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Escaping the “middle income trap”: the divergent experiences of the Republic of Korea and Brazil

This policy brief reviews the key drivers behind the successful catch - up through a comparative analysis of Republic of Korea and Brazil. These two economies represent an interesting case in that until the 1980s, the GDP of Brazil was higher than that of Republic of Korea. Thereafter, the two economies took different paths, with Brazil becoming stuck in so - called “middle - income trap” and Republic of Korea making a significant progress.



From negotiation to implementation: The Australian experience of implementing FTAs

The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) entered force on 12 December 2014, expanding trade opportunities among two of the Asia-Pacific's largest trading economies. This policy brief summarizes the process of concluding a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and moving to implementation from the perspective of Australian experience.


Education of girls vital to moving up the trade value chain

Although the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 to Malala Yousafzai demonstrates recognition of girl’s education as a political issue, the education of girls also has economic repercussions that specifically affect trade.



SME Loan Defaults in Bangladesh

SMEs are vital for growth and jobs in Bangladesh, accounting for 40 per cent of all employment. In comparison with large enterprises and micro enterprises, SMEs have traditionally been underserved in terms of access to credit. However, more recently collateral-free  loans  through  bank  lending  have  become  available  to  SMEs with the central bank’s growing focus on SME financing. Although official statistics suggest that the SME loan default rate is about two per cent, it is  acknowledged  that  overall  SME  loan  default figures in Bangladesh may have reached five or six per cent.


Moving Freely? Labour Mobility in ASEAN

This policy brief reviews the level of labour market integration in ASEAN and assesses labour market reforms being undertaken as part of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) . Key findings:


Kazakhstan’s membership of the Eurasian Customs Union: Implications for trade and WTO accession

Kazakhstan joined the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) with Russia and Belarus in 2010 leading to changes in Kazakhstan’s tariff schedule and non - tariff measures (NTMs). By 2015, tariffs will nearly have doubled on a trade - weighted basis from 2009. NTMs have also become more trade restrictive. This has led to some trade diversion towards ECU partners and away from other trading partners, in particular the European Union and China. Kazakhstan has been negotiating World Trade Organization (WTO) membership since 1996.


United States’ Unfair Competition acts and software Piracy - Which Asia-Pacific countries are at risk and recourse do they have?

In response to tightening global competition and the ripple effects of the 2008 economic crisis United States state and federal level competition law is being applied to counter software piracy’s effects on the competitiveness of foreign exporters; Sanctions range from fines to import bans Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Viet Nam are among the countries with the highest levels of software piracy and dependence on exports to the United States and thus among the most exposed to the acts; Weighed against the general trade interests of the United States China, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam Tha


Export Bans are Ineffective and Bad for Governance: Evidence from the Indian Antiquities Market

This policy brief argues that export bans are often ineffective in achieving their stated aims. The reason is that producers have a clear economic incentive to bypass the law, and continue to sell their product overseas. Export bans therefore tend to foster illegal transactions, which are a mixed bag from an economic point of view. On the one hand, they undercut the ban itself, which is usually a good thing in terms of efficiency.