Agriculture remains the backbone of most Asia-Pacific developing economies and approximately 50% of the Asian working population is employed in the agricultural sector. In view of the export potential of agricultural products in the region, it is urgent to reduce trade costs in this sector, particularly since they are typically twice as high as those for manufactured goods. Agricultural trade costs within each of the different Asian subregions and country groups are not found to differ sharply, particularly when tariff costs are excluded.
There is ample evidence that successful implementation of bilateral or regional trade and economic integration initiatives would have a very significant impact on intraregional trade in Asia and the Pacific. However, little is known about the level of intraregional trade costs in the region and to what extent these costs may have decreased over time. This paper introduces new aggregate and sectoral estimates of bilateral trade costs in Asia and the Pacific available in an updated and extended version of the ESCAP Trade Cost Database (Version 2).
The growth of agricultural trade has direct implications for the Asia-Pacific region. Agricultural supply chains employ millions of people and there is a growing need for food commodities and high-value food products. The Asia-Pacific region is both a major consumer and producer of agricultural products. Its growth in both imports and exports is accelerating, but not to the potential. There is significant opportunity in this region to expand agro-trade especially due to population growth, dietary change of consumers and trade of high-value products.
This paper explores the trade facilitation performance of India and Mekong countries using a new measure of bilateral comprehensive trade costs, complemented by a review of specific trade policy and trade facilitation-related indicators. A model of comprehensive trade costs is then developed and estimated using these specific indicators in an effort to identify policies and measures that have a significant effect on trade costs, and to prioritize them.
The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) is a recurrent publication prepared by the Trade and Investment Division. It aims to deepen understanding of regional trends and developments in trade and investment; emerging issues in trade, investment and trade facilitation policies; and impacts of these policies on countries’ abilities to meet the challenges of achieving inclusive and sustainable development.
This book is a synthesis of the results and implications from a series of product-specific import and export process analyses conducted in selected Asian countries. It provides a unique set of micro-level information on the nature, as well as the time and cost, of trade procedures involved in moving goods from factory floor in an exporting country all the way to warehouses in an importing country.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have played an important role in South Asia and remain a critical source for employment creation as well as income generation. SMEs occupy an important position in the development strategy for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. In this respect, export-oriented SMEs, supplying competitive products and services with greater potential for backward and forward linkages, would substantially contribute towards higher national income and overall socio-economic progress of nations.
Provisions in some of the most recent bilateral and regional trade agreements - that either have yet to enter into force or entered into force in or after 2009 - are compared with each other and with those included the WTO draft consolidated negotiating text on trade facilitation. The coverage of trade facilitation is found to have become very extensive, with the details of provisions in some agreements matching that in the draft WTO agreement on trade facilitation.
How much of international trade costs can be mitigated through implementation of trade facilitation measures and policies? What measures and policies affect trade costs the most? This paper presents findings from an initial analysis of new non-tariff trade cost estimates and their determinants, based on a bilateral database of comprehensive trade cost maintained by ESCAP. Among the top trade facilitating economies are Malaysia, the United States, China, Republic of Korea and Thailand, with Japan and Germany following closely.
While much has been said about the need to promote intraregional trade and the importance of reducing associated trade costs, quantitative estimates of such costs have been lacking. A new comprehensive measure of international trade costs is applied in this paper to calculate ad valorem trade costs within and between 4 Asian subregions, including ASEAN and SAARC. Extra-regional trade costs of the 4 subregions with free trade areas outside Asia, such as NAFTA and the EU, as well as their trade costs with China, India and Japan are also calculated.