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.



Trade reforms under Doha and income distribution in South Asia

The issues surrounding the potential for adverse trade impacts on food security and poverty have been a major area of contention in multilateral trade negotiations under the Doha Round. Concerns over rural poverty led to demands by India and China for enhanced safeguards for developing countries in agriculture, and in July 2008 the talks collapsed, once again, as negotiators failed to reach agreement on this issue. Given recent developments in the global economy, reaching a trade agreement is viewed by many as more vital than ever. Hence, it is important: (a) to evaluate the likely costs of a failure to reach an agreement as well as the costs/benefits of potential alternatives; and (b) to assess the potential effects not only on aggregate measures such economic welfare, but also on social measures such as income distribution, especially for the developing economies. This provides policymakers with information not only on the overall costs/benefits, but also on the areas where complementary policy interventions may be required.


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