ARTNeT acts as an information repository providing a linkage to international organizations such as the International Trade Centre, UNCTAD, and the WTO, which in turn facilitate researchers' access to trade data and trade analysis tools. ARTNeT also builds trade research capacity through facilitating access to relevant trade and investment related databases, such as several listed below:


The Trade Indicators Portal was developed as part of the Development Account 9th tranche project Enhancing the Contribution of Preferential Trade Agreements to Inclusive and Equitable trade. APTIP is designed to assist researchers, policymakers, students and other interested individuals in visualizing the link between indicators of inclusive trade and preferential trade agreements that have been signed in Asia and the Pacific in an intuitive and user-friendly manner.

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An online database of trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region. The database contains information on all agreements within the region, an agreement-country matrix, and an advanced search engine allowing to locate agreements by country, agreement name, status, scope, WTO notification status, and keywords.

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The ESCAP Trade and Investment Division, in support to the ARTNeT research programme on trade facilitation, initiated development of a bilateral trade cost database in 2010 in an effort to increase understanding of the cost of trading between countries in Asia and the Pacific and beyond. The trade cost measure, based on Novy (2012) [1] , is a comprehensive all-inclusive measure based on micro-theory and calculated using macro-economic data, providing an alternative measure of trade facilitation performance. Following release of a first version of the database in 2010 using trade and GDP data, [2] an improved and expanded version 2 was released in December 2011 - based on gross output data and providing sectoral trade cost estimates for about 100 countries.[3]

In late 2011, United Nations ESCAP and the World Bank (WB) joined hands to develop a common standard methodology for calculating comprehensive international trade costs and provide the research and policy community with a global reference. The current version includes data from 1995 to 2016 for over 180 countries.

In addition to maintaining the ESCAP-World Bank trade cost dataset, ESCAP also issued a Value-added trade cost database, based on the OECD-WTO TiVA data and which includes trade cost in services. The database is available here. More information and a preliminary analysis of that dataset is available here

Note: Earlier versions of the databases are available upon request to the authors. Updated: November 2018

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This database features the results from the second global survey on trade facilitation and paperless trade implementation, covering 120 countries worldwide. The survey instrument includes 47 measures which are related to the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), “paperless trade” measures, and the specific trade facilitation measures for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the agricultural sector and women. Led by ESCAP, the survey was jointly conducted by five United Nations Regional Commissions, namely, ECA, ECE, ECLAC, ESCAP and ESCWA in 2017.

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This initiative is designed to more closely integrate the research capacity building and research programme implementation objectives and activities of ARTNeT, particularly under ARTNeT priority Theme 1 (trade, investment and domestic policy coherence for inclusive growth). It includes regional technical research workshops, support for research studies to apply techniques learned, development of related research facilitation tools, and support for dissemination of policy relevant results.

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