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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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Introduction

When the first Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2009 was prepared, the global economic crisis was spreading around the globe and affecting the Asia-Pacific region. Despite reporting a sharp contraction of trade flows from the region to the world and also intraregionally, the 2009 Report ended on a cautiously optimistic note, referring to the first signals of a rebound in trade flows, for both the region and the world as a whole. Nevertheless, it contained warnings about the volatility in commodity and financial markets and the sustainability of the recovery packages adopted by various countries around the world to jump-start growth during the crisis months. The most recent available data for 2009 and the first half of 2010 (cf. IMF, 2010a and 2010d), however, show a recovery of output and trade in most Asian economies to pre-crisis levels. These results allow an upward revision of the gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for Asia in 2010 by half a percentage point to 7.5%, with the expectation of more moderate growth in 2011 at about 6.74% (IMF, 2010b).

English

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