Multi-Stakeholder Perception Study – Regional Cooperation in South Asia

Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic Fundamentals (BRIEF) is conducting a study on Stakeholders’ Perception towards Regional Cooperation in South Asia. The aim of the study is to gauge the perceptions among policy makers, economic actors and other relevant stakeholders on the subject of regional cooperation, thereby focusing on prospects for intensifying political, economic and social cooperation.

While most commentators, experts and academics agree on the overall positive impact of regional cooperation, so far cooperation efforts remain largely static. There are multiple reasons for such a lackluster progress. The political economy in South Asia influences the cooperation process and takes the centre stage. Thus, the key stakeholders (like firms and entrepreneurs) are mostly left out of the process and not really take into account their position in South Asian countries as the major recipients and consumers of integration. There is an interaction among corporates at the micro-level or informal cooperation, among South Asian countries, which may well stir up process of regional cooperation, like in South-East Asia, where cooperation was stimulated by firms and corporations.

In reconfiguring the discourse around Regional Cooperation, there is a need to have in-depth understanding of current perceptions towards Regional Cooperation before looking at creating awareness and shift in these perceptions. Therefore, an understanding of the perceptions of relevant stakeholders in these countries will provide a platform for further progress of South Asian cooperation. To this end, Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic Fundamentals (BRIEF) is conducting a survey to understand the current perceptions on this subject by a variety of stakeholders – Government, Bureaucrats, Academia, Private Sector, NGOs, CSOs, Media and Youth, across six countries of South Asia, namely, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.