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We review the literature on the relationship between agricultural trade policy reform and poverty, and the results of recent detailed simulation studies applied to economies in the Asia-Pacific region. We then use the Global Trade Analysis Project model to evaluate the possible impacts of the most recently proposed modalities for agricultural trade reform under Doha on the economies of the Asia-Pacific region, which we compare to a benchmark of comprehensive agricultural trade reform. The current proposal does not result in significant cuts to applied tariffs, and has very modest overall effects on welfare. Average poverty in the region would decrease overall, but the distribution across countries is uneven. By contrast, comprehensive agricultural trade reform, with developing economies fully engaged, tends to benefit most economies in the region in the aggregate, and consistently lowers poverty.

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.

The development experience in the Asian and Pacific region has stood out as an extraordinary example of what can be achieved when policymakers, experts, scholars and people at large harness their creativity, knowledge and foresight. The Asia-Pacific Development Journal has been a proud partner in this process, providing a scholarly means for bringing together research work by eminent social scientists and development practitioners from the region and beyond for use by a variety of stakeholders. Over the years, the Journal has emerged as a key United Nations publication in telling the Asian and Pacific development story in a concise, coherent and impartial manner to stimulate policy debate and assist in the formulation of policy in the region.

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Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]