The growth of agricultural trade has direct implications for the Asia-Pacific region. Agricultural supply chains employ millions of people and there is a growing need for food commodities and high-value food products. The Asia-Pacific region is both a major consumer and producer of agricultural products. Its growth in both imports and exports is accelerating, but not to the potential. There is significant opportunity in this region to expand agro-trade especially due to population growth, dietary change of consumers and trade of high-value products.
The Review of Developments in Transport in Asia and the Pacific is a biennial publication of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). This year the Review focuses on trend and development relating to the following areas: railways; roads and highways; maritime ports and developments in shipping; dry ports, intermodal terminals and logistics development; facilitating transport across borders; and safe and sustainable transport.
Recognizing the benefits of investment in rural road development, many countries have considered extensive rural road development programmes in their countries. As a result, vast networks of rural roads have been developed in many developing countries of the region. However, countries have faced a number of challenges in implementing such programmes. The major challenge in rural road development is both to expand road networks in order to provide access to remote areas and to upgrade and maintain already existing roads.
This publication provides comprehensive information on the overall development of international road transport in the region, information on the key issues in the facilitation of such transport, and recommended regional strategies for the removal of barriers impeding the development of international road transport. Chapter II outlines the definitions on the terms popularly used in connection with facilitation of international road transport and the key elements affecting the smooth flow and efficiency of international road transport.
Freight transport has not received sufficient attention within sustainable transport development initiatives despite its large environmental footprint, its huge consumption of natural and financial resources, and the volumes of waste and pollution created. A body of “good practices” is however emerging in the sector. The challenge is to advocate and implement such practices. In order to support advocacy and implementation of initiatives, there is also a need to develop indicators that can effectively measure their eco-efficiency and sustainability.
The Asia-Pacific region is facing the challenge of coping with a sharp deterioration in the global environment, impacting the region’s growth prospects in 2012. As forewarned by ESCAP, the developed economies of the world remain mired in the economic crisis which erupted in 2008. The impact on Asia-Pacific countries at this stage of the crisis will be on the financial markets through capital outflows due to global uncertainty, and more fundamentally on output due to shrinking demand for exports.
Focusing on the Least Developed Countries located in the Asia-Pacific region, the study explores the impact of different approaches available to the LDCs and their partners in improving their developmental prospects through enhanced trade. The monograph starts with the presentation of trade related data of the 14 LDCs and the linkage between trade and economic development. Then the issue of market access is analyzed, followed by a study of the increasing protectionist measures faced by LDCs during the crisis period.
The publication aims to assist countries in addressing the non-physical barriers in international trade and transport in a sustainable way through establishing or strengthening of national facilitation mechanisms. It lays down broad principles, salient aspects and main requirements for national coordination mechanisms to be successful. It is a joint work of Transport Division and Trade and Investment Division of ESCAP.