Such an all-encompassing lens is an impractical analytical tool, so it is necessary to attempt to use only one of these spheres without losing sight or consciousness of the other spheres and their close interconnectedness.
Trade Historical background In ancient times, regions of Asia had commercial relations among themselves as well as with parts of Europe and Africa.
In the earliest days nomadic peoples traded over considerable distances, using barter as the medium of exchange. Particularly important in such trade were fine textiles, silk, gold and other metals, various precious and semiprecious stones, and spices and aromatic products.
Trade between Europe and Asia expanded considerably during the Greek era about the 4th century bcby which time various land routes had been well established connecting Greecevia Anatolia Asia Minorwith the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent.
Further development of land and sea routes from the Mediterranean basin, especially to southern Indiaoccurred during Roman times. This east-west trade flourished in the first four centuries ad but was subject to considerable vicissitudes in later centuries.
During that period trade also expanded considerably to Southeast Asia and to China through what are now Malaysia and Cambodia.
After Spain and Portugalin the 15th century, became interested in discovering a direct sea route to Asia—an interest that led to the European discovery of the Western Hemisphere—the era of the great circumnavigators arrived in the 16th century.
Portugal was one of the first countries to attempt to establish a monopoly over the lucrative spice trade with the East, and it founded a network of trading outposts in Asia.
The Spanish, meanwhile, established control over the Philippines. The Dutch and the British started similar enterprises at the beginning of the 17th century, each country establishing its own East India company.
The British began by centring their activities on the Indian subcontinent and extended their control to Burma now MyanmarCeylon now Sri Lankaand Malaysia. The Dutch first concentrated on Ceylon but later expanded into and concentrated on Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia.
The French were able to establish only minor footholds on the Indian subcontinent, but their 19th-century penetration of the Indochinese Peninsula was more successful. Over time these European trading companies developed into colonial empires.
The East India companies of Europe came seeking the exotic products of Asia: These products required the skilled labour of weavers and farmers or soil and climatic conditions unique to the region.
As the East India companies developed and imposed colonial rule, a new pattern of trade emerged. Generally speaking, the colonial countries became the exporters of raw materials and imported the finished products from their colonial rulers.
For example, Britain ceased importing finished cotton goods from India and instead imported raw cotton to be spun and woven in the new industrial mills. Cotton cloth was then exported back to India, where indigenous weavers lost their employment.
Steel products from cutlery to railway locomotives were exported to Asian countries from Europe. During that period tea and tobacco also entered into international tradeand jute became a monopoly product of the Indian subcontinent.The South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) is an agreement reached on January 6, , at the 12th SAARC summit in Islamabad, Pakistan.
It created a free trade area of billion people in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (as of , the combined population is billion people).
Southeast Asia & Pacific USTR's Office of Southeast Asia and Pacific Affairs seeks to enhance bilateral trade and investment relations with the countries of Southeast Asia, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development strategy proposed by China to improve cooperation on a trans-continental scale. The range of projects and activities that will be part of the BRI is very wide, including policy coordination, infrastructure, trade and investment, financial and people-to .
South Asia Trade Statistics including exports and imports by partner and products, tariffs and relevant development indicators. South Asia had a total export of ,, in thousands of US$ and total imports of ,, in thousands of US$ leading to a negative trade balance of ,, in thousands of US$ The Effectively Applied Tariff Weighted Average (customs duty) for South Asia is % and the Most Favored Nation (MFN) Weighted Average tariff is.
Trade in this region till this time could be said to have been dominated by Island Southeast Asia, so apart from general observations of Southeast Asian trade, I shall be concentrating on the archipelago.