Publications List

Comprehensive listing of books, reports, and research on regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in South Asia and relevant global RCI publications, including publications on transport, trade facilitation, energy, and economic corridors in the SASEC region.

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World Tariff Profiles 2017

World Tariff Profiles is a joint publication of the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Trade Centre, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development devoted to information on market access for goods. It contains comprehensive data on tariffs and non-tariff measures imposed by over 170 countries and Customs territories. This year’s edition takes a close look at export diversification, analyzing to what extent economies have diversified their exports over time. Many countries make it a policy to diversify exports to obtain bigger market shares. An overview of export diversification show how India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Bhutan have grown in the last two decades. Bangladesh in particular has achieved significant increase in terms of both product coverage and market reach.

Author: World Trade Organization, International Trade Centre, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2017
Download - 3.9 MB
Tags:  BangladeshBhutanExportIndiaMaldivesMyanmarNepalSri LankaTariffsTradeUNCTADWTO

 


SARSO News: Vol. 31, No. 2

The South Asian Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) newsletter features updates on SARSO events and activities. This issue features the publication of three South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation standards on food quality and safety, and the workshop on the importance of ISO 14001—which aims to help organizations improve environmental performance through the efficient use of resources and reduction of waste—and its impact on the environment and trade. It also has reports on Workshop on Conformity Standards held in New Delhi, India, and the Enhancing Capacity for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures for Safe Trade in Animal and Animal Products in South Asia held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Author: South Asian Regional Standards Organization
Year: 2017
Download - 1.7 MB
Tags:  AgricultureBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalSAARCSARSOSouth AsiaStandardsStandardizationTrade

 


June 2017 Global Economic Prospects: A Fragile Recovery

The World Bank forecasts that global growth will strengthen to 2.7% in 2017 amid a pickup in manufacturing and trade, rising confidence, favorable global financing conditions, and stabilizing commodity prices. In South Asia, growth is projected to remain strong at 6.8% in 2017. India is recovering from the temporary adverse effects of the end-2016 withdrawal of large-denomination currency notes. Activity in Bangladesh is moderating, reflecting a pullback in domestic demand and industrial production. Regional growth is expected to steady in 2018-2019, reaching an average of 7.2%, supported by strong domestic demand, a small rise in exports, and strong foreign direct investment. The regional outlook has been slightly revised down from January, reflecting a more protracted recovery in private investment in India than previously expected.

Author: World Bank Group
Year: 2017
Download - 5.43 MB
Tags:  WBBangladeshFDIIndiaManufacturingSouth AsiaTrade

 


Unlocking the Potential of Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in South Asia

At a modest 6% of total trade, intraregional trade in South Asia stands at less than one third of its full potential. Trade barriers and inadequate infrastructure have cost South Asia over US $54 billion per year in lost export opportunities. With 309 million people living on less than $1.90 a day—the largest concentration of poverty in the world—South Asia should urgently pursue broad-based regional economic cooperation that could enable effective responses to the subregion’s developmental challenges. This report examines the state of economic integration in South Asia and identifies potential areas for further strengthening subregional linkages. It provides recommendations on policy actions to increase market integration, improve connectivity, boost investment in infrastructure development, and tackle shared vulnerabilities and risks. It calls for the consolidation and upgrading of existing trade and investment cooperation initiatives into a South Asia Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2017
Download - 1.1 MB
Tags:  BIMSTECInvestmentRegional CooperationSAARCSouth AsiaSustainabilitySustainable DevelopmentTradeUNESCAPBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesMyanmarNepalSri Lanka

 


Can Online Markets Make Trade More Inclusive?

Technology-driven online trade reduces income inequality and makes trade more inclusive. To fully realize these new gains from trade, governments and export promotion agencies should address barriers to e-commerce. Technology made available by online markets has significantly reduced the cost of entry into international markets for small and medium-sized firms, which can now reach more distant consumers and create a global reputation as a seller at very low costs. Online firms, even those smaller than traditional offline firms, export, and this paper shows that online markets help reduce income inequality by providing smaller firms access to international markets.

Author: Andreas Lendle and Marcelo Olarreaga
Year: 2017
Download - 467 KB
Tags:  ADBICTIndiaTrade

 


Climbing Higher: toward a Middle-income Nepal

Nepal is experiencing modest growth but brisk poverty reduction. It has halved the poverty rate in just seven years and witnessed an equally significant decline in income inequality. Yet Nepal remains one of the poorest and slowest-growing economies in Asia, with per capita income falling behind its regional neighbors. The report discusses the need for comprehensive policy reform to address the country’s challenges in becoming a lower-middle-income country by 2030. The report outlines suggested reforms to facilitate greater investment and improved productivity, build new sources of growth, and deepen human capital.

