Cross-border paperless trade has significant potential to reduce trade costs and boost trade in the Asia-Pacific region. Cross-border paperless trade refers to “international trade taking place on the basis of electronic communications, including exchange of trade-related data and documents in electronic form between relevant stakeholders across borders”. As evidenced by ESCAP Resolution 68/3 adopted in 2012 , the implementation of cross-border paperless trade has emerged as a key regional policy issue on the trade facilitation agenda in the Asia-Pacific region.
These notes, based on in-house research and analysis, are a contribution by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to The Fifth Global Review of Aid for Trade (July 2015) organized at the WTO on the theme of "Reducing Trade Costs for Inclusive, Sustainable Growth". For more information on ESCAP's work on reducing trade costs and trade facilitation, please visit: http://www.unescap.org/our-work/trade-investment/trade-facilitation
Countries that implement trade facilitation reforms and enhance trade efficiency and connectivity are generally expected to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI). Using a unique bilateral dataset on FDI flows covering both OECD and developing economies in Asia and the Pacific, UN ESCAP estimated the impact of relevant trade costs and trade facilitation indicators on FDI.