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A HANDBOOK ON SAFEGUARD RULES FOR LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

Article XIX of GATT (Emergency Action) and the WTO Agreement on Safeguards (1994) allow member States to take safeguard measures to protect domestic producers from serious injury caused by increased imports. These measures can be in the form of an import duty exceeding the bound rate, import quotas (where allowed) or a combination of both as Tariff Rate Quotas.  The measures can only be applied for a limited duration, initially lasting for up to four years, and can be extended to a maximum of eight years (10 years in the case of developing countries, including a least developed country) from the date of their initial imposition.

The Gravity Model of International Trade: A User Guide (An updated version)

The gravity model is the workhorse of the applied international trade literature. It has been used in literally thousands of research papers and published articles covering all areas of trade. It is of particular interest to policy researchers because it makes it possible to estimate the trade impacts of various trade-related policies, from traditional tariffs to new “behind-the-border” measures.


Handbook on Negotiating Sustainable Development Provisions in Preferential Trade Agreements

A proliferation of regional trade agreements (RTAs) has been witnessed across the world but also in the Asia-Pacific region, which has contributed to its trade-driven growth. Indeed, over the last three decades, the Asia-Pacific region has experienced export-oriented development, with economic growth closely linked to a reduction in poverty levels. This has increasingly occurred through improved integration into regional and global value and supply chains, which has been central to Asian growth. Specifically, manufacturing outsourcing, mainly in the technology and labour-intensive manufacturing sectors, made the region a prime example of the potential positive force that trade can have on the economy and society. Nevertheless, trade-driven economic growth can also be unbalanced. Trade liberalisation in particular can cause a rise of inequality within and between countries, such that adaptation and adjustment measures are required and must be accounted for to ensure that the parties to an RTA can take advantage of the potential that trade presents. Whilst the poverty headcount dropped across the region, in many countries in Asia and the Pacific, for example those in South-East Asia, inequality remains high, particularly between urban and rural populations, and issues persist in terms of access to healthcare, education, ICT, energy, transport, etc. Moreover, some countries continue to struggle to enter global value chains (GVCs), due to high trade barriers and/or high costs to trade, or an over-reliance on exports concentrated in commodities and natural resources. Trade can also have a negative impact on the environment. A significant portion of the academic literature seems to indicate that increases in trade liberalisation might lead to higher levels of CO2 emissions. The ability of international trade to provide greater societal and environmental benefits for sustainable development very much depends on the quality of the RTAs, and the public and private sector policies enacted to support it in this direction. Example of such policies include taxes on greenhouse gas emissions, rejecting the use plastic bags, amongst many others, or the establishment of a Labour Cooperation Mechanism between countries to improve labour standards, such as the provided created between the Chile and the Unites States through the Chile-US FTA in 2004.

A Handbook on Negotiating Development Oriented Intellectual Property Provisions in Trade and Investment Agreements

The drafting of the Handbook on negotiating development oriented intellectual property provisions in trade and investment agreements (Handbook here forth) was guided by the objective of supporting Asia and the Pacific economies in reaching successful and sustainable outcomes in trade agreement negotiations that involve intellectual property. To accomplish this objective, this Handbook first introduces the multilateral intellectual property system and explains the trends for additional intellectual property protection in international trade and investment agreements.


Trade integration within ASEAN: The role of non-tariff measures for Cambodia, the Lao People`s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam

In 2014, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) decided to launch and finance a research and capacity-building project on economic integration within ASEAN. More specifically, the project was aimed at dealing with the specific problems that the four less prosperous countries of ASEAN (i.e., Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam, collectively known as the CLMV group) would have to cope with in the context of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which was to be fully realized by the end of 2015.


Analytical Approaches to Evaluating Preferential Trade Agreements

Among the most notable recent developments in the trading environment of the Asia-Pacific region has been the proliferation of preferential trading arrangements (PTAs). Many of the agreements are bilateral, involving small, developing Asia-Pacific economies partnering with other similar economies, and in some cases with the major economic powerhouses (Japan, United States, and China). A number of very large trade agreements, involving multiple economies in the region, are also under consideration.


Exploring the Trade Patterns and Developmental Implications of Land Concessions: The Case of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand

This report deals with land concessions in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand – a much contended topic which leads discussants from issues such as land ownership and utilization to social structures, human rights and beyond. Overall, this report aims to examine changes in relative competitiveness in selected tradable commodities of Thailand and whether they are impacted through increases of land concession in selected countries in the subregion.


Evaluating aid for trade projects: Experiences from Asia and the Pacific

ESCAP’s support for the project was applied through the establishment of a framework for evaluating project - level details of Aid for Trade projects based on which external consultants analyzed several individual projects in Bangladesh, Fiji, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam.


Impacts of trade facilitation measures on poverty and inclusive growth: Case studies from Asia

International trade has been the main engine of economic growth for the majority of economies in the Asia-Pacific region, enabling them to significantly reduce poverty during the past two decades. In the long term, trade liberalization is likely to foster improvements in technology, foreign direct investment (FDI), business networks, competition as well as efficient and cost-effective production, all of which go a long way towards promoting economic growth. In turn, economic growth is regarded as a key determinant of sustained poverty alleviation.


Trade Performance and Competitiveness: Selected Issues Relevant for Asian Developing Economies

Structural transformation, economic diversification and logistics are some of the issues explored in this new book from the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT). The volume's essays use various methodologies to provide new perspectives on the region's growth and prospects. Individual chapter's focus on: trade policy in Nepal; logistics in Bangladesh and Thailand; Sri Lankan exports; and SMEs in Cambodia.