Rules on digital trade are rapidly taking shape as countries in Asia-Pacific and beyond strive to secure the benefits associated with e-commerce and the digitalization of trade in goods and services. At the multilateral level, the WTO holds promise to reach a plurilateral agreement on core e-commerce issues by the end of 2023. Although far-reaching outcome seems unlikely, e-commerce rules agreed in the WTO will potentially serve as baseline commitments on cooperation in digital trade.
The global food supply chain experiences a loss of approximately one-third of the food produced, making food loss in international trade a significant threat to food and nutrition security and economic loss. Bangladesh, a major producer of vegetables and fruits, faces constraints such as post-harvest management, inadequate transportation and storage facilities, limited access to quality seeds, and stringent quality standards imposed by importing countries. The country also faces non-tariff measures and other obstacles to trade, with the agri-food products sector being the most affected.
Practical means of applying the TRIPS agreement’s flexibilities to spur vaccine production : special series on trade and health
Timely and equitable access to vaccines and other health technologies is vital in effectively responding to pandemics and treating other communicable diseases. This paper shows how countries might overcome real or purported intellectual property (IP) barriers to regional COVID-19 vaccine production. In particular, it examines how countries can utilise IP flexibilities to increase and diversify the manufacture and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Estimating the effect of trade facilitation implementation on trade misinvoicing-based illicit financial flows and tax revenue in Asia and the Pacific
Trade misinvoicing occurs when price, quantity or description of internationally traded goods is purposefully misrepresented for pecuniary gain. It is one type of illicit financial flows (IFFs), and combating IFFs has been explicitly included in the Sustainable Development Goals. Most literature on the topic so far focused on understanding and estimating misinvoicing. This study examines whether, as previously hypothesised, digital trade facilitation, in particular cross-border trade data exchange, can help in addressing misinvoicing.
There have been many important innovations in the landscape of vaccine development for neglected and emerging infectious diseases, such as the launch of public-private product development partnerships (PDPs). However, there is still a gap in funding the development of such vaccines, especially when it comes to financing late-stage trials. There is a financial risk in investing in late-stage trials, and there is no guarantee of a commercial market, particularly for the most neglected diseases of poverty.
Food loss in international trade: A case study of Indonesian tuna exported to the European Union, the United States, and Japan
The knowledge of the drivers of food losses in international trade and possible mitigation strategies is still limited. This study focused on the prevalence and drivers of food loss in Indonesian tuna exported to the European Union, the United States, and Japan. The results showed that various existing Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) are in place to ensure food safety. However, standards and regulations differ significantly among trade partners, and are somewhat more strict than international standards, leading to higher rejection levels.
Strengthening Health Systems to Address Inequities in COVID-19 Vaccine Access in the Asia-Pacific Region
The economic and health recovery of countries in the Asia-Pacific region from the pandemic is hinged on the rapid and equitable deployment of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. However, in the initial years of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, highly unequal distribution of vaccines occurred across and within countries. Even though the tight global supply was indeed an issue, health system challenges, particularly in terms of financing, service delivery, human resources, regulatory capacity and governance, played an important role in the inequitable deployment of vaccines.
International Transport and Logistics of Vaccines Across Borders: The Case of the Asia-Pacific Region
Vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have provided hope for containing the pandemic, but there are challenging obstacles to international transport and logistics of the new vaccines and vaccine inputs needed for manufacturing. This study identifies key barriers in the Asia-Pacific region to the timely and effective transport of vaccines from the countries where they are manufactured to the countries where they are needed.
The global health crisis that came to be known as the COVID-19 pandemic and started to sweep across the world in early 2020 revealed many vulnerabilities in the economic, social, and political fabric underpinning what much of the world had come to accept as normal. In ways that we are still grappling to understand, the pandemic and the many disruptions it brought about have ushered in significant changes to the way we work, consume, spend our leisure time, and even our relationships to government.
The COVID-19 pandemic re-emphasized the role of vaccines in prevention and control of outbreaks and infectious diseases, but not all countries are able to produce them. Limited domestic capacities combined with other bottlenecks have often resulted in vaccine stockouts in many countries. In this context, international trade could be instrumental in overcoming challenges pertaining to vaccine availability. This study is an analysis of trade and trade barriers related to vaccines and vaccine inputs in the Asia-Pacific region, the second largest regional trader of vaccine inputs.