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.
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.
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.
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.