Author: World Bank Group
Year: 2017
Download - 1.5 MB
Tags:  EmploymentInvestmentNepalPoverty ReductionTradeTransportWB

 


Mekong-Ganga Cooperation: Breaking Barriers and Scaling New Heights

The Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) promotes intra-regional collaboration among Cambodia, India, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam in the areas of trade, tourism, culture, education, and transport and communications. This book reviews how MGC cooperation has grown since MGC's inception in 2000, including expansion of their economic and cultural relations. Under India's Act East Policy, MGC has gained further momentum – endorsing a Plan of Action 2016-2018, and planning extended connectivity of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. This report outlines important discussion points on trade, regional value chains, foreign direct investment, physical and digital connectivity, border connectivity, and cultural relations, to strengthen India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation linkages through MGC.

Author: Research and Information System for Developing Countries and ASEAN-India Centre
Year: 2017
Download - 6.34 MB
Tags:  ASEANIndiaSoutheast AsiaSouth AsiaTradeTrade Facilitation

 


Global Energy Interconnection

Sustainable energy and climate change are major global concerns, yet three billion people around the world rely on wood, coal, or animal waste for cooking and heating. The interconnection of grids would open up opportunities for resource sharing and bring clean energy to much more of the world. This paper assesses benefits and outlines policy, technical, and economic preconditions for global energy interconnection. It analyzes global transmission scenarios and evaluates their impact on energy supplies and the environment. It also gives recommendations for setting standards, and where stakeholder involvement is necessary.

Author: International Electrotechnical Commission
Year: 2017
Download - 6 MB
Tags:  EnergyIndiaNepalPolicyStandardizationSustainabilityTradeSouth Asia

 


Implications of Brexit to the Asia-Pacific Region: with a Focus on Least Developed Countries (Trade Insights: Issue No. 20)

This issue of Trade Insights, published by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, discusses how possible Brexit scenarios could adversely affect least developed countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Simulation results show that potential reduction in exports to the United Kingdom for fish, clothes, textiles, footwear, and other key items can range from 16% to 50% of their current export value. According to the study, countries heavily exposed to Brexit-induced risks must analyze the extent of such impact and engage the United Kingdom in discussions in order to limit negative impact.

Author: Louis Graham, Arun Jacob, and Anders K. Møller
Year: 2017
Download - 759 KB
Tags:  Asia-PacificLeast Developed CountriesSouth AsiaTradeUNESCAPIndiaBangladeshMaldivesMyanmarNepalSri Lanka

 


Trade Intelligence for the Private Sector Vol 17 – Towards a Robust National Trade Policy

This paper provides an overview of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce's (CCC) comments on the draft national trade policy for Sri Lanka prepared by Sri Lanka's Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade. CCC's review focuses on ten key issues—trade liberalization; multilateral trading agreements, global value chains, global production networks; revenue considerations; innovation and technology upgrades; institutional reforms; regulatory reforms; government support for the private sector; rise of protectionism; digital trade and e-commerce; and future of existing bilateral and regional agreements. The Chamber puts forward that alongside a refocusing of Sri Lanka's trade policies toward international trade, new trade policy should tackle issues that arose from the current framework and be aligned with policies and institutions. It highlights the need for a forward thinking national trade policy that will improve Sri Lanka's competitiveness, and encompass interests of today's private sector as well as tomorrow's businesses and entrepreneurs.

Author: CCC Economic Intelligence Unit
Year: 2017
Download - 252 KB
Tags:  Sri LankaEconomic GrowthTrade

 


Facilitate Trade for Development: Aid for Trade

The Aid for Trade program has been providing support to developing economies in tackling obstacles to growth through better facilitation of trade in the last 10 years. Since its launch in 2006, a total of $308 billion has been disbursed to finance aid-for-trade programs and projects, which are working to reduce trade and transport costs, promote trade expansion, and achieve economic and social objectives. As high trade costs persist in keeping developing countries from fully exploiting their trade and development potential, the Aid for Trade program remains highly relevant, and will help developing economies, including landlocked and small and vulnerable economies, achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Author: William Hynes and Frans Lammersen
Year: 2017
Download - 3.92 MB
Tags:  TradeDevelopmentAid for TradeTrade FacilitationTransportBangladeshBhutanMyanmarNepalLeast Developed Countries

 


Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2017-2021

The Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2017-2021 of the Nepal Department of Customs (DOC) aims to serve as a blueprint of Customs reform for the next four years, with a vision to support Nepal's initiatives toward economic and social prosperity. With Nepal seeing continuous increase of cross-border trade over the last decades, this Plan is being implemented to align Nepal toward international standards. It outlines the DOC's vision, mission, guiding principles, as well as strategies, such as expediting legitimate trade facilitation and enhancing Customs automation and data management, to create a conducive environment for seamless movement of cargo traffic to and from the borders, and help in lowering transaction costs through greater transport facilitation.

