This volume is a compendium of four Task Force Reports and four Dialogue Reports prepared by the South Asia Centre for Policy Studies (SACEPS). The Task Forces were mandated by the SACEPS to carry out in-depth examination of the possible modalities to take forward the interests of South Asian cooperation in their respective areas. A collaborative endeavour involving many institutions and individuals of the region, the Task Forces were engaged in both research and dialogues, across the region with a view to drawing in a wider constituency that was supportive of closer cooperation among the countries of South Asia.
Part A, which includes four Task Force Reports, explores the key issues that South Asian countries have to consider in their move towards the establishment of a free trade area in the region. Reports were prepared on South Asian Free Trade Area, Post-Doha Negotiations in the WTO and the Interests of South Asian Countries, Common Investment Strategy for South Asia, and Energy Cooperation in South Asia.
Part B contains four reports prepared on the basis of deliberations at dialogues organised in Kathmandu, New Delhi, Dhaka and Lahore to discuss the findings of the Task Force Reports. The Dialogue Reports reflect the rich inputs made by the dialogue participants who included high level policymakers, experts, leaders from the civil society and representatives from other key stakeholder groups.
This volume has been published to coincide with the holding of the Thirteenth SAARC Summit in Dhaka on 9-11 January 2005. It is hoped that the contents of this book would be of much value to the Summit, to the SAARC Secretariat, to the officials in the SAARC member countries, to civil society across the SAARC region, and to the international community who have a strong interest in the promise and possibilities of regional cooperation in South Asia.