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24 February 2023, 12:00 - 12:30 UTC +7 | Open meeting

Hybrid Meeting, UNCC Meeting Room F and Zoom, Bangkok, Thailand, Thailand

Multilateral, plurilateral, unilateral, as well as regional integration efforts in the Asia-Pacific have brought down tariffs, increased connectivity, helped achieve regulatory harmonization and promoted cooperation across ESCAP members, spurring both intra- and extra-regional trade. Yet, many non-tariff obstacles to trade persist, posing several challenges to exporters and importers in the region.

Business survey results show that NTMs impact exporters in the Asia-Pacific significantly, with 55% of all interviewed firms reporting them as burdensome. NTMs applied by regional trade partners comprise exactly half (50%) of all reported NTMs. Most NTMs perceived burdensome by exporters are foreign regulations (81%) rather than domestic regulations (19%). Following a global trend, NTM surveys in the Asia-Pacific countries show that technical NTMs such as conformity assessments and technical requirements applied by partner countries, and procedural obstacles (POs) at home, are among the main hurdles for traders in the region.

Procedural obstacles experienced by exporters in their home country are the primary reason why NTMs are found to be burdensome. The most common procedural obstacles include time delays, the need to make informal payments or high fees and charges. Other procedural obstacles faced in the domestic market include lack of accreditation, lack of appropriate testing facilities, and difficulties obtaining trade and NTM-related information.

The report highlights that market access begins at home. Trade regulations are deemed burdensome by exporters in the Asia-Pacific region primarily because of domestic procedural obstacles. Streamlining trade procedures at home is key to enabling exporters to access export markets. We also see that is that a higher implementation rate of trade facilitation measures, especially in the form of paperless trade, correlates with a fewer concerns vis-a-vis NTMs and higher export shares.


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Mr. Alexey Kravchenko
Economic Affairs Officer, Trade Policy and Facilitation Section (TFPS), Trade Investment and Innovation Division (TIID), ESCAP
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Alexey Kravchenko is Economic Affairs Officer, Trade Policy and Facilitation Section of the Trade, Investment and Innovation Division of the United Nations ESCAP. His work revolves around issues of trade and sustainable development, non-tariff measures, illicit financial flows and trade misinvoicing in the region. His most recent work focused on trade and climate change and the development of an online platform to support trade negotiators in data analysis. Prior to joining the United Nations, he ran a consultancy which specialized in non-market valuation, choice modelling and geo-spatial online surveys. He also taught various undergraduate and graduate economics and econometrics courses in China (Shanghai International Studies University) and New Zealand (University of Waikato and Waikato Institute of Technology). He holds Masters in International Business and Mandarin, Masters in Economics, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Mr. Samidh Shrestha
Analyst, International Trade Centre
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Samidh Shrestha is an Analyst at the International Trade Centre, Geneva. Since 2010 he been at ITC’s Trade and Market Intelligence section. He is currently managing ITC’s Business Surveys on non-tariff measures (NTMs) and value chain development. He has authored and contributed to numerous country and regional studies on NTMs and regional integration. In addition, he is actively involved in ITC’s capacity building programs on market access and trade intelligence.

Prior to joining ITC, he gained several years of private sector experience in Germany.

Samidh Shrestha has a master’s degree in International Economics from Geneva Graduate Institute, Switzerland and an undergraduate degree from Jacobs University Bremen, Germany.

for more information, please contact

Trade, Investment and Innovation Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]
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