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Who Profits from Trade Facilitation Initiatives?

Extensive research has demonstrated the existence of large potential welfare gains from trade facilitation—measures to reduce the overall costs of the international movement of goods. From an equity perspective an important question is how those benefits are distributed across and within nations. After discussing the possible impacts of trade facilitation, we use firm-level data for a wide variety of developing countries to investigate whether it is mostly large firms that benefit from trade facilitation.


Addressing Non-tariff Measures in ASEAN

Intra-ASEAN trade has increased six-fold since 1993 but greater integration challenge looms in addressing non-tariff measures. The paper discusses the various ASEAN work programs on NTMs and assesses the incidence of Members‘ NTMs on various products. Various ways of accelerating the reduction of non-tariff barriers are discussed, including dispute settlement mechanisms. The paper highlights the importance of a unilateral approach in addressing NTMs and the use of regulatory impact analysis to improve policy making


Trade facilitation and poverty reduction in Asia and the Pacific: A case study of a South Asian Economic Corridor

Relation between trade, inequality and poverty within countries is not beyond controversy. Under free trade and competitive conditions, trade promotes growth, and growth reduces poverty. In general, trade liberalisation has long been seen as an important element of an effective and sound economic policy and trade facilitation is a necessary step for achieving it. Trade facilitation is aimed at ensuring the movement and clearance of goods across borders within the shortest time at the minimum cost. Reducing trade costs can have a profound impact on trade and therefore on poverty.


Papua New Guinea and the Natural Resource Curse

Abstract: Several empirical studies have found that when exports are concentrated in natural resources countries experience slower rates of economic growth. Various potential channels for this relationship have been identified including Dutch disease, volatility in the terms of trade, and impacts on governance. This paper explores whether Papua New Guinea (PNG), a resource rich state in the South Pacific, displays signs of suffering from the natural resource curse. The paper finds some evidence of Dutch disease in the decline of local manufacturing.


Inclusive growth experiences – the case of Nepal: A discussion on a paradox from conventional and holistic perspectives

Country insights vary according to analyses of their inclusive growth (IG) experiences. Looking at the trends in stylized facts of Nepal, a land-locked, least developing country in South Asia, is at first glance paradoxical. That is, Nepal experienced a costly domestic insurgency situation from the early 1990s. This, however, was accompanied by a sharply decreasing trend in poverty headcount rate from 41.8% in 1996 to 30.9% in 2004 and 25.2% in 2011.


Labour productivity and export performance: Firm-level evidence from Indian manufacturing industries since 1991

This paper examines the productivity of firms and their ability to enter the export market, i.e., the self-selection hypothesis and the determinants of labour productivity at the firm level for India’s major exporting manufacturing industries during 1991-2009. The paper also examines whether export intensity at the firm level differs between domestic-controlled and foreign-controlled firms, and between private and public firms. Applying a 2SLS model, the authors find evidence in favour of the self-selection hypothesis.


Trade costs and impacts of trade facilitation on manufacturing exports by Thailand

The improvement of international trade in recent years has been influenced by the reduction of trade costs. The attention of international trade is to minimize trade costs through tariffs, trade facilitation and trade logistics, both inbound and outbound. As one of the emerging economies in international trade, Thailand’s economy depends much on trade and therefore the Government has been attempting to eliminate all trade barriers. Since Thailand’s manufacturing trade amounts to some 90% of total trade, trade costs must play a significant role in such trade.


Specific trade facilitation measures to promote export of traditional knowledge based goods – a case study of Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom

Due to multilateral trade liberalization and a large number of bilateral and plurilateral preferential trade agreements, border barriers to trade, especially tariffs, have decreased tremendously. As a result, trade facilitation plays an increasingly important role in removing behind-the-border trade barriers which have become a major trade obstacle. Realizing this, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) program created two important initiatives for the improvement of transportation and trade facilitation.


Intellectual property rights in regional trade agreements of Asia-Pacific economies

Economic growth across the globe increasingly depends on knowledge-based industries. As a consequence Intellectual Property Rights, or IPRs, are becoming increasingly integral to trade agreements. With the stagnation of the Doha Round the prospect of new global standards, to augment those already agreed through TRIPS (the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights administered by WTO) is diminishing.


Social Security for Migrant Labour in the Greater Mekong Subregion

The paper examines the labour migration trends in ASEAN and in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), in particular, and analyses the ASEAN regional labour-related initiatives that seek to improve the protection of migrant workers. It discusses social protection and the access status of GMS migrant workers, as well as the legislative and legal barriers in accessing social security in host countries. Existing national social security schemes in ASEAN countries and how losses from lack of portability can be addressed, especially through social security agreements, are also discussed.