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.
This paper explores the trade facilitation performance of India and Mekong countries using a new measure of bilateral comprehensive trade costs, complemented by a review of specific trade policy and trade facilitation-related indicators. A model of comprehensive trade costs is then developed and estimated using these specific indicators in an effort to identify policies and measures that have a significant effect on trade costs, and to prioritize them.
Disability at a Glance 2010: A Profile of 36 Countries and Areas in Asia and the Pacific is a compilation of disability-related data and information. Profiles of 35 countries and one area are grouped according to subregion and presented in alphabetical order. Five are from East and North-East Asia (China; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Mongolia; and the Republic of Korea). Ten are from South-East Asia (Cambodia; Indonesia; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; the Philippines; Singapore; Thailand; Timor-Leste; and Viet Nam).
Over the past two decades, the Asia-Pacific region has witnessed a number of economic crises that have threatened progress towards reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. These crises reflect the increased risks associated with globalization, especially for the poor and those without voice. In addition, several countries in Asia and the Pacific have been profoundly affected by high-impact natural disasters which have exposed vulnerabilities and amplified the insecurities of many people’s livelihoods.
The paper provides quantitative estimates of the productive capacities of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region and their evolution in the past 25 years. It updates the results for 2009 presented in the ESCAP’s Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2011 and details the methodology used to create the productive capacity index. It finds that, except from the region’s developed countries and emerging developing economies, the majority of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region have productive capacities that are below the world’s average.
This paper analyses the effect of public and private health expenditures on the achievement of health-related MDGs. It finds that three quarters of the variation of health-related MDG indicators can be explained by public and private health expenditure per capita when controlling for levels of income and demographic factors such as age dependency ratio, urbanization and population density. In addition, the analysis finds that marginal gain in health performance is higher for countries with low per capita public health expenditures.
Since 2008, the Environment and Development Division has been promoting the concept of eco-efficiency in infrastructure development as one of key tracks to shift towards green growth in support of a green economy. A series of activities to enhance understanding of policymakers on eco-efficient infrastructure were conducted.
This paper estimates the impact of the high food prices of 2010 on income poverty and the achievement of MDG 1 in Asia and the Pacific. It also estimates the impacts of high price during 2011 under various scenarios for the prices of food and oil. We find that although the high food prices of 2010 have not caused an increase in poverty in the region, they slowed down the rate of poverty reduction - the estimated number of poor decreased by 24.5 million people between 2009 and 2010, compared with 43.8 million people if staple food prices had not increased above domestic rates of inflation.
The movement of goods and services across borders has gradually been liberalized over the past few decades, thanks in large part to multilateral legal frameworks negotiated in global fora such as the World Trade Organization. In contrast, the movement of people across borders remains severely restricted worldwide.