Provisions in some of the most recent bilateral and regional trade agreements - that either have yet to enter into force or entered into force in or after 2009 - are compared with each other and with those included the WTO draft consolidated negotiating text on trade facilitation. The coverage of trade facilitation is found to have become very extensive, with the details of provisions in some agreements matching that in the draft WTO agreement on trade facilitation.
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.
How much of international trade costs can be mitigated through implementation of trade facilitation measures and policies? What measures and policies affect trade costs the most? This paper presents findings from an initial analysis of new non-tariff trade cost estimates and their determinants, based on a bilateral database of comprehensive trade cost maintained by ESCAP. Among the top trade facilitating economies are Malaysia, the United States, China, Republic of Korea and Thailand, with Japan and Germany following closely.
The similarities yet differences across South Asian countries, and their differential response to recent food and oil price shocks, gives a useful opportunity to better understand the structure of inflation in these economies. Analysis of the internal and external balance and evidence on demand and supply shocks implies output is largely demand determined but inefficiencies on the supply side perpetuate inflation. Procyclical policy amplifies the negative impact of supply shocks on output.
While much has been said about the need to promote intraregional trade and the importance of reducing associated trade costs, quantitative estimates of such costs have been lacking. A new comprehensive measure of international trade costs is applied in this paper to calculate ad valorem trade costs within and between 4 Asian subregions, including ASEAN and SAARC. Extra-regional trade costs of the 4 subregions with free trade areas outside Asia, such as NAFTA and the EU, as well as their trade costs with China, India and Japan are also calculated.
The importance of trade facilitation has now been widely acknowledged as an effective way to enhance trade competitiveness and benefit from globalization. Streamlining trade-related procedures has increasingly involved the use of modern information technologies to automate processes, possibly making it more difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises to engage in international trade.