Author: Nepal Department of Customs
Year: 2017
Download - 4.31 MB
Tags:  CustomsCustoms ValuationNepalTrade FacilitationImportExportTradeRevised Kyoto Convention

 


Time Release Study: Mechi and Biratnagar Customs 2017

Time Release Study is a special tool developed by the World Customs Organization to measure effectiveness of operational procedures carried out by Customs, other regulatory agencies and private sector stakeholders in the standard processing of imports, exports, cross border and transit movements. A key activity identified in Nepal's Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2013-2017, it identifies the average time taken for clearance of consignments from entry to exit in the Customs area, enabling possible corrective measures to improve performance. This Study was undertaken to support trade facilitation measures being introduced by the Nepal Department of Customs to reduce bottlenecks to faster Customs clearance, and promote seamless movement of cargo traffic to and from the Country.

Author: Nepal Department of Customs TRS Working Group
Year: 2017
Download - 3.24 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTime Release StudyImportExportTradeNepalWCO

 


Time, Uncertainty, and Trade Flows

This paper assesses the impact of international transit time and time-related uncertainty on bilateral trade, including their impact on trade costs. It concludes that international transit time matters primarily for South-South trade, while uncertainty is more important for North-North trade. Both factors are confirmed to be statistically and economically significant determinants of bilateral trade, including global value chains, and strengthens the ground on the emerging policy emphasis to address the overall costs faced by supply chain operators, including costs linked to uncertainty.

Author: Jose Anson, Jean-Francois Arvis, Mauro Boffa, Matthias Helble, and Benjamin Shepherd
Year: 2017
Download - 1.76 MB
Tags:  TradeTrade FacilitationTransportSouth-South Trade

 


Accumulating Trade Costs and Competitiveness in Global Value Chains

This paper examines the implications of trade costs, including applied tariffs, transportation and insurance costs, on competitiveness at industry, national and global levels, and identifies where trade facilitation investment would have the highest social returns from the perspective of global value chains (GVCs). With trade costs amplified along GVCs, profitability of individual business operations are affected by incurred transaction expenses. The authors conclude that direct benefits of trade facilitation will be higher for countries that are not yet well integrated into international trade, but key traders who are at the core of GVCs also stand to gain much.

Author: Antonia Diakantoni, Hubert Escaith, Michael Roberts and Thomas Verbeet
Year: 2017
Download - 2.40 MB
Tags:  TradeTariffTransportTrade FacilitationGlobal Value Chains

 


South Asia’s Turn: Policies to Boost Competitiveness and Create the Next Export Powerhouse

Will South Asia become the next global factory? By 2030 more than a quarter of the world’s working adults will live in South Asia. As the work force ages and labor costs rise in China and other East Asian countries, many eyes turn to South Asia. According to this report, to realize the region’s potential, countries in South Asia should increase regional and global integration, take advantage of agglomeration economies, strengthen firm capabilities, and improve the business environment.

Author: Gladys Lopez‐Acevedo, Denis Medvedev, and Vincent Palmade
Year: 2017
Download - 11.4 MB
Tags:  BangladeshIndiaRegional IntegrationSouth AsiaTradeWB

 


Study for Development of a Potential Hydropower Plant in South Asia

Rapid development in South Asia has produced a huge surge in energy demand. Nepal, with more than 83,000 megawatts of potential hydropower supply, can significantly increase the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region's energy security. This study highlights ongoing hydropower projects in Nepal, in particular, the Sunkoshi 2 Storage Project, which has the potential to become a regional hydropower plant in South Asia. It also emphasizes the need to expand the region's power transmission infrastructure to promote power trade, and updating of policies that govern cross-border electricity trade among countries in the region.

Author: SAARC Energy Centre
Year: 2016
Download - 1.69 MB
Tags:  HydropowerEnergyNepalSAARCTrade

 


BIMSTEC: The Road Ahead

This report examines how the Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) region can utilize its intraregional network to deepen regional cooperation and integration to better the lives of the roughly 1.5 million people living in this region. It discusses issues of trade, investment, regional value chains, and connectivity, in the context of making the BIMSTEC grouping more relevant and meaningful. With BIMSTEC's enormous potential waiting to be tapped, this report urges the grouping to take advantage of newly available opportunities and harvest low hanging fruits, including establishment of a BIMSTEC power trade network, promotion of business-to-business and people-to-people contact, enhancement of regional value chains, and engaging the experience and expertise of BRICS economies.

