Trade beyond Doha

Prospects for the Asia-Pacific Least Developed Countries

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Focusing on the Least Developed Countries located in the Asia-Pacific region, this study explores the impact of different approaches available to the LDCs and their partners in improving their developmental prospects through enhanced trade. It presents trade related data of the 14 LDCs and the linkage between trade and economic development. It analyses market access and studies increasing protectionist measures faced by LDCs during the crisis period. It explores reciprocal trade liberalization policies (bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral) from various perspectives in order to better understand their differences, interaction and impact on LDCs and more developed countries. It also discusses possible options to improve the capacity of LDCs to tap their trade potential and integrate more effectively into the global economy.



Preferential market access issues

To fully utilize trade as a key driver of economic growth, access to markets should be free and under predictable terms. As discussed briefly in Chapter I, the link between trade and development is not only channelled through imports supplying necessary resources including knowledge and technology as well as final goods at prices and varieties not possible in autarky, but also through exports in terms of allowing exploitation of economies of scale, learning by doing as well as economic diversification. Thus, export markets also need to be accessed without obstacles, also for the simple reason of allowing exporters to capture higher prices as they would not need to shoulder the burden of tariffs for the local consumers. To assist exporters from developing countries, the international community agreed to introduce trade preference arrangements in order to improve their development prospects.


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