Afghanistan needs to capitalize on the potential for greater trade with its Central Asian neighbours, especially given the current headwinds facing the Afghan economy. Particular promise exists for: energy trade; transit trade linking Central Asia with South Asia; and trade among border communities. However, at present trade relations are extremely limited and significant barriers to further integration remain including tariff and non-tariff barriers, as well as transport and connectivity issues.
This issue of the Trade Insights series provides analysis of notifications submitted as part of the preparation for the implementation under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Fifteen economies in the Asia-Pacific region have already submitted Category A notifications, i.e., the list of substantive provisions they have either already implemented or are committed to implement by the time the Agreement enters into force.
The current paper provides a review of natural disasters and their impacts in Asia and the Pacific by disaster type, subregion and level of development. The first section looks at the occurrence of natural disaster events. This is followed by an analysis of fatalities and economic loss in sections two and three respectively. The short-term consequences of natural disasters on the economy are also mentioned. The final section briefly discusses aspects regarding exposure and vulnerability of countries in Asia and the Pacific.
This issue of the Trade Insights series identifies Asia-Pacific LDCs and LLDCs with export-portfolios and economies which are at greatest risk from the recent collapse in global commodity prices. Asia-Pacific LDCs and LLDCs account for less than 2% of global commodity exports and just 7% of Asia-Pacific commodity exports; however many these economies have export-portfolios which are highly concentrated in one or two major commodities: mainly crude oil, natural gas, aluminum, iron ore/steel, cotton and copper.
Migration has economic, social, environmental and political implications in both countries of origin and destination. There is growing recognition that policy interventions which foster a link between migration and decent employment can promote sustainable development. However, across Asia and the Pacific there is a lack of high-quality migration statistics which form the foundation for designing, monitoring and evaluating policies. Without detailed, disaggregated migration statistics it is impossible to determine the costs versus the benefits of migration-related policy interventions.
Water is vital to human lives, as well as fundamental to all development issues. Asia and the Pacific are facing serious challenges both in terms of the quantity and quality of water in sustaining its long term economic growth prospects and achieving sustainable development.
The “Quick Guide for Policy Makers on Pro-Poor Urban Climate Resilience in Asia and the Pacific” focuses on the need to enhance understanding of the region’s key urban stakeholders on climate change, discusses how it affects efforts to realize sustainable urban development, and explores what actions can be taken to synergize continued commitments to poverty reduction alongside urban climate resilience.
Myanmar holds considerable promise, for businesses both domestic and foreign, as well as for development practitioners, confident of seeing a rapid transformation in economic conditions and quality of life in general. Nevertheless, while the country has attracted substantial interest from around the world, there are still many gaps in knowledge. In-depth information about the conditions facing the private sector, as well as the perspectives of the various members of the private sector, is still in the process of being uncovered.
This issue based on the Statistical Yearbook 2014 (http://www.unescap.org/resources/statistical-yearbook-asia-and-pacific-2014), released on 9 December 2014. It highlights some of the social issues and policy challenges in Asia and the Pacific, some of the links between these issues, and the role of data in making better decisions in future to ensure no one is left behind.