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.



Potential supply chain between the Participating States of APTA and PICTA members

Small island countries, especially those that are located at remote distances, face several problems in their development path. Usually, these problems arise mainly from the lack of resources – economic, social and natural – long distances from continents and asymmetry in information. The resource crunch acts as a bottleneck in the development of their agricultural activities and industries and limits public expenditure in various sectors. The Pacific Island Countries (PICs) considered in this chapter, are perfect examples of this situation. Due to the above-mentioned difficulties, their export competitiveness and export earnings are very low. Their dependence on imports is quite high, even for low-cost common items. Joining a supply chain production network with the Participating States of APTA (which include leading economic giants such as India, China and the Republic of Korea) could be a very effective way to address these issues. The benefits could be that their agricultural and industrial resources gain better markets in the APTA region in terms of share and price, and that they can attract financial as well as technical assistance from the Participating States of APTA as co-partners in production processes.


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