Trading Up to Better Relations with Pakistan
Consider the example set by China and Taiwan, two economies that have successfully managed to wield trade and economic policy to often overcome decades of deeply ingrained distrust to accelerate cooperation. Despite their delicate and often troubled past, a recent shift in the past years to allow economic policy to supersede geopolitical differences has had the result of a vast expansion of economic if not political cooperation, which has fundamentally shifted mindsets on both sides of the strait.
Today, Taiwanese companies employ millions of Chinese, while a recent influx of Chinese tourists has, in part, helped Taiwan achieve a soft landing in the wake of the global economic downturn. To the east of India, the 10 countries that comprise the ASEAN bloc are forging ahead with plans that will see them inaugurate a free trade area in 2015. Already, trade within ASEAN nations accounts for 25% of all trade, compared to only 5% within the SAARC bloc.
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