Most countries in Central Asia face high trade costs due to their lack of territorial access to the sea, remoteness and isolation from world markets and high transit costs. Reducing trade costs and shortening transit time is a fundamental step towards integrating these countries into the global market. While it is well recognized that transport and logistics infrastructure play key roles in this regard, there is a growing consensus that trade facilitation is also crucial to reducing trade costs through streamlining of the trade process.
Services exports from Asia-Pacific least developed countries (LDCs) are growing in volume and should be further encouraged as they can contribute towards export diversification and development. Unlike in the case of merchandise trade, however, until recently LDCs did not receive any preferential market access in services trade. Progress is finally being made towards implementation of a 2011 WTO mechanism (the ‘Services Waiver’) that provides a route for countries to voluntarily offer LDCs preferences in services.
The use and exchange of electronic data and documents to support international trade transaction processes, otherwise known as Paperless Trade, is an important means of facilitating trade and one of the keys to reducing trade costs and enabling developing economies to more effectively use of trade as an engine of growth and sustainable development.
This brief describes how TraceVerified has emerged to address the peculiar challenges of the aquaculture sector in Viet Nam, and aims to share relevant insights into implementing an electronic traceability system for policymakers in other countries.
This Brief introduces India’s experience in implementing GrapeNet, an IT-enabled traceability system for the grape sector in India. The Brief describes how GrapeNet has emerged to address challenges of the sector in the country, approaches taken in its implementation and its major functions and services. The Brief also highlights the benefits and major success factors in the process of implementing
GrapeNet and concludes by outlining the further development of similar traceability systems for other agricultural products.
This issue of the Trade Insights series provides analysis of the recently released United Nations Regional Commissions (UNRC) Global Trade Facilitation (TF) and Paperless Trade Implementation Survey 2015 for 44 economies and 5 sub-regions across the Asia-Pacific. The survey provides data on the implementation of 38 TF measures, including but not limited to those featured in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA).
Myanmar is emerging from decades of military rule, central planning and economic isolation as it implements political and economic reforms and, as a result, faces fewer international sanctions. The country has great potential for rapid development due to its vast natural resources, abundant labour force and geostrategic location. Capitalizing on these assets to achieve its goal requires well-implemented regulatory and institutional reform.
This "Policy Guidance Manual on Wastewater Management With a Special Emphasis on Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS)" has been developed based on experience of the policy makers and in consultations with relevant stakeholders at country and regional level and was shared in its signal version to the regional workshop on Wastewater Management and Sanitation on 2-3 April 2015.
China has grown to become an economic powerhouse and engine of global demand. However, China’s projected GDP growth rates are now anticipated to remain below 7% per annum over the next five years. This issue of Trade Insights examines how the ‘new normal’ of lower economic growth in China will impact on the prospects for trade in the Asia-Pacific region.