Agriculture remains the backbone of most Asia-Pacific developing economies and approximately 50% of the Asian working population is employed in the agricultural sector. In view of the export potential of agricultural products in the region, it is urgent to reduce trade costs in this sector, particularly since they are typically twice as high as those for manufactured goods
Estimated trade costs in a comprehensive manner has long been a challenge, with most measures and studies featuring only some of the cost components, such as international shipping costs or official fees and charges involved in trade transactions. In 2011, however, UN ESCAP released the first international trade cost database featuring bilateral trade costs of Asian countries accounting for all additional costs involved in conducting a transaction across borders rather internally.
This document comes from the South Asia Subregional Consultation on Youth Volunteerism to Promote Participation, Development and Peace which was held at the Trade Tower Business Centre, Thapathali, Kathmandu, Nepal from 23 to 25 March 2015.
This is the information note for participants in the WTO/ESCAP Tenth ARTNeT Capacity Building Workshop for Trade Research “Empirical Methods in Trade: Analyzing Trade costs and Trade Facilitation”, 15-19 June 2015, Bangkok, Thailand.
These presentations by Ms. Mia Mikic, ESCAP, Mr. Florian Alburo, University of the Philippines and Mr. Saman Kelegama, Institute of Policy Studies, are from the event " Second Meeting of the Working Group on the Formation of an Integrated Market in Asia and the Pacific", 26-27 March 2015, Bangkok, Thailand.
Of the world’s nearly 200 million migrants, the ILO estimates that 90 million men and women were migrant workers in 2005 (ILO 2007) and the figure is steadily rising. While the numbers of international migrants from, and within, the Pacific are small in overall terms, the importance of labour mobility and its impact on societies and economies in many parts of the Pacific cannot be underestimated (Voigt-Graf 2007).
Business process analysis (BPA) of trade procedures has proven to be an effective tool to design and motivate trade facilitation reform in Asia and the Pacific, providing a detailed picture of the existing import and export processes along the entire international supply chain. Over 50 import and export processes in Asia and the Pacific have been mapped out and evaluated using the UNNExT BPA methodology since 2009, both by international organizations (such as ESCAP, ECE, ADB) and relevant organizations and agencies in individual member states.