The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets forth seventeen goals (known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs) which will define global development priorities for the next fifteen years. The importance of trade as an engine of growth is recognised in a number of targets, most notably within Goal 17 on partnerships for the goals and the means of implementation. This goal sets, among other objectives, a target for least developed countries to double their share of global exports by 2020.
As governments try to reconcile the increasing demand for transport infrastructure and services with the need to reduce the negative impact of the transport sector on the environment, the Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports, together with the Intergovernmental Agreements on the Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway Networks, form an institutional framework aimed at supporting member countries in their efforts to work together towards the development of regional transport corridors.
This guide for policy makers and trainers provides a succinct overview of articles of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) particularly relevant to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and identifies examples of SME-specific programmes, measures and interventions that can support the implementation of such provisions. In order to maximize the benefits of the TFA for SMEs, it is suggested that the trade facilitation measures featured in the TFA be mainstreamed in the broader SME development and internationalization initiatives and programmes that may already be in place.
This Stats Brief introduces the work of the Asia-Pacific Expert Group on Disaster-related Statistics to develop statistical guidance on a basic range of disaster-related statistics. The initial focus of the work pertains to disaster occurrences and immediate impacts of disasters. One of the key challenges for improving harmonization of disaster-related statistics is the differences in the use of terminologies in the disaster risk reduction literature and in official statistics.
This working paper presents the results of a desktop review. It provides an overview of the current state of TVET in the Asia-Pacific region. In it we describe the characteristics that make up national systems of technical and vocational education and training (NSTVET). This includes its policy and funding mechanisms, its responsiveness to the needs of stakeholders and its inclusiveness or otherwise in diverse societies.
This report provides an overview of the various existing and proposed unemployment protection schemes in Asia. These schemes play a key role for women and men of working age by stabilizing their incomes in the event of unemployment.
This brief introduces the case of streamlining and automating procedures for agricultural trade in the Philippines. In particular, this brief outlines the implementation of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Trade System, which seeks to automate processes for the trade regulatory agencies involved in agricultural trade and to facilitate the use of electronic documents and procedures. By considering the case of the Philippines, this brief highlights some of the key challenges and success factors for implementing automated systems for agrifood trade.
Although India is still a relatively young country, there are currently 116 million older persons in India and their number is increasing rapidly. Income security for older persons can become an increasing concern. Coverage of contributory and non-contributory schemes is still low in India. Public sector workers are well covered through a non-contributory pension scheme. Due to longer life expectancy, the number of beneficiaries of this scheme is increasing rapidly, which poses an increasing burden for the federal budget.
This project working paper discusses the prevailing system of income security for older persons in the Republic of Korea with regards to coverage, beneficiaries, and sustainability. It also discusses recently undertaken reforms of the income security system with regards to their budgetary implications. After the introduction of a mandatory pension scheme, coverage of pensions increased rapidly in the Republic of Korea. However, as the pension system in the Republic of Korea was introduced relatively late, poverty of older persons is still high.
Developing economies of the Asia-Pacific region grew by an estimated 4.5 per cent in 2015, the lowest rate since 2010, with only a modest rebound to 5 per cent growth projected for 2016. While global trade and China’s economy explain much of the recent slowdown, there are also signs of weakening productivity growth in the region. Compared to the past, lower interest rates and exchange rate depreciations have had less noticeable impact on domestic activity and exports. Meanwhile, rapid increases in household and corporate debt in some countries pose risks for financial stability.