Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report

The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) is a recurrent publication prepared by the Trade, Investment and Innovation 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. The report offers insights into the impacts of these recent and emerging developments on countries’ abilities to meet the challenges of achieving inclusive and sustainable development.

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016 cover art

APTIR 2016 shows that 2015-2016 has been a worrying period for trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region and worldwide, and there are few signs that the current economic and trade slowdown is simply a temporary phenomenon. Instead, this pattern may be the result of a change in the fundamental structure of world trade, which might lead to persistent trade stagnation. On the other hand, good progress was made, especially at the regional level, with furthering cross-border paperless trade as one of the approaches to deal with the upward pressure on the trade costs. Accepting the rising importance of e-commerce as a new trade platform, there is opening for the possible changes in the focus of trade and investment policies in order to leverage the potential of e-commerce to support intraregional trade.

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2015 cover art

This edition of ESCAP’s Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) highlights the challenges posed by slowing regional trade growth and outlines how changing dynamics in the global economy call for a renewed effort to enhance the prospects of export-led growth, both of merchandise trade and in commercial services. The 2015 report also provides analysis on the spread of Global Value Chains in the Asia-Pacific region and evaluates policies that contribute to developing countries participation in GVCs.

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2014 cover art

The 2014 edition of APTIR shows that, while the Asia-Pacific region remains the most dynamic pole of the global economy, growth in trade and investment has yet to return to pre-crisis levels. Regional trade growth weakened in 2013, and in the first half of 2014, and although growth in 2015 is expected to increase to 7%, ongoing uncertainties in global macroeconomic prospects mean this is far from assured. A key finding of the Report however, is that concentrations of exports and imports remain uneven across the region. 

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2013 cover art

The 2013 APTIR Report comprises two parts. In the first part, there is a focus on trends and developments in trade in merchandise and commercial services, foreign direct investment flows, performance in trade facilitation, and reliance on preferential policies and trade agreements from an Asia-Pacific perspective. The second part of the Report contains an analysis of various issues related to enhancing the contribution of trade and investment to inclusive development and thus ensuring job creation, poverty reduction and economic engagement of marginalized groups.

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2012 cover art

APTIR 2012 focuses on trends and developments in the economies of Asia and the Pacific in their post-recovery from the 2008-2009 crisis and trade collapse. The Report finds that after the initial promising signals of a recovery in 2010, exports from Asia and the Pacific are again facing a risk of deceleration. The intensified pressure in the euro zone and the rising threat from a slowdown in the emerging economies has raised the fear of a re-emergence or trade and investment contraction.

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2011 cover art

With its theme of “Post-crisis trade and investment opportunities”, the 2011 APTIR Report identifies challenges and opportunities for trade and investment in the region. The report concludes that with strengthened regional cooperation and the right policies, the region will be able to continue its strong trade-and investment-led growth. The report identifies areas of opportunity in trade and investment for regional economies such as intraregional trade and investment, trade in services and trade and investment in climate-smart goods and technologies.

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2010 cover art

APTIR 2010 describes and analyses the developments in trade and investment since mid-2009. It is organized in six sections. Section A describes and explains recent trends in merchandise trade flows. Section B provides a comprehensive analysis of recent trends in commercial services. Section C focuses on recent developments in foreign direct investment (FDI). Section D provides some estimates of the costs of trade for Asia and the Pacific. Section E offers details on recent developments in regional trade agreements (RTAs). Section F provides an overview of protectionist measures that have been announced or implemented since November 2008.

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2009 cover art

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. It provides a conceptual framework for trade policy which should contribute to achieving inclusive and sustainable development. It makes a case for the multilateral trading system as the prime international trade governance system and gives an overview of the latest developments in the Doha Round.