Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2018

Recent Trends and Developments

image of Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2018

This report aims at deepening understanding of trends and developments in trade, investment and regional integration in the Asia-Pacific region. It looks at emerging issues in trade, investment and trade facilitation policies, and the impacts such policies have on countries’ abilities to meet the challenges of achieving inclusive and sustainable development. It offers innovative policy options to meet the challenges of achieving sustainable trade and investment. It is aimed at policymakers, practitioners, experts, academics, business, international agencies and NGOs. It contains country specific briefs and shows trends and developments of trade in goods, trade in services, foreign direct investment, and trade and investment policies over 2017-2018.



Executive summary

The year 2018 has been an eventful period for international trade and investment. The trade protectionist rhetoric of 2017 has morphed into concrete policy actions that have triggered bilateral and sectoral trade wars. The continued blockage of the appointment of new judges to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body has also made the binding dispute settlement mechanism almost completely ineffective in addressing the growing trade tensions or in clearing the backlog of old disputes. A number of WTO members have started to put forward reform proposals for addressing the growing concerns about the multilateral trading system and the future of WTO. Despite a show of willingness among WTO members to deal with these issues, achieving consensus will take time during which trade tensions are unlikely to weaken and may further escalate.


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