Publications

Published Date: 
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Abstract: 

The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) is a major annual publication of the Trade, Investment and Innovation Division of United Nations ESCAP. It aims to deepen understanding of trends and developments in trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region; 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. It offers innovative policy options to meet the challenges of achieving sustainable trade and investment.

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.

The Report is aimed at policymakers as well as practitioners, experts, academia, business, international agencies and non-governmental organizations working or interested in these issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to the main report, summary briefs are provided below for the Asia-Pacific subregions and for selected regional economies.

Asia and the Pacific

Asia-Pacific Sub-regional Trade Briefs

Asia-Pacific Trade Briefs

Published Date: 
Friday, November 25, 2016
resource Type: 
Working paper series
Abstract: 

In this working paper we develop a comprehensive list of paperless trade measures and provisions in regional trade agreements (RTAs) and examine the extent to which they are featured in various RTAs, including in the TPP and ASEAN agreements. The number of paperless trade measures in RTAs is found to have doubled between 2005-8 and 2013-16 at the global level. Most recent RTAs contain more and deeper provisions than those featured in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. A more detailed analysis of paperless trade measures included in selected Asia-Pacific RTAs confirms that the coverage of RTAs of paperless trade issues has become extensive, covering increasingly specific areas such as electronic certificates of origins and sanitary and phytosanitary certificates. In that context, the new UN treaty and Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific can be expected to provide a useful tool for harmonized implementation of many of these provisions.

Key words: regional trade agreements, paperless trade, trade facilitation, digital trade, electronic certificates, trade integration, regional cooperation, free trade agreements, cross-border paperless trade, electronic commerce, treaty, RTAs, WTO, ESCAP, Asia-Pacific.

Published Date: 
Friday, November 25, 2016
resource Type: 
Books
Abstract: 

N/A

Published Date: 
Friday, November 11, 2016
resource Type: 
Working paper series
Abstract: 

Higher temperatures, sea level rise, and extreme weather events linked to climate change are having a major impact on the Asia-Pacific region, harming its economies, natural and physical assets, and compounding developmental challenges, including poverty, food and energy security and health. Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region are geographically vulnerable and highly exposed to the damaging impacts of climate change. Without climate-driven development, climate change could force more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030, wiping out the gains in poverty reduction achieved over the last decades. Climate change is the result of a massive market failure. Taking into account the urgency of the climate change challenge and the focus on implementation now that the Paris Agreement (PA) has entered into force, this paper identifies the five key priority areas for the Asia-Pacific region, and the economic policies and instruments that can be used to achieve them.

Published Date: 
Monday, October 31, 2016
resource Type: 
Working paper series
Abstract: 

This working paper aims to provide data and update analysis on broadband connectivity, specifically in the area of broadband and telephony markets, domestic and international Internet connectivity as well as international bandwidth among 27 ESCAP member countries, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam. In addition, historical trends and projected requirements for international bandwidth for voice, corporate data as well as the international Internet are presented for each country.

This study was conducted in support of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS), a regional broadband connectivity initiative. The AP-IS is designed around four pillars of 1) developing physical ICT infrastructure, 2) improving Internet traffic and network management, 3) enhancing e-resilience and 4) promoting digital inclusion. The AP-IS initiative aims to be a catalyst to develop seamless regional broadband networks which improve affordability, reliance, resilience and coverage and thereby narrow the digital divide, develop the Internet ecosystem, support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and stimulate digital economy in Asia and the Pacific.

In recognition of the need for concerted regional efforts to address the disparities and develop broadband connectivity for the achievement of SDGs, the inaugural session of the Committee on Information and Communications Technology, Science, Technology and Innovation, held from 5-7 October 2016 in Bangkok, endorsed the AP-IS Master Plan and Regional Cooperation Framework Document.

This report was developed in support of the AP-IS Pillars on developing physical ICT infrastructure as well as improving Internet traffic and network management. The findings point to disparities within the Asia-Pacific region in terms of available international bandwidth, affordability and physical ICT infrastructure.

