Appraising the Possibility of Promoting Interdependent Development Between SAARC and ASEAN
This chapter examines socio-economic indicators and perception of threat to analyse the prospects of cooperation between these two geographically contiguous Asian regions and also to appraise the potential benefits which may accrue to the member states of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) from such cooperation. It outlines the manner in which Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) states reckoned with the problem of underdevelopment and assesses its applicability to the South Asian nations. The chapter discusses the political dynamics which may either facilitate or endanger cooperation between ASEAN and SAARC. Poverty and economic underdevelopment are commonly considered by the South Asian populace as the principal threat to their national well-being. The analysis of the socio-economic and political profile of SAARC and ASEAN clearly suggests that there is, for all practical purposes, sufficient scope for cooperation between SAARC and ASEAN. The chapter concludes with some insights regarding the possibility of promoting the dynamics of interdependence between the two regions.