Despite experiencing a decade of rapid economic and export growth, Asian land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) are still in a difficult position with regard to integration with the rest of the region and the global economy. This paper examines the changes in trade structure and performance of Asian LLDCs. It shows that after a decade-long global commodity boom, most of the Asian LLDCs have become resource-dependent.
The advent of the digital age in international trade has opened new possibilities for countries at all stages of development. Digital trade can support the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and increase economic prosperity worldwide. However, many developing economies, and particularly least developed countries, often lack the digital infrastructure and legal and policy frameworks to enable their citizens to seize these opportunities.
The expansion of technological capabilities among firms in developing countries has often been linked to international integration. Access to larger pools of higher-quality intermediate inputs, as well as the opportunity to employ technology developed in other countries, can stimulate firms to undertake innovative activities and develop new products. This note explores these linkages making use of a firm-level dataset obtained from the World Bank Enterprise Surveys containing information on 22,466 firms across 19 Asia-Pacific economies and 18 industrial sectors.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets forth seventeen goals (known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs) which will define global development priorities for the next fifteen years. The importance of trade as an engine of growth is recognised in a number of targets, most notably within Goal 17 on partnerships for the goals and the means of implementation. This goal sets, among other objectives, a target for least developed countries to double their share of global exports by 2020.
Much hinges on the outcome of the World Trade Organization's Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in mid-December. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is marking the 20th anniversary of its establishment during the Uruguay Round, almost half a century after 23 countries set up its predecessor for trade in goods, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Yet the mood is far from celebratory. The downbeat feeling is more related to the question of the WTO's relevance, now and in future.
As a pillar of regional connectivity, the telecommunication infrastructure is now seen as the enabler to facilitate the movements of goods, people, money, services and knowledge within and across national borders. Thus, reliability, diversity, speed and resilience of regional (and national) ICT infrastructure, in particular broadband networks, is a critical development priority of the region. In recognition of the prominence of this infrastructure, new emphasis has been placed on the concept of e-resilience.
This working paper explores the potential brought about by information and communications technology (ICT) in improving the sustainability of road transport through the implementation of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The paper has been prepared by the ICT and Development Section of ESCAP, and is addressed to ICT policymakers of developing countries in Asia and the Pacific.
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.
Services exports from Asia-Pacific least developed countries (LDCs) are growing in volume and should be further encouraged as they can contribute towards export diversification and development. Unlike in the case of merchandise trade, however, until recently LDCs did not receive any preferential market access in services trade. Progress is finally being made towards implementation of a 2011 WTO mechanism (the ‘Services Waiver’) that provides a route for countries to voluntarily offer LDCs preferences in services.