The present document is based on the forthcoming Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2013 (henceforth the Report), which is the main substantive document prepared for the third session of the Committee on Trade and Investment. The Report comprises two parts. In the first part, there is a focus on trends and developments in trade in merchandise and commercial services, foreign direct investment flows, performance in trade facilitation, and reliance on preferential policies and trade agreements from an Asia-Pacific perspective.
Trade has the potential to contribute to economic growth and to more and better jobs. Whether trade contributes to growth that is inclusive, in the sense that all people can contribute to and benefit from growth triggered by trade, is likely to depend on country specificities including institutional pre-conditions and policies applied in domains other than trade. This paper identifies specific challenges for making trade inclusive and identifies ways for dealing with them.
This paper studies the linkages between international openness and inclusive growth, understood as better access to productive employment and entrepreneurship, the reduction of poverty and a more equal income distribution. It introduces the notion of inclusive trade as the linkages through which international integration can contribute to inclusive growth. Four dimensions of potential linkages are analyzed, namely: (i) aggregate employment and its distribution, (ii) aggregate productivity, (iii) poverty and income inequality, and (iv) equal opportunities.
The fact that the Asia-Pacific region hosts both the most and least efficient economies in conducting international trade transactions is generally well-known. However, information on the actual implementation of specific trade facilitation reforms in the Asia-Pacific developing economies is generally lacking.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been a well-known concept for some time though the interpretation of this concept differs among countries, companies and stakeholders. In many cases, CSR has been abused as a marketing ploy, masking unsustainable practices of companies, in others it has simply constituted a charity event, again, often to mask the negative impacts of companies’ operations. However, the winds of change are blowing, in particular in the wake of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
Managing climate change caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been recognized as one of the world's greatest challenges in current times, in particular in Asia and the Pacific which accounts for most of the world's GHG emissions. Without urgent action to curb such emissions, climate change will be more severe resulting in larger global temperature rises.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is about companies operating in a manner that is sustainable, cognizant of their responsibility to the wider community in which they are located. CSR is more than simply acts of philanthropy or allocating a proportion of its earnings to worthy causes;it is strategic in nature, and is about how a business actually functions.
In September 1970, Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman ignited a serious controversy with his New York Times article “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits.” His main argument is summarised as follows: “there is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game …” While one might agree with him that a primary purpose of business is about making a profit without violation of laws and regulations, this argument is unlikely to remai