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.
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.
WTO+ Commitments on Services in Asian PTAs: The Role of Regulatory Homogeneity and Goods Trade Complementarity
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.
Export restrictions and policy space for sustainable development: Lessons from trends in the regulation of export restrictions (2012-2016)
This study estimates the effect of trade facilitation measures implementation on trade costs in Asia and the Pacific using data from the United Nations Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation. Impact of different sets of measures are considered, from a basic set of measures to ensure compliance with the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA) commitments, to a full set of digital trade facilitation measures.
Trade and investment can be effective means of implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. However, stand-alone trade and investment liberalization policies aimed at enhancing economic development may have negative side-effects on non-economic facets of sustainable development. As such, they are best to be accompanied by trade facilitation measures, as well as environmental, social and other complementary policies.
The Belt Road Initiative (BRI) suggested by China’s President Xi Jinping provides an ambitious vision encouraging a new level of cooperation among countries along several economic corridors spanning most of the Asian economies member of ESCAP. This paper reviews the trade and trade facilitation situation of economies along each of the corridors and analyzes the potential impact on trade from improvements in hard (physical connectivity via good quality transportation networks) and soft (efficient trade facilitation via an effective border administration and use of ICT) infrastructures.