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Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2013

Turning the Tide - Towards Inclusive Trade and Investment

image of Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2013
The main message of the Report is that the region's dominant export-led growth model should not be abandoned but does need some adjustment. While regional economies have largely succeeded in achieving sustained economic growth, additional policies are required to spread the benefits of that growth more fairly: to reduce poverty, limit rises in inequality, widen access to productive opportunities and bring excluded groups in from the margins. It is not enough simply to hope that rising wealth will eventually work for the benefit of all. The era of trade and invest now, distribute gains later has thus come to its end; we need to promote inclusive trade and investment.

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Trends in trade facilitation performance

The key objective of trade facilitation is to reduce the cost of international trade transactions. This can be achieved through simplification and harmonization of trade procedures. Along with improving the availability of, and access to trade related infrastructure, streamlining trade procedures has become essential for firms in developing countries. It enables them to effectively participate in the regional and global production networks responsible for an increasing share of global trade flows. In this context, this chapter will, first, present selected findings of the recent Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF) trade facilitation implementation survey. Second, review the performance of Asia-Pacific economies, based on the ESCAP-World Bank Trade Cost Database. Third, discuss international supply chain connectivity of regional countries. This uses a new index based on data from the World Bank’s Doing Business Report and UNCTAD’s Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI).

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