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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

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Published Date: Dec 26, 2013

South Asian free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) and Implications for Pakistan (W – 138)

Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, Muhammad Hamza Abbas


Trade linkages within the geographical expense of South Asia
are not a new phenomenon for the region. These linkages have their own history
which dates back to our recorded history. In Pakistan’s context the famous silk
route to China inform us of traders’ activity for long time.After 1947 and
emergence of new states, the region have observed significant changes in the
trade relations of the countries. South Asia, once being a collection of highly
protected economies till early 90s, showed keen interest in embracing
globalization and lowering the trade barriers during the last one decade,
partly because of structural adjustment agendas. The trading relations have
gained importance for the region in 1980s and thus South Asian Association for
Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established. Under the umbrella of SAARC, the
ideas of SAARC preferential trading agreement (SAPTA) and SAFTA were developed
and now SAFTA is in the process of implementation. The process of
implementation of SAFTA is, unfortunately, not as smooth as envisaged earlier,
and Pakistan-India political relations does stall the process of

South Asian region constitutes around 22 percent of world’s
population, potential market for the world due to its huge population and it
has its own importance due to its geo-strategic location and due to abundance
of natural resources that it has.

During 1990s, South Asian countries embarked upon trade
liberalization as part of structural adjustment initiatives and also as
response to changing international scenario. According to some analysts, some
countries had become confident that their economies can quickly adjust with the
forces of globalization and pursue sustainable growth with increased
integration into the world markets. Foundation of SAARC in 1985 was an
important step in intra-South Asia Cooperation. Mainly all the parties have
envisaged the need for economic corporation among the member states.

Prior to 1990s not much intention was given towards the
economic integration; the idea was to pursue technical cooperation for economic
development. Efforts to organize regional economic integration started in early
1990s. The 6th summit of SAARC, which was held in Sri Lanka, in 1991, passed
the establishment of Inter-governmental group (IGG) to lie down and pave the
way to formulate the basis of an agreement for the establishment of SAARC
Preferential Trade Agreement by 1997.IGG held many meetings and worked
intensively to prepare the acceptable agreement for all the regional countries,
thus it gave way to an agreement on SAPTA in 1993. The member states of the
region desired to promote regional trade and attain sustainable growth of
economies through the exchange of concession among each other.


SAARC’s Islamabad declaration in 2004, promised SAFTA which
was enacted on 1st July, 2006. SAFTA was designed initially to be fully
implemented by 2015. SAFTA improvised the work for reduced tariffs, safeguards,
rule of origin, different institutional structures and dispute resolution
through the help of different committees such as the committee of experts. This
agreement calls for elimination of all kinds of quantitative restrictions and
allows merely sensitive list of products. These lists are to be reviewed after
every four years with an aim to reduce the list and expansion of free trade
coverage of the agreement and its implementation in letter and spirit.