Freight transport has not received sufficient attention within sustainable transport development initiatives despite its large environmental footprint, its huge consumption of natural and financial resources, and the volumes of waste and pollution created. A body of “good practices” is however emerging in the sector. The challenge is to advocate and implement such practices. In order to support advocacy and implementation of initiatives, there is also a need to develop indicators that can effectively measure their eco-efficiency and sustainability.
The Asia-Pacific region is facing the challenge of coping with a sharp deterioration in the global environment, impacting the region’s growth prospects in 2012. As forewarned by ESCAP, the developed economies of the world remain mired in the economic crisis which erupted in 2008. The impact on Asia-Pacific countries at this stage of the crisis will be on the financial markets through capital outflows due to global uncertainty, and more fundamentally on output due to shrinking demand for exports.
Focusing on the Least Developed Countries located in the Asia-Pacific region, the study explores the impact of different approaches available to the LDCs and their partners in improving their developmental prospects through enhanced trade. The monograph starts with the presentation of trade related data of the 14 LDCs and the linkage between trade and economic development. Then the issue of market access is analyzed, followed by a study of the increasing protectionist measures faced by LDCs during the crisis period.
The publication aims to assist countries in addressing the non-physical barriers in international trade and transport in a sustainable way through establishing or strengthening of national facilitation mechanisms. It lays down broad principles, salient aspects and main requirements for national coordination mechanisms to be successful. It is a joint work of Transport Division and Trade and Investment Division of ESCAP.
The Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ) is published twice a year by the Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The primary objective of the APDJ is to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas, information and data on all aspects of economic and social development issues and concerns facing the region and to stimulate policy debate and assist in the formulation of policy.
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 paper provides quantitative estimates of the productive capacities of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region and their evolution in the past 25 years. It updates the results for 2009 presented in the ESCAP’s Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2011 and details the methodology used to create the productive capacity index. It finds that, except from the region’s developed countries and emerging developing economies, the majority of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region have productive capacities that are below the world’s average.