The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) is a recurrent publication prepared by the Trade and Investment Division. It aims to deepen understanding of regional trends and developments in trade and investment; 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. 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.
Falling demand in the developed world has led to a broad-based economic slowdown in Asia and the Pacific, lowering economic growth forecasts.
The impact of slowdown will challenge regional inclusive and sustainable development with job growth and household income predicted to decline. UNESCAP estimates that, by 2013, 14 million fewer people in the Asia and Pacific region would be able to escape poverty at the $2-a-day poverty line.
In the Asia-Pacific region, almost two billion people are dependent on the traditional use of biomass and close to 700 million have no access to electricity. Among the various prevalent options, grid-based electrification has so far been the most widely used option, with renewable energy options accounting for a very small proportion. In the cooking and heating sectors, especially among rural households, biomass accounts for more than 30 per cent of total energy consumption in many developing countries, and in some Asia-Pacific countries its share stands as high as 95 per cent.
This paper argues that, with the removal of international sanctions and the opening up of the economy, fostering economic activity and facilitating investment in new and more productive industries will best facilitate inclusive economic growth in Myanmar. With a perspective that emphasizes the role of structural transformation, this paper presents a model describing how this can best be facilitated with the use of strategies that push towards diversification, particularly in the direction of more productive economic activities.
Agriculture remains the backbone of most Asia-Pacific developing economies and approximately 50% of the Asian working population is employed in the agricultural sector. In view of the export potential of agricultural products in the region, it is urgent to reduce trade costs in this sector, particularly since they are typically twice as high as those for manufactured goods. Agricultural trade costs within each of the different Asian subregions and country groups are not found to differ sharply, particularly when tariff costs are excluded.
Governments of the ESCAP region gathered in Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 29 October to 2 November 2012 to chart the course of the new Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities for the period 2013 to 2022. They were joined by representatives of civil society organizations, including organizations of and for persons with disabilities. Also in attendance were representatives of intergovernmental organizations, development cooperation agencies and the United Nations system.
The Disability at a Glance series, which started in 2006, serves as a companion for policymakers, statisticians and representatives of organizations of, and for, persons with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific. These publications aim to provide a regional overview of disability policies and practices, as well as relevant country data and information.