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.



Regional overview of merchandise trade

The sluggish growth in developed economies and uncertainty linked to the European economic crisis continue to suppress global demand. Less than five years after the previous trade contraction, Asian and Pacific economies once again went through a fall in trade during 2012. Exports by developing economies in the region contracted by 1% in that year (figure 1.1). Regional export contraction would have been worse if it was not for exports from China, whose growth partially cushioned the average performance. Excluding Chinese exports, exports from Asia-Pacific developing economies decreased by 7% in 2012. Imports of developing Asia-Pacific countries also decreased from the previous year, at the rate of about 11%. In contrast with exports, the Chinese import contraction drove the downward average trend for Asia and the Pacific. Excluding China, developing Asia-Pacific imports in fact grew slightly, by 0.4% through the year.


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