Myanmar is emerging from decades of military rule, central planning and economic isolation as it implements political and economic reforms and, as a result, faces fewer international sanctions. The country has great potential for rapid development due to its vast natural resources, abundant labour force and geostrategic location. Capitalizing on these assets to achieve its goal requires well-implemented regulatory and institutional reform.
The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) is a recurrent publication prepared by the Trade and Investment Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. It provides information on and independent analyses of trends and developments in: (a) intra- and inter-regional trade in goods and services; (b) foreign direct investment; (c) trade facilitation measures; (d) trade policy measures; and (e) preferential trade policies and agreements.
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.
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).
Natural resources sectors such as mining, oil, gas, hydro, and forestry plantations are an integral component of most developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region, thereby making them attractive investment sectors for both transnational corporations (TNCs) and state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
Asia Pacific least developed countries attracted less than 1% of FDI inflows to the region, indicating strong growth potential.
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