Author: Research and Information System
Year: 2016
Download - 1.16 MB
Tags:  BIMSTECRegional CooperationThailandTradeEnergy

 


Trade Facilitation and Global Value Chains: Opportunities for Sustainable Development

This paper analyzes the relationship between global value chains (GVCs) and trade facilitation, and its contribution to sustainable development outcomes on low-income and least developed countries (LICs and LDCs). A key insight of the paper concludes that it is not fundamentally GVCs that drive the sustainable development implications of improved trade facilitation, but the resulting extension and intensification of economic activity. It underlines the importance of putting in place domestic regulatory infrastructure that considers the appropriate economic, social, and environmental dimensions to ensure that GVCs remain consistent with the global commitment to sustainable development, while expanding economic opportunities of LICs and LDCs.

Author: Ben Shepherd
Year: 2016
Download - 1.59 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTradeGlobal Value ChainsSustainabilitySustainable DevelopmentLeast Developed CountriesLDC

 


Global Enabling Trade Report 2016

The Global Enabling Trade Report has been created to provide insight into trade policy and practice. It includes the Enabling Trade Index (ETI), which assesses the extent to which economies have in place institutions, policies, infrastructures and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to their destination. This edition highlights that while an increasingly globalized trading system has been lifting millions out of poverty, trade barriers and costs are still preventing millions of people around the world from engaging in international trade. It reports that all South Asian economies have improved their ETI score over the past two years, with Bhutan as the most improved country in the region, jumping 12 places to 92, followed by India at 102, Sri Lanka at 103, Nepal at 108, Pakistan at 122, and Bangladesh at 123, yet the region remains the most closed worldwide. While South Asia has improved its access to foreign markets and adoption of ICTs, it needs to improve access to its domestic market – on average, South Asian countries impose a tariff of 16.7% on imported products – and enhance its transport infrastructure, particularly in Bhutan and Nepal.

Author: Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the World Economic Forum
Year: 2016
Download - 35.5 MB
Tags:  TradeTrade FacilitationTransportTrade PolicyWorld Economic ForumBangladeshBhutanIndiaSri LankaPakistan

 


Research Handbook on Trade in Services

This Research Handbook explores the latest developments in services trade by drawing on insights from experts with a range of perspectives, including empirical economics, law and global political economy. The book further chronicles the rising stakes and involvement of developing countries in global services trade, notably their growing insertion in global value chains, as well as the latest advances and remaining challenges in the statistical measurement of trade in services.

Author: Pierre Sauvé and Martin Roy, editors
Year: 2016
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Tags:  ServicesTradeEconomicsTrade FacilitationTrade Policy

 


Economic Benefits from Nepal-India Electricity Trade

This report confirms Nepal and India's viable electricity export potential, and highlights how facilitating cross-border trade of electricity will benefit both countries. In Nepal, substantial economic gains can boost the economy and improve the well-being of its people—in 2045 under the accelerated power trade scenario, electricity trade revenue can bring in up to $9.8 billion. In India, gains from cross-border trade centers on lower electricity system cost—hydropower imports from Nepal will allow India to forgo some investment needed to meet its capacity demand. Furthermore, hydropower will complement India's solar and wind power generation, offering an affordable and convenient renewable resource to meet its evening peak demand.

Author: South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy Integration
Year: 2016
Download - 891 KB
Tags:  EnergyTradeIndiaNepalHydropower

 


Capital Market Integration in South Asia

This book discusses the potential capital market products and activities within South Asia that stakeholders in the region could explore to help the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region further realize its potential. Conventional investment, such as funds, global depository receipts, as well as promising opportunities that factor the region's demographics and socioeonomics are considered in this book, with arguments aimed toward investors and institutions. The book demonstrates both retail and institutional investor interest in this combined high-growth region by offering scope for yield, diversification and risk mitigation, maximized upside from multiple growth markets, minimized downside through low-correlation constituents, and makes the case why now is an opportune time to look at SAARC.

Author: Sourajit Aiyer
Year: 2016
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Tags:  InvestmentSAARCTradeEconomic Corridor

 


Competitiveness of South Asia’s Container Ports: A Comprehensive Assessment of Performance, Drivers, and Costs

As a result of inefficiencies in South Asia’s container ports, the average cost of exporting or importing a container in the region is more than double that in East Asia. Better port logistics could help increase trade, diversify exports, attract more foreign direct investment, and spur economic growth. As container traffic continues to grow in South Asia, the best way to improve port performance is by increasing productivity. This report examines the performance of the 14 largest container ports in the region, identifying key drivers of port performance and examining differences in performance across ports.

Author: Matías Herrera Dappe and Ancor Suárez-Alemán
Year: 2016
Download - 3.6 MB
Tags:  CustomsEconomic GrowthFDIInfrastructureInvestmentSouth AsiaTradeWB

 


SME Competitiveness Outlook: Meeting the Standard for Trade

Standards and regulations for goods and services are important to international trade and value chains. They ensure consumer protection, determine compatibility, and promote environmental sustainability. This SME Competitiveness Outlook focuses on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) make the most of standards and regulations to increase their competitiveness. Findings include strategies for SME managers on selecting and implementing standards and regulations, and an action plan for policymakers and trade and investment support institutions involved in aiding SMEs compete in markets where standards and regulations matter.

