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Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2009

Trade-Led Recovery and Beyond

image of Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2009

When the economic crisis hit Asia and the Pacific in the course of 2008, exports and economic growth rates tumbled while unemployment rose sharply and results for 2009 look set to be even worse. The objective of this report is to sensitize policymakers to various trade policy tools which could be used to counter the economic and social impact of the crisis and achieve long-term inclusive and sustainable development. It analyses the role of trade in development, looks at the role of government and business in trade for development, and explores the various modalities of trade policy. In this regard, the report reviews the role of the multilateral trading system and regional trade agreements in enhancing both global and intraregional trade. It discusses the importance of trade facilitation and availability of trade finance in times of crisis and beyond.

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Developing coherent and consistent trade policies for inclusive and sustainable development

As the financial crisis hit the United States and Europe, the resulting drop in demand in these regions led to a massive fall in exports from the Asia-Pacific region, triggering an economic crisis there. While there have been calls for development policy to refocus on promoting domestic demand instead of exports, for many countries the only immediate way to restore growth is through restoring trade. Though trade is essentially a crossborder phenomenon, trade policy formulation takes place at the national level. The current crisis offers an excellent opportunity to review national trade policies and the way they are formulated and implemented. This chapter makes the case for trade as an important, though not sufficient, element of development and to refocus trade policy formulation to enhance the contribution of trade to sustainable development and poverty reduction, i.e. trade for inclusive and sustainable development. This chapter reviews the role of government in promoting trade for development and underscores the need to mainstream trade in development policies and development objectives in trade policy to ensure policy coherence and consistency.

English

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