Trade-led Growth

A Sound Strategy for Asia

image of Trade-led Growth
The global economic crisis triggered changes in real economies and trade in all countries, including those in Asia, which adopted the so-called export-led growth model. With these drastic changes in trade flows, and the need to counteract potential adverse effects, the old debate on the advantages and flaws of the export-led model has re-opened. It aims to provide some theoretical and empirical reasons towards an argument that for developing Asian economies, export-led growth is still a valid model of stable, equitable and sustainable growth. It also combines local research with that of established ones. While there is extensive literature focusing on the role of openness and trade in a country’s development, much of it dates to before the most recent global crisis. Volumes that were recently published argue against an export-led growth strategy, while this volume argues in defence of trade-led growth for the Asian region.



Preface and acknowledgements

This volume is a collection of papers presented at the conference which celebrated 5th anniversary of the establishment of Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT). The conference took place in November 2009 as the global economy and the Asian region in particular were already starting to taste some traces of recovery in both trade flows and GDP growth. At that time it was too early to declare crisis over, and from today’s perspective this was a right call. While trade flows, at least of most of the Asian economies as well as of commodity producers around the world returned by the pre-crisis monthly values by mid 2010, escalating financial problems in Euro zone economies and no return of growth to the United States, couple with economic disasters in Japan and some other countries, caused for halting of trade growth towards the end of 2011. While it is too early to comment on the duration and characteristics of this slow-down (could it be a second recession bottom — tracing the famous W shape of the crisis?) the fact that it again has the most direct implications for the trade-dependent economies comforts the editors of this volume. Namely “trade-led growth in times of crisis” has not disappear from the agendas of researchers, analysts, practitioners and development strategists as it seems that ”crisis”, understood as a short-fall in a global demand, will remain a characteristics of a medium term of development for developing countries of the Asia and the Pacific region.


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