Author: International Trade Centre
Year: 2016
Download - 23.8 MB
Tags:  TradeSmall and Medium EnterprisesBangladeshIndiaNepalSri LankaWTOGlobal Value Chains

 


World Trade Report: Levelling the Trading Field for SMEs

Participation in international trade, once exclusive, can progressively become more inclusive. But while new opportunities are opening up for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), old barriers to international trade remain. This report highlights national and international policy actions that would enhance the ability of SMEs to participate in world markets more effectively. It says that for open trade and global integration to fully benefit everyone, it is crucial to ensure that all firms—not just large corporations—can succeed in today’s global marketplace.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2016
Download - 3.8 MB
Tags:  TradeWTOSmall and Medium EnterpriseGlobal Value Chains

 


Regional Integration in South Asia: Essays in Honour of Dr. M. Rahmatullah

Building efficient transport linkages within and across countries in South Asia is crucial to development of production networks and value chains, and promotion of trade and investment. This collection of essays honors Dr. M. Rahmatullah, who championed the cause of multimodal connectivity in South Asia for seamless movement of goods across Asia, and dreamt of building an integrated South Asia through corridors and gateways to be connected with pan-Asian transport networks. A valuable resource for policymakers, academics, and practitioners working on issues of South Asian regional integration, this book looks at progress made on facilitating trade and enhancing connectivity in the region, assesses policy priorities, implementation imperatives, and emerging challenges to South Asian trade and integration, and gives recommendations on further strengthening South Asian integration.

Author: Prabir De and Mustafizur Rahmant
Year: 2016
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Tags:  TransportTradeTrade FacilitationConnectivitySouth AsiaSouth Asian Economic Union

 


Toward New Sources of Competitiveness in Bangladesh: Key Insights of the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study

This study analyzes internal and external constraints to further integrate Bangladesh with the world economy, in order to create jobs, reduce poverty, and enhance of citizens’ welfare. It identifies policies that could consolidate the country’s strengths in existing markets and help diversify export products and markets. The study also identifies a strategy to help accelerate development of the export sector, help create jobs and spur growth in Bangladesh.

Author: Sanjay Kathuria and Mariem Mezghenni Malouche
Year: 2016
Download - 3 MB
Tags:  TradeBangladesh

 


Trade, Testing and Toasters: Conformity Assessment Procedures and the TBT Committee

Duplication, delays or discrimination in Conformity Assessment Procedures (CAPs) can significantly increase trade costs: this risk is reflected in the growing importance of CAPs in World Trade Organization (WTO) discussions, and bilateral and regional free trade agreements. The paper uses new data on government-to-government discussions of CAPs in the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and studies trade issues that WTO members encounter with CAPs, based on specific trade concerns raised during 2010-2014.

Author: Devin McDaniels and Marianna Karttunen
Year: 2016
Download - 650 KB
Tags:  Technical Barriers to TradeWTOTrade

 


Improving Financial Inclusion in Asia and the Pacific: Constraints, Applicability, and Lessons from Digital Financial Services

The paper presents the challenge of understanding new consumer risks that arise from using digital financial services (DFS) and how financial consumer protection frameworks can be strengthened to address these risks. It includes a look at Bangladesh and India regarding their approach to financial consumer protection and DFS. Case studies highlight a common trend across countries—financial consumer protection frameworks are being viewed as one component of broader national financial inclusion strategies.

Author: ADB
Year: 2016
Download - 689 KB
Tags:  ADBTradeBangladeshIndia

 


Reducing Trade Costs in LDCs: The Role of Aid for Trade

This report analyzes the role of Aid for Trade in reducing trade costs in least developed countries (LDCs), where trade costs are high and constitute a major impediment to the countries' participation in international trade. The most important sources of trade costs in LDCs are inadequate transport infrastructure, cumbersome border procedures, and compliance with non-tariff measures for merchandise exports. The study covers countries from around the world, including trade facilitation and trade restrictions in Nepal, Bhutan, India, and other Asian countries.

Author: Rainer Lanz, Michael Roberts, Sainabou Taal
Year: 2016
Download - 791 KB
Tags:  TradeTrade Facilitation

 


World Trade Statistical Review 2016

The World Trade Statistical Review is the World Trade Organization's latest flagship publication offering a detailed analysis of the latest developments on global trade in goods and services—including developments in trade policy and participation of developing economies and least developed countries—examined through analytical chapters, complemented by over 50 tables. The publication reports that in 2015, developing Asia represented 67% of developing economies’ exports. In merchandise trade, India ranked 9th among the world's top exporter of agricultural products, and continues to be one of the top 3 textile exporters, which accounts for nearly 2/3s of world exports. A 25% decline in LDC exports was reported, due to the negative impact of the drop in fuel prices and mining products. LDC participation in global exports of commercial services also remained negligible at 0.8%. In trade policy making, the publication reported that WTO members introduced 132 measures to facilitate trade, yet applied 154 new trade-restrictive measures during the period between mid-October 2015 and mid-May 2016.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2016
Download - 7.34 MB
Tags:  TradeExportIndiaLeast Developed Countries

