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Agriculture, trade, and the WTO in South Asia


Approximately 1.3 billion people live in South Asia (covering Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), the majority of whom live in rural areas, and agriculture is a key part of the region's economy, accounting for over a quarter of GDP. The further opening of international markets to agricultural exports from South Asia promises to raise the standard of living in this region, which contains an estimated 40 per cent of the world's poor (defined as those living on less than $1 a day). However, the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), which established a rules-based system of agricultural trade, has not provided the expected benefits for developing countries. This publication contains a compilation of studies presented at a regional conference, sponsored by the World Bank, and held in New Delhi, India in 1999. These updated studies examine a number of issues involved in ensuring these countries can maximise opportunities in future trade negotiations.

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