Regional trade and food security challenges: The case of SAARC countries

https://doi.org/10.17221/3/2020-AGRICECONCitation:Khalid M.W., Kayani A.S., Alotaibi J.M., Muddassir M., Alotaibi B.A., Kassem H. (2020): Regional trade and food security challenges: The case of SAARC countries. Agric. Econ. – Czech, 66: 335-344.
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Higher consumption and increased import requirements for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region can be catered through neighboring trade partners if resources are optimally utilized. The purpose of this research is to analyze the connection between regional trade of SAARC countries and the food security challenges faced by the region. The study uses data from 1990–2018 for Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh to econometrically analyze the determinants of the volume of food trade. The results show that the gross domestic product of importing or exporting countries and foreign direct investment (FDI) have positive impact on regional trade. The bilateral exchange rate between trading partners has a negative impact on the trade volume. The results also showed the absence of a long-run relationship between volume of trade and food security using Johansen’s cointegration test. Our analysis suggests that policy makers should focus on the means for creating favorable environment in Pakistan and India to not only meet the increasing global demands for food but also increasing their competitiveness for high-quality and low-quality priced products in major exports markets.

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