Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



External Determinants of Growth and Growth Projections: SAARC and Pakistan

The world is increasingly being divided into regions. The regional trading blocs are becoming more and more deepened and widened around the globe. The European Union (EU) has already reached a stage approximating to the trading relations usually found within a country rather than between the countries. The existence of regional economic groups, particularly in European and American continents, pose a range of theoretical, empirical and organisational questions for developing countries like Pakistan who depend on the countries of these regions for a significantly high share of their international trade. This paper focuses on the prospects of extended economic cooperation of Pakistan with the member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).1 The argument is structured around three parts. Part I reviews the theoretical rationale of regional economic cooperation and the recent developments shaping the trading relations within the cooperating blocs. Part II critically evaluates the relative size and significance of the external sector of the SAARC region countries, along with presenting statistical estimates of the major external determinants of the region’s economic growth. Finally, Part III estimates the relationship of major directions of Pakistan’s exports with the economic growth of the country and presents the growth projections by increasing and diverting the exports to the SAARC and ASEAN region countries.

Naheed Zia Khan, Faiza Amjad