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.
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. APTIR 2010 describes and analyses the developments in both intraregional and interregional trade and investment since mid-2009. It is organized in six sections.
This paper discusses the potential for cross-South Pacific trade between selected Southeast Asian and Latin American economies. The objective of this discussion is to identify obstacles for more intensive trade between the observed countries. Firstly, the paper reviews trends in trade flows and trade patterns between the selected economies, and by using several trade performance indicators it finds the level of trade still relatively low. It then discusses the possible reasons for this state of affairs.
This paper examines the progress made so far in achieving the trade targets of Millennium Development Goal 8 (“Building a Global Partnership for Development”) with respect to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) of Asia and the Pacific. The paper uses data from the OECD, WTO and UNDP, among others, to measure the MDG indicators 8.6, 8.7 and 8.9 with respect to these countries, thereby quantifying some of the impacts in these countries of recent global and national policy changes in the areas of market access, tariff preferences for LDCs and Aid for Trade.
It is widely recognized that the quality of trading environment has a significant impact on export competitiveness. The studies compiled in this publication analyse the relationship between trade facilitation and export competitiveness; analyse quantitatively and qualitatively the impact of trade costs on export; examine the status of export competitiveness in the region by using various indicators; and identify the effective ways of improving trading environment through trade and transport facilitation.
The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report is an annual publication prepared by staff of the Trade and Investment Division as a full in-house publication. The Report replaces the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Review with its first issue in 2009. The theme of APTIR 2009 is: "trade-led recovery and beyond". This issue analyses the impact of the global economic crisis on trade and investment flows in and to the region and implications for trade policy.
This paper evaluates the potential contribution of both trade and business facilitation measures to trade and export competitiveness, as well as the potential gains from adopting a more integrated and coherent approach to trade and business (investment) facilitation. The analysis confirms that measures aimed at reducing the behind and at-the-border cost of exporting, such as reduction in customs and port fees and charges and improvement in transport infrastructure and logistics services can be expected to have a significant impact on trade.