Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2012

Recent Trends and Developments

image of Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2012
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.



Preferential trade policies and agreements

The trend in the proliferation of preferential trade agreements (PTAs), which was clearly established in the early 1990s, continued until the mid-2000s. It appears that the global economic crisis of 2008-2009 has not derailed the use of PTAs by Governments to secure access to foreign markets and defend domestic one. By the end of 2010, a combination of the economic crisis and a lack of progress in multilateral trading negotiation only increased PTA efforts. By October 2012 a total of 233 “physical” trade agreements were in force and notified to the WTO.1 Of that number, Asia-Pacific economies have contributed 117 agreements.


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