Asia-pacific trade and investment report 2014

Recent Trends and Developments

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Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) is a major annual publication of the Trade and Investment Division of United Nations ESCAP. It provides information on and independent analyses of trends and developments in: (a) intra- and inter-regional trade in goods and services; (b) foreign direct investment; (c) trade facilitation measures; (d) trade policy measures; and (e) preferential trade policies and agreements. It provides insights into the impacts of these recent and emerging developments on countries’ abilities to meet the challenges of achieving inclusive and sustainable development. It identifies and studies emerging issues in all these areas and offers innovative policy options towards building capacities of governments in the region to meet the challenges of achieving inclusive and sustainable development. APTIR 2014 shows that, while the Asia-Pacific region remains the most dynamic pole of the global economy, growth in trade and investment has yet to return to pre-crisis levels. The Report is aimed at policymakers as well as practitioners and experts, academia, business, international agencies and non-governmental organizations working or interested in these issues in the Asia-Pacific region. It comes with separate country and subregional country briefs.



Preferential trade policies and agreements

After a temporary slow-down in 2012, the proliferation of preferential trade agreements (PTAs), which for Asia-Pacific economies began in earnest in the early 1990s, is continuing. There is no single reason for this preoccupation with PTAs; rather, it is a combined role of: (a) lack of progress in securing lower trade barriers and/or opening new areas of liberalization through multilateral trade negotiation; (b) contracting import demand in most of the developed country markets that, on average, have low tariff barriers and need to open new markets that might be more protected; and (c) recognition of the benefits of South-South PTAs.


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