Kathuria, Sanjay

Macroeconomics, Trade, and Investment Global Practice
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economic growth, economic integration, international trade policy, economic competitiveness, fiscal policy, technology development, financial sector development, gender and development
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Sanjay Kathuria is Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University; Visiting Faculty, Ashoka University; Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, India; and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore. Earlier, he was a Lead Economist at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. Sanjay Kathuria is one of the leading thinkers and commentators on economic integration in South Asia and the economic development of the region. In 27 years at the World Bank, from 1992 to 2019, he worked in South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe, including field assignments in New Delhi and Dhaka. Before joining the World Bank, he was a Fellow at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations in New Delhi, from 1982-1992.

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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
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    Opening Up Markets to Neighbors : Gains for Smaller Countries in South Asia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-01) Kathuria, Sanjay ; Shahid, Sohaib
    The South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) came into effect in 2006, but free and unfettered trade is still a work in progress. Drawing from theory and evidence, this note looks at how all countries, especially the smaller ones, can gain from mutual trade liberalization. Consumers, exporters, and producers, the three key players in this debate, all stand to gain from multilateral trade. Consumers enjoy lower prices, more product variety, and better quality goods. Exporters obtain access to much larger markets and sourcing opportunities for key inputs. Producers are incentivized to become more efficient, increase their sizes and scales via access to a bigger market, gain cheaper and higher quality inputs, and receive more foreign direct investment (FDI). As an example of how smaller South Asian nations can reap significant benefits, the US-Mexican asymmetry case study is presented, demonstrating how Mexico rose to become the world's thirteenth largest economy after joining NAFTA. Given that the South Asia region is in the process of making SAFTA effective, nations that hold out from the process could suffer by being "innocent bystanders," which is a welfare loss faced by a country that does not fully participate in a regional agreement being created around it.
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    How Has Regional Integration Taken Place in Other Regions?: Lessons for South Asia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-04) Kathuria, Sanjay ; Shahid, Sohaib ; Ferrantino, Michael Joseph
    As the momentum for multilateral trade liberalization has slowed, an increasing amount of liberalization is taking place at a regional level. As of April 2015, there are 406 regional trade agreements (RTAs) in force worldwide, more than double the number in force in 2000. These agreements cover over half of international trade. Countries engage in regional cooperation for a variety of reasons. First, it is easier to achieve agreement among a small number of regional partners than it is globally. Second, regional cooperation takes advantage of existing natural tendencies for regional trade that arise from geography and shared culture. This reinforces the regional division of labor already taking place among firms. Global value chains, in which lead firms organize a division of labor for complex products among many countries, often turn out to have a regional focus. Think, for example, of the electronics value chain in East Asia, and the automotive value chains focused on the United States, Germany, and Japan. South Asia itself is a small but growing part of value chains in textiles and apparel with both regional depth and cross-linkages to East Asia. This piece will focus on four aspects of trade liberalization (trade facilitation, non-tariff measures/barriers, intra-regional investment, and energy cooperation) that go beyond traditional preferential tariff reduction to illustrate both the potential of south-south liberalization and some of the particular challenges faced by South Asia. There is widespread agreement that deeper regional engagement in these areas will benefit the people of South Asia.
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    Western Balkan Integration and the EU : An Agenda for Trade and Growth
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2008) Kathuria, Sanjay
    The report suggests that improving and sustaining export performance and thereby gross domestic product (GDP) growth will require sustained improvement in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, pointing again to the need for significant structural reform. Despite recent increases, FDI inflows in South East Europe 5 (SEE5) remain low and below potential. The onus for encouraging FDI falls on structural reforms, given the above limits on both fiscal and monetary policy. Deeper integration within Central European free trade area (CEFTA) countries will increase market size, improve service quality, and help attract FDI. Deeper integration among SEE countries such as through the completion of the implementation of CEFTA 2006, the reduction of border frictions through the establishment of a single management of Border crossing points, the regionalization of the rules of origin among CEFTA 2006 countries, and the expansion of SEE participation in pan European/Mediterranean cumulating of origin arrangements (an ongoing process) will contribute to market contestability and the development of a larger market, thereby helping to attract FDI. Deeper integration among CEFTA countries in services could also contribute to improving service quality significantly, thereby enhancing the overall productivity of the economies. This report mentions several areas, in different sectors, where there can be opportunities for regional harmonization and cooperation, including those areas where the agenda is defined by commitments to the acquis.
