Asia Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2010: Recent Trends and Developments

Review report23 Dec 2010

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. Section A describes and explains recent trends in merchandise trade flows of selected countries and country-groups, revisits the phenomenon of “Factory Asia” and analyses recent trends in intraregional trade. Section B provides a comprehensive analysis of recent trends in commercial services trade of the economies in the region and an up-to-date breakdown of services trade for different subregions and services sectors. It also describes recent trends in worker remittances which are an important source of external capital and finance for development for various countries of the region. Section C focuses on recent developments in foreign direct investment (FDI) in and from the region and explains why some economies attract more FDI than others. It also provides a brief prospect for FDI inflows, which still have to recover to pre-crisis levels. Section D provides some estimates of the costs of trade for Asia and the Pacific utilizing a new database developed by ESCAP. It also looks at the importance of behind-the-border measures and logistics in facilitating trade. Section E offers details on recent developments in regional trade agreements (RTAs) and provides relevant statistics on merchandise trade covered by RTAs. Section F provides an overview of protectionist measures that have been announced or implemented since November 2008 (the date of the first crisis-related G20 summit). It explores whether discrimination against and economic harm inflicted by emerging or developing countries in Asia and the Pacific are on par with global protectionist tendencies. It highlights the prevalence of “behind-the-border” non-tariff measures (NTMs) that potentially affect both national imports and foreign commercial interests. The annex provides trade performance indicators which allow users to make easy comparisons across economies in Asia and the Pacific with respect to the level of integration of these economies in the global or regional economy.