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Non-tariff measures and sustainable development: The case of the European Union import ban on seafood from Sri Lanka

Non-tariff measures (NTMs) can affect trade performance of trading partners. In addition to trade performance, the NTMs (including sanctions) may have direct and indirect linkages to capacity of trading partners to meet their commitments under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The purposes of this research were to explore the performance of exports of seafood industry of Sri Lanka before, during and after the imposition of European Union’s ban (on ????) and to develop indicators and measure the impact of the same ban on stakeholders of the seafood industry in Sri Lanka by looking through the prism of sustainable development. More specifically, this study applied composite indicator approach with min-max normalization, arithmetic mean aggregations and weighting techniques to assess impact on several of SDGs. The principal component analysis was performed to identify the best sub-indicators for the composite indicator. During the period when the ban was in force, Sri Lanka seafood industry experienced lower revealed competitive advantage score, market concentration score and growth rate than at other times. Further, the findings revealed that the ban generated mixed effects on SDGs. Due to the ban, SDG 12 (responsible production) and SDG 14 (life below water) have been positively impacted while SDG 1 (no poverty) and SDG 8 (economic growth) were adversely affected. The research recommends that unilateral and ad hoc decisions should not be taken regarding NTMs because they have very sensitive and invisible linkages with SDGs. Furthermore, when there are legitimate need to impose such NTMs, sufficient time should be given to the trading partners to put in place measures and actions for compliance with such NTMs.

An assessment of fishing vessel capacity on subsidies, non-tariff measures, and attaining Sustainable Development Goals

The members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been continuously involved in achieving a balanced outcome in the area of fisheries subsidies negotiations in 2018. The discussions have been ongoing and will continue in 2019. According to the 11th Ministerial Conference decision of the WTO, members are committed towards securing a deal in 2019. There are various aspects of fisheries subsidies that members of the WTO are presently assessing. The SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Target 14.6 is one of the fundamentals for an outcome in the fisheries negotiations. The SDG Target 14.6 aims to prohibit or reduce fisheries subsidies linked to overfishing, overcapacity and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). In 2018, in the Rules Negotiating Group (RNG) on the fisheries clusters, members have discussed on overfishing and IUU issues. However, discussions on the overcapacity issue merits further investigations part of the SDG Target 14.6. This paper therefore aims to assess the relationship between fishing vessel capacity and fisheries subsidies as well as non-tariff measures, and provide further policy advice to trade negotiators in relation to the SDGs. In the assessment, we use panel data modelling of select developed OECD member countries that hold current vessel capacity and assess this against subsidies, non-tariff measures, exports and fish landing. The selected OECD member countries comprise of the proponents of the “Friends of fish” group. The finding of the paper provides policy recommendations for negotiators on fisheries subsidies and overcapacity. It also provides suggestions for special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries (LDCs) in the fisheries negotiations.

Tariff liberalization in the RCEP trade agreement and impact on India`s automobile industry: An applied general equilibrium analysis

Adequate attention has not been paid by researchers towards general equilibrium effects of trade liberalization particularly involving trade in global value chains (GVC) goods, in spite of its emergence being an established phenomenon among Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) members including India. This paper contributes in that aspect by undertaking a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) simulation utilizing the GTAP 9 database updated to 2015, augmenting it to study the automobile sector of trade in GVC goods in the Indian context. In the case of automobile industry, ours is the first attempt to employ this tool in this context and this is one of the methodological/data contributions of this paper. The key here is to analyze the welfare effects for India, in a probable futuristic scenario of a full tariff liberalization (with and without any productivity improvement) as part of the ongoing RCEP negotiations, and the specific impact of this on output, prices and trade in the automobile and auto-parts industry, wherein GVC led trade assumes significance...

The impact of odd-even transportation policy and other factors on pollution in Delhi: A spatial and RDD analysis

This paper is motivated by persistent environmental problems in Delhi, India which present a serious threat to the well-being of the people in the city. The authors use a statistical approach to quantify the relationship between new transportation policy adopted by the Delhi Government, other controlled factors like meteorological conditions, price of fossil fuel, ban on crackers, burning of agriculture residue, among others on the concentration of various gaseous pollutants and air pollution levels at certain measurement stations in Delhi. Moreover, they try to explain whether the odd-even transportation policy has been able to reduce pollution in Delhi both in short and long run and its impact on pollution levels existing in Delhi. At the end, they suggest some policy measures which should be undertaken to reduce pollution levels in Delhi.

What does RCEP mean for insiders and outsiders? The Experience of India and Sri Lanka

This paper explores the economic implications of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – Asia’s largest trade agreement - on India and Sri Lanka. The findings from existing model-based studies suggest that India, as an insider economy, will potentially gain from the RCEP while outsider economy Sri Lanka will likely loose. India faces challenges in the RCEP negotiations in liberalizing goods and services trade and adopting new intellectual property rules. Building business competitiveness and policy reforms can mitigate these challenges.

Trade liberalisation and poverty: Evidence from Thailand

This paper replicates the study of Topalova (2010), performs a robustness check, and extends the findings by applying the estimation technique to the economy of Thailand. Topalova (2010) found that trade liberalization in India has heterogenous effects on poverty and household consumption. More specifically, districts in which production sectors are more exposed to trade openness, experienced less poverty reduction and slower consumption growth. The effects of trade reform on poverty have been extended to a squared poverty gap, and the results are robust to other poverty measures.

Corruption and the business environment in Viet Nam: An exploratory survey

This paper examines the effect of corruption on the business environment in Viet Nam. Our survey of firms operating in Viet Nam suggests that corruption is perceived as the most severe business constraint for their operation. Also, corruption has a significant negative association with the overall satisfaction of the business environment in Viet Nam. Such results support the hypothesis that corruption has a “sand the wheel” effect on firms’ business activities. While this paper sheds light on the importance of corruption, it would be useful to conduct follow-up studies to examine corruption and its impact in more detail. Such studies could be conducted in those segments that most severely suffer from corruption according to our survey, i.e., medium-sized enterprises, hotel/restaurant and construction sectors, Hanoi based, and Vietnamese owned firms.

WTO+ Commitments on Services in Asian PTAs: The Role of Regulatory Homogeneity and Goods Trade Complementarity

This paper looks at the role of applied services regulations in accounting for WTO+ commitments on trade in services in preferential trade agreements (PTAs) among Asian economies. The empirical findings suggest that Asian trading dyads with regulatory frameworks that are more similar and more trade-restrictive tend to undertake higher levels of WTO+ commitments on services in their PTAs. There is also evidence in the results for such WTO+ commitments being driven by goods trade complementarities, alluding to the importance of supply chain dynamics in the region. Such results support the hypothesis that the heightened “servicification” of production generates a greater demand for lower services input costs and for certainty against possible new and disruptive services barriers.

South-South cooperation in the era of Global Value Chains: What can China offer?

China is a success story of inclusive trade growth as a result of its participation in Global Value Chains (GVCs). It is in transition from a processing and assembly hub towards an innovation centre, and is becoming a regional supplier of research and development (R&D) intensive parts and components. The infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a quasi-regional trade arrangement, are helping to improve regional connectivity and production linkage, but Chinese manufacturing also bring shocks to local production and employment.

Is world trade becoming more regionalised?

The proliferation of RTAs is a central feature of the world trade policy environment in the last 20 years. This paper provides an empirical study of the extent to which the formation of RTAs has changed the distribution of world goods trade among trading partners. To do this, it constructs a new measure, an index which measures the extent of bilateral trade between pairs of countries in each year. On average for the world economy this measure does not increase over the sample period 1981 to 2016.