Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2019

Navigating Non-tariff Measures towards Sustainable Development

image of Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2019

This report provides an analysis of the rise of non-tariff measures (NTMs) and its implications for Asia and the Pacific. Prepared jointly by ESCAP and UNCTAD, it reviews the costs and benefits associated with such measures from a sustainable development perspective, and identifies good practices to ensure that they serve their legitimate social or environmental purpose while not unnecessarily and negatively affecting trade and investment. The report focuses on the rise of NTMs and why they matter for sustainable development. It delves on the impact of NTMs in Asia and the Pacific, explores their relationship to international standards and discusses streamlining NTMs for Sustainable Development.



Evaluating the impact of non-tariff measures on trade and investment in Asia and the Pacific

The previous chapters introduced NTMs, outlined trends in the Asia-Pacific region and explored the links between NTMs and SDGs. As noted, NTMs often serve legitimate and necessary purposes, such as protection of human, animal and plant health, and the environment. Indeed, not having NTMs in place, or their poor enforcement, may in some cases have devastating effects on trade and sustainable development (box 2.1). At the same time, however, NTMs do add costs to trade. In this context, this chapter examines the effects of NTMs on trade and present estimates of costs associated with NTMs. The chapter also discusses the effects of NTMs on foreign direct investment (FDI), using sectoral case studies. Finally, a regional analysis of national private sector surveys conducted in selected Asian countries provides insights on how much – and how – various NTMs affect those engaging in international trade.


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