopt effective policy measures that would substantially enlarge and diversify their economic base, improve local skills and build up a stock of human capital recourses capabilities, enhance economic stability and liberalise their market in order to attract as well as benefit from long‐term FDI inflows.

Originality/value

This paper would be immensely helpful to the policy makers of SAARC countries to plan their FDI policies in a way that would enhance growth and development of their respective economies.

Details

Journal of Asia Business Studies, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1558-7894

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Vipul Kumar Singh and Faisal Ahmed

The purpose of this paper is to econometrically investigate the level of financial co-integration of the least developed countries (LDCs) of Asia and Pacific region. In…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to econometrically investigate the level of financial co-integration of the least developed countries (LDCs) of Asia and Pacific region. In addition, the paper also tested the co-integration of LDCs with the world’s second largest economy “China.” For this, the paper employed the foreign exchange data sets of respective LDCs. It also aimed to assess the dynamic conditional correlation (DCC) between the foreign exchange rates of LDCs and China, and further, examined the past and current level of their co-relational dependence.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors created data sets namely LDCs of Asia and Pacific, LDCs of SAARC, LDCs of ASEAN, LDCs of Pacific, LDCs of SAARC and ASEAN, LDCs of ASEAN and Pacific, and LDCs of SAARC and Pacific. In addition, the authors tested the co-integration of these seven groups with China, and thus, making a total of 14 data sets. The analysis was carried out using the Johansen and Gregory-Hansen multivariate co-integration econometric techniques. To assess the DCC, multivariate DCC GARCH model was employed.

Findings

It was found that at the intra-regional level, exchange rates of LDCs of SAARC, ASEAN and Pacific were co-integrated and showed the existence of 1-3 co-integrating equations. At inter-regional level SAARC-ASEAN, ASEAN-Pacific and SAARC-Pacific were also co-integrated and showed 1-3 co-integrated equations. However, on the inclusion of China in the study, the degree of co-integration of exchange rate of China with LDCs of SAARC and ASEAN increased, while with Pacific, the result was mixed. Conditional correlation estimated of multivariate DCC GARCH model suggested that except for Afghanistan, there was an upward shift in the correlation dynamics of exchange rates of LDCs with China, post global financial crisis.

Practical implications

Asia and Pacific region constituted of 53 countries, of which 13 were LDCs. Enhanced financial integration among LDCs of Asia-Pacific region and also between LDCs and major economies of the region like China will strengthen economic and financial integration efforts in the region.

Originality/value

The present paper attempted a comparative assessment of the co-movements of the foreign exchange markets of LDCs, the countries which have remained largely neglected in academic discourses on financial integration.

Details

China Finance Review International, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1398

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2016

Huma Kidwai and Monisha Bajaj

This chapter reviews the extent of influence new regionalism has had on the development of the education sector in South Asia. The history of South Asian Association of…

Abstract

This chapter reviews the extent of influence new regionalism has had on the development of the education sector in South Asia. The history of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) development, and its regional state-supported initiative, the South Asian University, reflect a multitude of local challenges to effective regionalization for cross-national educational development. The chapter describes and distinguishes the various forms of regional efforts for cooperation and integration among government actors, nongovernmental organizations, and local activist groups and forums, to chart certain key regional efforts to consolidate intraregionalism as well as establish interregional relations of educational development and policy with countries of sub-Saharan African region. It utilizes the transnational advocacy networks framework to understand and interpret diverse manifestations of interregional cooperation between nonstate partners in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Details

The Global Educational Policy Environment in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-044-2

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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 22 December 2020

Banna Banik and Chandan Kumar Roy

Exchange rate uncertainty leads to an indecisive environment for imports and exports that would condense international trade, foreign direct investment, trade earnings…

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1404

Abstract

Purpose

Exchange rate uncertainty leads to an indecisive environment for imports and exports that would condense international trade, foreign direct investment, trade earnings, trade volumes, economic growth and welfare. This study aims to examine, empirically, the effect of exchange rate uncertainty on bilateral trade performance, focusing on eight SAARC member economies using the popular modified gravity model of trade.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper includes eight SAARC members – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka panel data set over the period 2005–2018. The authors consider both standardized value (standard deviation) and conditional variance model to determine volatility of exchange rate. Primarily, ordinary least squares, random effects and fixed effects estimation techniques are employed to investigate the impact of exchange rate volatility. Endogeneity and robustness of the findings have been tested using the simultaneity-adjusted model and dynamic panel data two-step system GMM estimation techniques.

Findings

Empirical findings endorse the view that exchange rate volatility lowers trade flows in the SAARC regions. However, this adverse effect of exchange rate uncertainty on trade is pretty small. The negative correlation between exchange rate volatility and bilateral trade remains consistent and significant after controlling of simultaneous causality, autocorrelation, year effects, country-pair heterogeneity and endogeneity irrespective of panel data estimation techniques and different measures of volatility.

Originality/value

The present paper is original work.

Details

International Trade, Politics and Development, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2586-3932

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2016

Muhammad Tahir, Mario Ruiz Estrada, Imran Khan and Muhammad Asim Afridi

The purpose of this study is to focus on South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member economies to examine the impact of trade openness on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to focus on South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member economies to examine the impact of trade openness on the industrial sector development.

Design/methodology/approach

Panel data econometric techniques are used to the data for the period 1980-2013 for the selected six countries, namely, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Findings

It is found that trade openness has positively and significantly influenced the industrial sector of the sampled countries. Other determinants such as education and investment have also played a key role in helping the selected developing countries to develop their industrial sectors.

Practical implications

The study suggests the policy-makers of the SAARC member countries to liberalize international trade substantially to enhance the contributions of industrial sector toward gross domestic product (GDP) and to achieve the dreamed goal of sustainable long-run growth for the region.

Originality/value

An explicit relationship between trade openness and industrial sector of the SAARC member economies is yet to be examined.

Details

Journal of Asia Business Studies, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1558-7894

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Irfan Ullah and Muhammad Arshad Khan

The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI) by focusing on institutional and economic factors among South Asian Association…

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1886

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI) by focusing on institutional and economic factors among South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as Central Asian countries over the period 2002-2014.

Design/methodology/approach

The generalized method of moments technique is employed for analyzing the impact of institutional quality on FDI inflow by controlling for the effect of market size, domestic investment and labor force.

Findings

The authors found large variations in terms of the impact of institutional and economic variables in regards to FDI in the SAARC, Central Asian and ASEAN regions. The results reveal that real GDP, domestic investment and economic freedom index have a positive and significant effect on FDI inflows in the SAARC region, while governance index and labor force have a negative impact on FDI inflows. In Central Asia, the real GDP, domestic investment and governance index are positively associated with FDI inflows, whereas the effect of economic freedom index on FDI is negative as well as insignificant. Apart from the GDP, other variables such as labor force, domestic investment, governance and economic freedom indices influence FDI positively in the ASEAN region. It is worth mentioning here that domestic investment produces positive effect on FDI inflows in all the regions. On the whole, the authors may conclude that institutional factors play an important role in attracting FDI inflows in the ASEAN region as compared to Central Asian and SAARC regions.

Originality/value

A limited research work is available that could help in identifying the role of institutional and economic factors simultaneously in attracting FDI in the SAARC, Central Asian and ASEAN regions.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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