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.



Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement: A future roadmap

The world has witnessed an unprecedented growth in the number of regional trade agreements (RTAs) and comprehensive economic cooperation agreements (CECAs). What used to be bilateral and intraregional economic engagements now appear to be moving more and more towards mega-trade blocks across continents and oceans. It is in this context that the future of economic and cooperation integration needs to be analysed for the Asia-Pacific region, which has also been re-endorsed by the Ministerial Council of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA). This chapter also analyses how APTA can help benefit this process of integration for the Asia-Pacific economies. The context, rationale, objectives and modalities of outlining a way forward for APTA are analysed in greater detail in this study. In doing so, addressing the constraints on APTA is the prime focus of this study.


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