 


STDF: Enhancing SPS Capacity, Delivering Results - Annual Report 2015

In 2015, Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) worked to help developing countries gain market access through effective implementation of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. This report not only gives an update on STDF’s SPS capacity-building efforts, it also compiles valuable knowledge on good practices on those efforts. In addition, the report talks about lessons STDF has learned from its partnerships, leveraging external funding, and the conduct of its projects.

Author: Standards and Trade Development Facility
Year: 2016
Download - 868 KB
Tags:  Sanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresTradeStandardsTrade Facilitation

 


Facilitating Trade between India and Sri Lanka

India and Sri Lanka have duty-free access to each other’s markets through the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement. Yet in recent years, traders from both countries have rarely utilized the agreement. This study aims to identify ways to improve importing and exporting under the agreement. It examines key issues and how to address them through the education of traders and Customs officials on goods eligible for concessions, facilitating testing and certification, streamlining Customs procedures, and establishing help desks. The study also offers recommendations in the areas of trade facilitation that may be incorporated in future negotiated agreements.

Author: Suwendrani Jayaratne and Janaka Wijayasiri
Year: 2016
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Tags:  Sri LankaIndiaExportsTradeCustoms

 


Trade Performance of Asian Landlocked Developing Economies: State of Play and the Way Forward

Many landlocked countries remain among the world's poorest nations, despite huge political, economic and technological gains over the last two centuries. Their lack of access to coast and sea ports burden them with higher trade costs, constraining their socio-economic development prospects. This paper examines the trade performance of Asian land-locked developing countries (LLDCs), including their export performance and export diversification, and attempts to identify factors affecting their performance, such as cost of trade and trade facilitation measures, which inhibit their integration into global and regional economies. Among LLDCs in South Asia, Bhutan incurs some of the highest trade costs and Nepal faces high cost in transport services. The paper finds persistent challenges to the growth of Asian LLDCs--trade barriers and trade restrictions, lack of infrastructure and poor trade facilitation performance-- and recommends reforms that could mitigate these continuing economic challenges.

Author: Witada Anukoonwattaka and Aman Saggu
Year: 2016
Download - 835 KB
Tags:  Landlocked Developing CountriesExportsTradeUNESCAP

 


Making the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Work for SMEs

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) comprise 95% of enterprises worldwide and provides at least two thirds of private sector employment. However, when it comes to international trade, SMEs experience limited capacity in dealing with the complex administrative and regulatory procedures associated with moving and selling goods across borders. This book fills a gap by providing a reference for articles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that are particularly beneficial to SMEs, and identifies examples of SME-specific programs, measures and interventions that can support the implementation of such provisions. It proposes mainstreaming relevant elements of the WTO TFA in existing SME policies and initiatives, to ensure that it contributes toward internationalization of SMEs.

Author: UNESCAP, UNNExT, and ITC
Year: 2016
Download - 1.24 MB
Tags:  Small and Medium EnterpriseTrade FacilitationTradeUNESCAPSmall and Medium EnterprisesIndiaNepal

 


Modernizing Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures to Expand Trade and Ensure Food Safety

Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures are important to ensure food safety standards and prevent diseases and pests in plants and animals. With agricultural products making up a substantial portion of the CAREC countries’ imports and exports, SPS measures can be a barrier to trade growth. This report focuses on the learning opportunity workshop held in Mongolia, and highlights insights shared by experts Latvia and Lithuania on the modernization of SPS measures and the impact of SPS modernization on trade.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2016
Download - 5.01 MB
Tags:  Sanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresNon-Tariff MeasuresTradeTrade FacilitationADB

 


Double Trouble? Meeting the Export Target for Asia-Pacific Least Developed Countries in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Trade Insights: Issue No. 15)

This paper evaluates the prospects of least developed countries (LDCs) in Asia-Pacific in meeting the target set for LDCs to double their share of global exports by 2020, in Goal 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The paper notes that most Asia-Pacific LDCs have reported strong GDP growth turnout in recent years and are expected to grow by an average of 5.8% in 2016; difficulties faced by individual LDCs vary – Nepal, as an example, would need expansion at the average rate of 19% per year; LDCs can use national SDG strategies and go for longer-term goals—beyond the goals of export expansion—such as aiming to reach targets on trade cost reductions and trade facilitation.

