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Regional economic cooperation and integration has assumed a new urgency for countries in South Asia in the context of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda commits countries to pursing sustained and inclusive economic growth for elimination of poverty and hunger and to providing a life of dignity to all. The external economic environment has turned less benign following the global financial crisis, with the advanced economies, traditional locomotives of the world economy, facing a new normal of slowdown. With the emergence of Asian countries as new engines of global growth, regional and subregional economic integration becomes a more viable strategy for sustaining dynamism and generating resources for pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in South Asia. Shared vulnerabilities of South Asian countries in terms of food and energy security, disaster risks and many different manifestations of climate change also call for regionally coordinated responses.

Related Subject(s): Economic and Social Development
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