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Export restrictions and policy space for sustainable development: Lessons from trends in the regulation of export restrictions (2012-2016)

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994) generally prohibits the World Trade Organization (WTO) members from using export quotas and other quantitative restrictions with certain exceptions. By contrast, export duties are not regulated under the GATT 1994 though a few WTO members such as China commit to restricting the use of export duties in their WTO accession protocols. Given the plethora of regional trade agreements (RTAs) and the slow progress of the WTO Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, the incorporation of WTO-plus provisions into RTAs that regulate export restrictions in a more effective manner could contribute to a transparent and predictable trade regime.

Impact of implementation of digital trade facilitation on trade costs

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.


Sustainable development impact of trade and investment liberalization in Asia and the Pacific

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.


Trade and trade facilitation along the Belt and Road Initiative corridors

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.


On the economic impact of FDI and trade liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region: A structural quantitative analysis

The authors employ the structural model of trade and investment from Anderson, Larch and Yotov (2017) in order to quantify the impact of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and trade liberalization on exports and real GDP per capita in the Asia-Pacific region. Using a dataset of 89 countries for 2011, which covers more than 97 percent of the trade and investment activity in the ESCAP member countries form the Asia-Pacific region, the authors find that FDI has had a strong but heterogeneous impact on the economic performance of the countries in this region.


International trade law perspectives on paperless trade and inclusive digital trade

Cross-border paperless trade is increasingly important to generate economic gains in a digitalised economy. Several developing and least developed countries will need to modernise their domestic laws and regulations to facilitate cross-border electronic transmissions, particularly to promote cloud computing and electronic payments.


Myanmar’s engagement in regional integration: Status and way forward

Recent restoration of democracy in Myanmar is one of the most important developments in the country’s history and potentially of large significance for the region.Owing to its strategic position, Myanmar connects Asia’s three big markets—Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, and India. Since 2011, Myanmar has embarked on a path of political and economic reforms, paving the way for unlocking the country’s large potential.


Join hands or walk alone? Evidence on lobbying for trade policy in India

Using primary evidence for 146 Indian manufacturing firms, I examine the types of lobbying strategies(lobbying defined as attempts to communicate information to political actors) for trade policy influence and what drives firm choice for these strategies. Firm scan lobby collectively in a group (Join Hands), lobby individually as a single firm (WalkAlone), or adopt a ‘DualStrategy’ that is a unique combination of collective and individual lobbying.



Policy landscape of trade in environmental goods and services

This paper analyses the trends in trade flows and trade policies in environmental goods (EGs) and related serv ices, with a focus on the Asia - Pacific Economies. The paper finds that the region is a dominant player in both exports and imports of EGs in the world, contributing to 42% and 44%, respectively. Renewable energy related goods dominate both the export and import basket of EGs in the region.