Author: Adam Heal, Miso Kim, Juliette Perche, Rajan Sudesh Ratna, and Pakkaporn Visetsilpanon
Year: 2016
Download - 619 KB
Tags:  Least Developed CountriesExportsTrade FacilitationTradeUNESCAP

 


Technical Barriers to Trade: Reducing Trade Friction from Standards and Regulations

The World Trade Organization (WTO) marks its 20th anniversary with a series of brochures to assist understanding of specific WTO agreements. This publication provides an overview of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), which aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade. It reviews how the TBT Committee, a unique multilateral forum for the discussion of standards and regulations affecting trade comprising WTO members, have created a predictable trading environment by enacting transparency provisions, and facilitated trade by encouraging WTO members to base their measures on international standards.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2015
Download - 1.02 MB
Tags:  Technical Barriers to TradeTradeTrade FacilitationWTO

 


Improving Trade with India: Mutual Recognition in Conformity Assessment

This study examines the current status of Sri Lankan exports to India, focusing on non-tariff barriers (NTBs) existing between India and Sri Lanka, including conformity assessment procedures applied in the two countries. Providing a comprehensive analysis of issues related to standards and regulations faced by processed food exporters from Sri Lanka to India, the study highlights how India's non-recognition of testing and certification conducted outside its borders forms a significant barrier, one that is critical to the performance of Sri Lanka's exports to India. It proposes that the most workable solution is to implement a Mutual Recognition Agreement, which will allow recognized, competent and accredited conforming assessment bodies from India and Sri Lanka to accept certificates of conformity, letting Sri Lankan exporters take advantage of duty concessions offered by the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement.

Author: Verité Research
Year: 2015
Download - 10.5 MB
Tags:  IndiaSri LankaTradeHarmonisation

 


ASEAN-India Development and Cooperation Report 2015

Re-engagement between India and ASEAN through increased cooperation across a range of issues, including trade and connectivity, is set to boost prosperity, competitiveness, growth and integration. With negotiations underway to establish a comprehensive free trade area through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, economic integration between India and Southeast and East Asia is set to scale new heights – further highlighting need for economic corridors with adequate cross-border infrastructure facilities that could facilitate increased production and services networks between ASEAN and Indian economies. This Report brings together experts and researchers who weigh in on ASEAN-India relations, analyzing the impact and implications of integration; assessing policy priorities, effectiveness, implementation imperatives and challenges; and discussing themes central to the economic sustainability of the region.

Author: ASEAN–India Centre, Research and Information System for Developing Countries
Year: 2015
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Tags:  ASEANIndiaTradeTrade Facilitation

 


Least Developed Countries and Trade: Challenges of Implementing the Bali Package (Studies in Trade and Investment No. 83)

This publication highlights post-Bali developments, focusing on the interests of least developed countries (LDCs). It provides evidence and insight of persistent trade issues, which affect LDCs both in national economies and in the multilateral trading system. By underscoring gaps in LDC capacities, it articulates what LDCs need in terms of national and regional policies and capacity-building programs. The study also draws attention to what ought to be done towards finalization of the Doha Development Agenda Work Program and the ongoing negotiations at the World Trade Organization.

Author: UNESCAP
Year: 2015
Download - 1.82 MB
Tags:  LDCTrade FacilitationTradeUNESCAPLeast Developed Countries

 


Reducing Non-Tariff Barriers to Food Trade Between India and South Asia: Eliminating Phyto-Sanitary and Sanitary Issues

This brief focuses on the impact of phyto-sanitary and sanitary measures as a significant non-tariff barrier to trade at India's overland trading posts and ports, from which it imports perishable goods from its neighbors in the SAARC region. Due to inadequate facilities to handle large, time-sensitive, and perishable consignments, India and its neighboring trade partners have experienced severe constraints on bilateral trade, which results to variability in time and cost of freight movement, and eventually affects price stability and availability of India's food stocks.

Author: Hemant Shivakumar and Shiva C. Sharma
Year: 2015
Download - 684 KB
Tags:  Sanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresIndiaSAARCTradeNon-Tariff MeasuresBangladesh

 


Reforming Sri Lanka’s Trade and Investment Policies for Export Growth

This Policy Insight examines four key areas of reform to increase Sri Lanka's competitiveness and promote external trade – trade tariff structure, trade and transport facilitation, promotion of foreign direct investment, and existing trade agreements with neighbors in South and Southeast Asia. It calls for a more transparent, simplified and rationalized tariff regime and adoption of measures to further strengthen trade and transport facilitation, including improvement of publication and administration of trade-related policies; increased usage of ICT for trade; and upgrading of trade-related infrastructure. Furthermore, it recommends pursuing beneficial trade agreements with neighbors, but with a more strategic approach in Sri Lanka's negotiations of trade agreements.

