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Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2010

Recent Trends and Developments

image of Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2010
This report identifies the challenges and opportunities for trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region concluding that with the right policies and strengthened regional cooperation, the region will be able to continue strong trade and investment-led growth. With the continued stalling of the international Doha Round of negotiations, regional trade agreements remain an important approach to controlling protectionism. A fresh look at the rules under these agreements is recommended. The report emphasizes that governments need to step up efforts to improve the environment for business and investment.

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Services trade: Promising growth

Commercial services trade showed promising growth in the first three quarters of 2008, but in the last quarter of 2008 and all through 2009 it sharply declined mimicking the collapse of merchandise trade which preceded it by about half a year. Figure 11 compares the changes in services trade (average of exports and imports) for the world and the Asia-Pacific region over the last decade. After witnessing a mild fall in services trade in 2001, Asia and the Pacific quickly recovered, posting on average higher growth rates for services trade than the world as a whole until 2009. The decline in Asia’s commercial services trade in 2009 coincided with the 11.6% drop in world trade of services.

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