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Regional Cooperation Arrangements (RCAs) have produced vastly dissimilar performances; some have spurred remarkable expansion in trade and cooperation among members, while several others have achieved little. Studies show that performances vary because RCAs differ from one another in important characteristics, namely the objectives they aim to achieve, balance of power among member states, and political structures and processes of decision-making within individual member states. Subject characteristics uniquely influence and condition the functioning of RCAs. They also need to empower the SAARC Secretariat to function as a competent and neutral facilitator of cooperation in South Asia.
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