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Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2015

Supporting Participation in Value Chains

image of Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2015
Part I of this report assesses trends and developments in regional trade and investment flows and policies in an attempt to provide the insights and information necessary to separate the cyclical from the structural aspects. Part II analyses the participation of Asia-Pacific economies in global and regional value chains. By observing how economies at different levels of development have integrated into supply chains at different speeds and to varying extents, we can cast light on those policies that influence and shape value chain participation, and hence influence future patterns of trade and investment. The particular features of participation in value chains also have an impact on the ability of countries to access foreign technology and build innovative capacity, which in turn influences structural change and future development options.

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Preferential trade policies and agreements

Once considered an example of the benefits of autonomous trade liberalization, Asia-Pacific economies have turned into major contributors to a global build-up of preferential trade agreements (PTAs). Stalled multilateral trade negotiations under the Doha Round plus a considerable slowdown in economic activities globally have provided a strong incentive to use preferential trade agreements for both offensive and defensive liberalization. This has led to the negotiation of trade deals being treated almost as a substitute for trade policymaking.

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