The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement

Promoting South-South Regional Integration and Sustainable Development

image of The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement

International trade has been placed prominently into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in September 2015, as an engine for economic growth and development. There are at least 20 targets across different SDGs that are related to international trade. These targets relate to both multilateral and regional frameworks of trade rules and trade as economic activity. These are also closely linked with capacity of trade to be a driver of transformative changes which are of critical importance for developing and least developed countries. The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) is one of the oldest preferential trade agreements (PTA) in the region (signed in 1975 as the Bangkok Agreement) and is open for membership to all the developing countries in the ESCAP region. This book analyses how APTA can promote South-South trade and investment as well as help in meeting SDGs. This book will be useful for the policy makers as well as researchers in understanding how RTAs can be used as a tool for development.



Prospects for enhancing energy security in Asia and the Pacific through regional trade

Trade and investment are engines of growth for Asia and the Pacific. In 2012, the region surpassed Europe to become the world’s largest trading region. The general decline in import demand in developed countries continues to fuel the growth of South-South trade, further strengthening the role of Asia-Pacific, as most of that trade is contributed by this region. Therefore, intraregional exports experienced an increase in the total share of exports of these countries from 40% to 51% from 2000 to 2012 (ESCAP, 2014). However, the merchandise trade in Asia and the Pacific in 2015 continued to face significant challenges due to the regional as well as global macroeconomic outlook. ESCAP (2015a) estimated that export receipts of the Asia-Pacific economies grew sluggishly at 2.5% in 2014, while imports declined by 1.2%.


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