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    Attracting Investment in Bangladesh—Sectoral Analyses: A Diagnostic Trade Integration Study
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016-10-13) Kathuria, Sanjay ; Mezghenni Malouche, Mariem ; Kathuria, Sanjay ; Mezghenni Malouche, Mariem ; Chanda, Rupa ; Dausendschoen, Kay ; Elbert, Christine ; Gessese, Nebiyeleul ; Konishi, Yasuo ; Raihan, Selim ; Rizwan, Nadeem ; Surabian, Glenn ; Veliu, Atdhe
    This is volume 3 of a three-volume publication on Bangladesh’s trade prospects. Bangladesh’s ambition is to build on its very solid growth and poverty reduction achievements, and accelerate growth to become a middle income country by 2021, and share prosperity more widely amongst its citizens. This includes one of its greatest development challenges: to provide gainful employment to the over 2 million people that will join the labor force each year over the next decade. Moreover, only 54.1 million of its 94 million working age people are employed. Bangladesh needs to use its labor endowment even more intensively to increase growth and, in turn, to absorb the incoming labor. The Diagnostic Trade Integration Study identifies the following actions centered around four pillars to sustain and accelerate export growth: (1) breaking into new markets through a) better trade logistics to reduce delivery lags ; as world markets become more competitive and newer products demand shorter lead times, to generate new sources of competitiveness and thereby enable market diversification; and b) better exploitation of regional trading opportunities in nearby growing and dynamic markets, especially East and South Asia; (2) breaking into new products through a) more neutral and rational trade policy and taxation and bonded warehouse schemes; b) concerted efforts to spur domestic investment and attract foreign direct investment, to contribute to export promotion and diversification, including by easing the energy and land constraints; and c) strategic development and promotion of services trade; (3) improving worker and consumer welfare by a) improving skills and literacy; b) implementing labor and work safety guidelines; and c) making safety nets more effective in dealing with trade shocks; and (4) building a supportive environment, including a) sustaining sound macroeconomic fundamentals; and b) strengthening the institutional capacity for strategic policy making aimed at the objective of international competitiveness to help bring focus and coherence to the government’s reform efforts. This third volume provides in-depth analysis of eight different manufacturing and services sectors of the Bangladeshi economy, which help to illustrate the thematic analysis of volume 2 and ground it in sector experiences. Besides pointing to cross-cutting themes, the analysis also highlights some specific issues and actions that could help relieve constraints to faster export growth in these sectors.
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    Strengthening Cross-Border Value Chains: Opportunities for India and Bangladesh
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020) Kathuria, Sanjay ; Mathur, Priya ; Kathuria, Sanjay ; Mathur, Priya ; Gitau, Ciliaka Millicent W. ; Khanna, Aman ; Manghnani, Ruchita
    It is widely agreed that, over the past decade, accelerating infrastructure investments in India's North Eastern Region (NER) and neighboring countries, along with connectivity agreements with Bangladesh, hold immense promise for unlocking NER's economic potential. Other global trends, such as the growing incomes and consumer awareness in India and neighboring countries; a rising preference for fresh, healthy, safe, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible products; the growing role of services in manufacturing; and increasing demand for skilled resources are also very favorable for NER. Together, these developments can help NER showcase its strengths in agriculture and services, thereby developing value chains in these sectors, which will lead to sustainable, better-paying, job opportunities for the people of NER. In this context, the World Bank, in consultation with stakeholders--government, private sector, and academia--analyzed two cross-cutting constraints that are encountered across all value chains and sectors in NER: connectivity and logistics, and product standards and quality infrastructure. These are discussed in Playing to Strengths: A Policy Framework for Mainstreaming Northeast India (Kathuria, S., and P. Mathur, eds., 2019, World Bank). This volume is a companion piece to that report; it analyzes four value chains--fruits and vegetables, spices, bamboo and related products, and medical tourism--and provides an assessment of how Bangladesh can benefit from NER’s increasing connectivity and growth prospects. The sector studies emphasize the need to reorient the supply base in NER toward serving the changing global demand and puts an explicit focus on women as well as the bottom 40 percent of the workforce. In light of the mutual benefit offered by economic exchange, improvements in connectivity offer a win-win opportunity for NER and Bangladesh.
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    Unleashing E-Commerce for South Asian Integration
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020) Kathuria, Sanjay ; Grover, Arti ; Perego, Viviana Maria Eugenia ; Mattoo, Aaditya ; Banerjee, Pritam ; Mattoo, Aaditya
    This report is part of a broader work program on shaping a more positive narrative on regional integration in South Asia. It is a follow-up to a recent flagship report published by the South Asia Region of the World Bank, A Glass Half Full: The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia. E-commerce is dramatically changing the way goods and services are transacted nationally, regionally, and globally. It facilitates international trade by reducing the cost of distance and remoteness and can be more inclusive of underrepresented groups such as women, small businesses, and rural entrepreneurs. Intraregional trade in South Asia is still below its potential, and the region lags behind other parts of the world in activating the potential benefits from e-commerce. Adopting a novel yet practical approach, this report explores how e-commerce can be boosted to deepen intraregional trade in South Asia. It examines the main transacting models in the digital space and the channels through which e-commerce helps reduce transactions costs for firms and consumers. It considers the regulations, as well as the regulatory gaps, affecting private sector participation in e-commerce, focusing on data privacy, consumer protection, delivery, cybersecurity, market-access regulations, and digital payments. Finally, the report presents recommendations for regulatory reforms that could enhance e-trade, especially in a regional context and as a possible platform for greater global engagement by South Asian firms. The scale of these recommendations ranges from the modest, such as allowing cross-border payments and streamlining the customs regime, to the more ambitious, such as allowing the operation of regional e-commerce platforms and liberalizing related cross-border logistics services.