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Regional trade agreements and cross-border trade costs: The case of Pacific Island Countries

Trade costs matter, in particular for small island developing countries, such as Pacific island Countries (PICs), given their economic size and remoteness from the world markets. This paper examines whether PICs’ performance in cross-border trade costs is informed by the extent of their participation in regional trade agreements (RTAs). The paper begins by analyzing PICs’ membership in five RTAs, focusing on trade facilitation-related provisions committed through those agreements, which have the potential to reduce cross-border trade costs.


Do trade facilitation provisions in regional trade agreements matter? Impact on trade costs and multilateral spillovers

The scope and depth of bilateral and regional preferential trade agreements (RTAs) negotiated over the past 15 years has expanded beyond traditional market access and preferential tariffs to include provisions on a wide range of issues, including trade facilitation. This study is a first attempt to measure the extent to which RTA provisions related to those featured in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) contribute to reducing trade costs. Inclusion of such provisions in RTAs does not appear to systematically result in their implementation.


Services liberalization in transition economies: The case of North and Central Asia

This paper offers a review, analysis and assessment of the status of services liberalization in North and Central Asia. Following a brief introduction about the region and its economic context, this study provides an overview of the binding commitments undertaken by transition economies under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and an evaluation of how they compare to domestic policy reform, with a focus on the three transition economies that most recently acceded to the WTO: Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Tajikistan.


Ageing and consumer spending: Some preliminary findings from India and China

The health care for elderly population remains an important concern in the two populated economies of India and China. This paper provides an attempt to determine the extent of population aging in India and China and subsequently determine the ageing impacts on the aggregate as well as health care expenditures in these two countries, separately for the rural and urban areas. The respective state level (provincial) data from the most recent census information reveal wide regional differences in the levels of population aging in both India and China.


Does Access to Finance Facilitates the Firm’s Ability to Export? Experience from AsiaPacific Countries

Financial development plays an important role in the structure of the trade balance and promoting economic development. Trade literature suggests that differences in economies’ endowments of labour, land, physical capital and technology explain the dynamics and patterns of international trade flows. More recent literature argues that it is the heterogeneity in productivity of firms which mainly accounts for the decision and survival in the international markets.


Relative benefits/losses of India aligning with RCEP and BRICS countries under the conjecture of free trade area in goods

The present study works out the relative benefits/losses of India aligning with RCEP and BRICS member countries under the conjecture of free trade area in good trade only. The study uses partial (SMART model) and general equilibrium (GTAP model) tools for this assessment. The main focus in the study is to compare the benefits/losses to Indian economy associated with both policy scenarios. The results reveal that it would be beneficial for India to align with other RCEP member countries under the policy of free trade area in goods trade.


Farmer suicides in India and the weather god

This paper examines the reasons for farmer suicides in India. Inability to get the right price, crop failures, and insurmountable debt are the factors that may drive the farmers to take this extreme step. A key factor for farmers being unable to get market prices is inefficient agriculture supply chain management. We find that the reasons for inefficient supply chain management include lack of reforms in the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, low bargaining power due to small farm size, and lack of warehousing facilities.


Inequality in Asia: Convergence and Determinants

Inequality in its different dimensions may undermine the growth process itself through a number of channels. In this paper we have investigated three major things. First, what is the present scenario of income inequality of the Asian countries? That is whether inequality in these countries is increasing, decreasing or hovers around some threshold level. Second, what is the relation between growth and inequality in context of Asian regions? Third, what are the determining factors of inequality? And finally, we examine the convergence (or divergence) in terms of inequality.


The economic impact of Trans-Pacific partnership: What have we learned from CGE simulation?

The Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, if successfully implemented, will liberalize trade between the US, Japan and ten other Asia-Pacific economies, making it one of the largest regional agreements ever seen. The prospect of a comprehensive trade agreement spanning the Pacific raises a number of important quantitative questions. One of the most widely used techniques for evaluating the economic impact of regional trading agreements is numerical simulation with computable general equilibrium, or CGE, models.


Asymmetries in international merchandise trade statistics: A case study of selected countries in Asia and the Pacific

This working paper introduces the concept of bilateral asymmetries in international merchandise trade statistics (IMTS), i.e. the discrepancies that can be seen in reported bilateral trade flows between trading partners. Such discrepancies mean that the value of exports reported by one country does not equal the value of imports reported by its partner, also called mirror data. These discrepancies impact bilateral trade balances and other economic variables reliant upon trade balance and thus are relevant from trade and economic policymaking.