The report aims to stimulate discussions among policy and decision makers, private sector, academia and think tanks on how regional broadband connectivity could be shaped for inclusive broadband and digital economy for the achievement of SDGs and to promote concrete policy and regulatory updates, financing and investment requirements and implementation modalities to pave the way to realize the vision of the AP-IS.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Abstract: 

Published since 1986 by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Asia-Pacific Population Journal (APPJ) brings out high-quality, evidence-based and forward-looking articles on a wide range of population and development issues in Asia and the Pacific.

This issue of the Asia-Pacific Population Journal contains the following articles:

The present and future of time-use analysis in developing countries. By Maria S. Floro and Elizabeth M. King

Bargaining power and the household division of labour: evidence from 2008 China time use survey. By Shi Fengdan, Pan Xuhua, Caryn Bruyere and Maria S. Floro

How does public infrastructure (or lack thereof) affect time use in Mongolia? By Mungunsuvd Terbish and Maria S. Floro

Work-life balance and time use: lessons from Thailand. By Phanwin Yokying, Budsara Sangaroon, Tassanee Sushevagul and Maria S. Floro

Published Date: 
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
resource Type: 
Working paper series
Abstract: 

This study introduces a new dataset of bilateral value added trade costs for the goods and services sectors, based on a measure derived from the micro-founded gravity model and using data from the OECD-WTO TiVA database. This is the first study to calculate value added trade costs for a set of developed and developing economies, both for the goods and services sectors. Overall, we find that, in the goods sector and in absolute term, international trade costs calculated using value added data are lower than those calculated using gross trade and output data. However, in relative term, bilateral trade costs remain broadly similar regardless of the trade data employed, with trade costs of Republic of Korea and Malaysia consistently outperforming all other developing countries – as well as most developed countries – included in the dataset. Value added trade costs are declining over time across most countries and regional groups and integration into global supply chains and production networks is found to be clearly associated with lower value added trade costs. The agricultural sector is characterised by substantially higher trade costs than in both manufacturing and services sectors. In turn, value added trade costs are found to be slightly higher in services than in manufacturing, although substantial cross-country heterogeneity is observed at the sub-sectoral level.

Published Date: 
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Abstract: 

The Population Data Sheet, published annually by ESCAP, features a range of key indicators on population dynamics- including population size and growth rates, fertility rate, life expectancy and age structure, at country, subregional and regional levels. It is a useful tool for reference by researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders active in the field of population and development.

To mark the International Day of Older Persons 2016 and to prepare for the third regional review of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, the ESCAP Population Data Sheet 2016 also includes indicators on the old-age support ration, the percentage of the oldest-old population, the tipping point of the working-age population, labour force participation rates of the population older than 65 and others. Using graphs and charts, the Population Data Sheet shows that the Asia-Pacific region is ageing at an unprecedented pace - many countries are aging within 20 years or even less, the working-age population is already declining in some subregions and other subregions are expected to follow in the next few decades, and the proportion of women increases with age.

Published Date: 
Thursday, September 29, 2016
resource Type: 
Books
Abstract: 

The “Comparative Analysis of Selected National AIDS Investment Cases from Asia-Pacific Region” aims to review and analyse existing national AIDS investment cases and document country experiences in developing them to effectively address the AIDS epidemic beyond 2015. It draws from a thorough desk review of seven national investment cases on AIDS (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam) using an analytical framework that was designed to facilitate an understanding of how national investment cases can be effectively developed and positioned to inform transition plans and support national commitment to the sustainable financing and implementation of AIDS responses. This analysis informed country preparations for the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS held on 8-10 June 2016 in New York.

Published Date: 
Monday, August 22, 2016
resource Type: 
Working paper series
Abstract: 

Indonesia has enjoyed solid economic growth since 2010, supported (until recently) by strong exports of primary commodities, in particular fuels and minerals. In contrast with the commodities sector, the manufacturing sector has lost competitiveness and the country has struggled to nurture broad-based industrialization, including through integration into international production networks. This note reviews the role of commodities in the Indonesian economy and assesses the recent policy developments in this area including the introduction of export restrictions as a way of increasing the value added content of exports.

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