Rivalry Between India and Pakistan Costs $35 Billion Annually – Says World Bank

The friction between India and Pakistan, getting harsh by decades-old rivalry, has implications beyond measurement. However, one aspect of that which has little attention paid to it is the economic loss. The deep-rooted enmity and antagonism take a huge toll on our economies. As the report from the World Bank has stated that the annual trade between both countries can be $37 billion, which currently stands at $2 billion instead.

The report suggests that the trade between two largest economies of South Asia can grow from $2.1 billion to $36.9 billion if they decide to set aside the differences and open barriers to trade.

The World Bank report presented last week has shown the pressing need of both rivals to put back the differences, call off the conflicts and cooperate for trade since it is the world’s least economically integrated region. The said region contains 40% of the world’s children suffering stunted growth and 33% of the world’s poorest populace.

The report also suggested that the total intra-regional trade in the goods can increase from $23 billion to $67 billion if the South Asian nations move to remove the tariff and non-tariff barriers impacting people to people contact and trading activities. The authors of the report also maintained that the trade liberalization in South Asia has not been smooth. In fact, many countries have moved to increase the tariffs and restricted inter-regional trade, further hindering the process.

Similarly, the yearly trade between Bangladesh and India is at $6.5 billion, which can be increased to $16.4 billion in the two countries work to overcome the existing hurdles to trade. The existing trade between Bangladesh and Pakistan, which currently stands at $0.8 billion can also be increased up to $1.4 billion in absence of the hurdles.

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