Since the 1970s in particular, the countries of Western Asia and those of the Asia-Pacific region have been closely linked to each other through highly extensive movements of people. Opportunities created by the rapid development of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), but also other countries in the ESCWA region, have attracted a large number labour migrants from the Asia-Pacific region.
This paper examines how freedom of transit and transit facilitation are addressed in trade and transport (as well as transit-specific) agreements in the ESCAP region. The objective is to identify good practices and understand the extent to which existing agreements meet the transit facilitation provisions set out in the draft text of the WTO trade facilitation agreement (TFA).
The principal aim of this publication is to analyze the current status of paperless trade implementation in the region and assess a practical approach to the facilitation of cross-border paperless trade in the Asia-Pacific region, as this will contribute to regional connectivity. With world-leading paperless trade systems already in place in several countries of Asia and the Pacific, including a few cases of successful cross-border paperless trade data exchange, the region is fast moving towards a paperless trade environment.
Labour migration in the Asia-Pacific is dynamic and growing. Variable economic growth, deepening regional integration, and growing disparities in wealth, both within and among countries, have created strong incentives for workers to relocate across borders. Patterns of migration are also becoming more complex: the traditional concept of labour migration as being from ‘South’ to ‘North’ is no longer accurate to capture the nuanced patterns of flows across the Asia-Pacific.
Several countries in Asia and the Pacific have launched high-level policy initiatives and action plans to promote green growth, and the green economy. As a consequence the demand for indicators of economic growth that supports, rather than detracts from, sustainable development, is growing. Green growth indicator frameworks developed by international organisations and partnerships of organisations share a focus on a few key dimensions.
Conventional growth strategies have reduced poverty. People now have more access to basic services and more opportunities for mobility and participation. But there are still persistent unmet needs, widening inequalities, and new development challenges such as climate change, intensifying natural disaster and resource depletion. There is a search for growth strategies that better fit a changing economic, social and environmental reality.
Energy poverty- lack of access to electricity and reliance on traditional fuels for cooking and heating - remains an enduring problem. Globally, more than a billion people live without electricity and, nearly three billion depend entirely on wood, charcoal and dung for other domestic energy needs. Their search for energy fuels and services is an arduous, daily grind. Lack of access to modern energy has a broad impact.
In the national economies of Asia and the Pacific, entrepreneurs are critical drivers of growth through innovation and job creation. Recognizing the potential of, and the challenges for, women’s entrepreneurship across the Asia-Pacific region, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women launched a joint programme to promote enabling policy and legal environments for women’s entrepreneurship in four countries in Asia and the Pacific: Indonesia, China, India and Malaysia.
This publication addresses the economic aspect of gender mainstreaming, with a particular focus on gender budgeting and women’s economic participation in the public domain. Concrete examples of initiatives from the five countries in Asia are presented to illustrate the practical measures that can be undertaken to integrate gender into the economic sector.
Being environment friendly, railway transport is gaining importance in the Asia-Pacific region due to growing concerns of the adverse impact on environment of road transport on one hand and increasing concerns about energy security on the other. The importance of sustainable transport was reaffirmed in the Rio+20 document “The Future we want”. Couple this with, the entry into force of intergovernmental agreement on Trans-Asian Railway Network, has provided impetus for the development of railway transport as a competitive mode of transport in the region.