Reducing Trade Costs in Asia-Pacific Developing Countries

Date of publication: 
Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Reducing Trade Costs in Asia-Pacific Developing Countries (Studies in Trade and Investment No. 84). International trade has been a major engine for economic growth and development in Asia and the Pacific. However, overall trade costs remain excessively high in many developing countries of the region. Part I of this publication provides an overview of trade costs in Asia and the Pacific, based on the most recent update of the ESCAP-World Bank Trade Cost Database. Policies and factors affecting international trade costs are identified. Key findings and implications from a micro-level analysis of trade procedures in a wide range of Asia- Pacific developing economies are also presented, along with highlights and recommendations from some of the most recent ESCAP studies on trade facilitation and trade costs in Asia-Pacific. Part II features abbreviated and updated versions of five of these studies, analyzing issues ranging from obstacles faced by SMEs in participating in international trade, to transit facilitation practices in existing trade and transport agreements, to agricultural trade costs, the impact of trade costs on foreign direct investment (FDI), and the potential export gains from implementation of paperless trade facilitation.
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