This publication examines the impact of non-tariff measures (NTMs) on trade in the Asia-Pacific region. As tariffs on traded goods have fallen on average over recent years, non-tariff measures have emerged as one of the principal obstacles to trade. In recent years there has been a proliferation of new NTMs in Asia-Pacific economies, including in developing countries. This proliferation of NTMs may be disadvantageous for developing economies in general, and least developed countries in particular.
“Servicification” is most simply defined as an increased use of services in manufacturing processes. The impact of servicification on the competitiveness of the industrial sector has not been adequately addressed, especially in policy discussions, because of limited data availability. However, the OECD-WTO TiVA database now fills this gap for a selected number of economies. This brief provides information on the services content of industrial exports of these countries and offers some insights on the role of services in building trade competitiveness.
To integrate further least developed countries (LDCs) into the global and regional economies, a number of countries have introduced Duty-Free Quota-Free (DFQF) schemes for LDCs, allowing their imports to enter without paying tariffs. This note reviews those schemes and finds that Asia-Pacific LDCs are increasing their share of global exports, but while improved market access through DFQF schemes is useful, the developmental benefits will be limited unless the schemes are made relevant and usable.
The recent collapse in international commodity prices (June 2014 to February 2015) has both positive and negative implications for Asia-Pacific economies, depending upon net commodity-trade positions. Here the focus is on the impacts to net commodity-importing economies. In the short-run, these economies are likely to benefit from a downturn in commodity-prices. Major consequences include: higher disposable incomes, greater domestic demand, and faster economic growth.
Afghanistan needs to capitalize on the potential for greater trade with its Central Asian neighbours, especially given the current headwinds facing the Afghan economy. Particular promise exists for: energy trade; transit trade linking Central Asia with South Asia; and trade among border communities. However, at present trade relations are extremely limited and significant barriers to further integration remain including tariff and non-tariff barriers, as well as transport and connectivity issues.
This issue of the Trade Insights series provides analysis of notifications submitted as part of the preparation for the implementation under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Fifteen economies in the Asia-Pacific region have already submitted Category A notifications, i.e., the list of substantive provisions they have either already implemented or are committed to implement by the time the Agreement enters into force.
This issue of the Trade Insights series identifies Asia-Pacific LDCs and LLDCs with export-portfolios and economies which are at greatest risk from the recent collapse in global commodity prices. Asia-Pacific LDCs and LLDCs account for less than 2% of global commodity exports and just 7% of Asia-Pacific commodity exports; however many these economies have export-portfolios which are highly concentrated in one or two major commodities: mainly crude oil, natural gas, aluminum, iron ore/steel, cotton and copper.
This policy brief, issued as part of the Trade Insights series, examines the evolving economic partnership between Japan and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and reviews prospects for the future in light of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
The November 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting in Beijing has generated momentum behind the proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). This note reviews the prospects for the FTAAP which are strongly linked to progress in two other large regional trade agreements currently under discussion: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
This note reviews the emerging imbalances in the Chinese economy and the attendant need for structural reforms, including financial sector and services liberalization. The role that the recently launched Shanghai Free Trade Zone could play in accelerating these reforms is then considered, alongside an assessment of progress to date.