Author: Institute of Policy Studies Sri Lanka
Year: 2015
Download - 6.78 MB
Tags:  Sri LankaTradeFDI

 


World Trade Report 2015

The World Trade Report 2015 is the first major study to comprehensively examine the benefits and challenges of implementing the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) since its adoption in 2014. It discusses the importance of implementation of the TFA, its economic impact, and the steps being taken by the WTO to enable countries to maximize its benefits. This report presents further evidence that speedy and extensive implementation of the TFA will lead to bigger gains, particularly for developing countries and least developed countries.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2015
Download - 9.93 MB
Tags:  TradeLDCTrade Facilitation

 


Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2015

The Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2015 includes up-to-date available indicators for the 48 regional members of the Asian Development Bank, including numbers on energy, trade, transport, and tourism. Key trends noted in 2014 include the rising volume of intraregional exports globally, due to robust economic growth and expanding regional networks. For Asia and Pacific economies, primary source for merchandise imports was the region itself with a 49.7% share. In energy consumption, Asia and the Pacific now consumes more than 40% of the world's electricity, with the People's Republic of China and India accounting for nearly 70% of the region's output. This 46th edition of Key Indicators also includes a special chapter on skills, education, and growth in Asia, and emphasizes the need to focus on quality and ensure that the workforce has the skills to take the region through economic transition to prosperity.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 32.9 MB
Tags:  Economic GrowthEnergyTradeTransportIndia

 


Lessons for South Asia from the Industrial Cluster Development Experience of the Republic of Korea

Growth of manufacturing is crucial for economic growth and poverty reduction. This report highlights the industrial cluster development policy of the Republic of Korea, including its success factors in terms of policy implementation, and the promotion of industrial cluster development, drawing lessons that could enhance industrial growth in South Asia. It discusses how the government encouraged increase in exports through relevant policies and adapted to more technology- and knowledge-intensive industries which required innovation-driven policies. The experience outlined in the report could benefit large-scale industrial promotion in South Asia, such as the Economic Corridor Program in India.

Author: Jong-il Kim
Year: 2015
Download - 803 KB
Tags:  South AsiaIndustrializationEconomic CorridorTradeADBIndiaBangladeshSri Lanka

 


World Trade Organization Annual Report 2015

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Annual Report 2015 provides an overview of WTO activities in 2014 and early 2015. It presents a timeline of two decades of the WTO -- from its origins succeeding the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to its current role in the multilateral trading system. It presents a chapter on how WTO helps developing countries build trade capacity and allows them to implement trade agreements. WTO training courses are organized for officials from developing countries each year.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2015
Download - 10.1 MB
Tags:  TradeTrade PolicyWTOTariffsEnergyBangladeshIndiaNepalSri LankaTrade FacilitationTransportAsiaAgriculture

 


Building Firm-level Trade Competitiveness in Emerging Economies

This paper -- produced under the E15 Initiative and implemented jointly by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and World Economic Forum -- seeks to understand the framework of competitiveness and its implications for international trade. It discusses issues related to firm-level competitiveness, including the determinants; quality tools and models to address it, especially in developing economies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs); importance of diffusion and learning with a focus on SME growth; and specific policy interventions to improve firm-level competitiveness.

Author: Sharmila Kantha
Year: 2015
Download - 623 KB
Tags:  FirmsSMETradeDevelopmentSustainabilityIndiaSouth AsiaEnergy

 


Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific: Thinking Forward About Trade Costs and the Digital Economy

Aid for Trade (AfT) flows have increased each year since 2006 in Asia and the Pacific. While regional aggregate trade costs continue to fall, many subregions still struggle with trade costs that are substantially higher than the global average. This report highlights and explores how AfT contributed to these emerging trends in Asia and the Pacific and how to continue to address trade costs moving forward. Among the subregions, the Pacific (along with South Asia) has made the greatest improvements in the Logistics Performance Index from 2007-2014. Recent exporter surveys reveal a movement toward niche products and leveraging of e-commerce as a means to overcome cost and distance. Emerging digital technologies such as e-commerce further offers a new set of opportunities for economies in the region to grow through trade.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 4.1 MB
Tags:  Aid for TradeAsia-PacificICTSouth AsiaTradeBangladeshBhutanIndiaSri LankaAgricultureEnergyTransport

 


SAARC: The Way Ahead

This Observer Research Foundation Issue Brief examines the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation as a regional grouping that is almost three decades old. It discusses trade arrangements such as the South Asian Preferential Trading Arrangement aimed towards a higher level of intraregional trade liberalization and economic cooperation, including the South Asia Free Trade Area for reduction of Customs duties on traded goods. The paper further studies areas of energy, connectivity, foreign direct investment, trade in services and subregional cooperation. The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program is offered as one of the steps in the direction of having a viable option for subregional cooperation.

Author: Jayshree Sengupta
Year: 2015
Download - 754 KB
Tags:  Regional CooperationSAARCTradeConnectivityEnergyFDIInvestmentFree Trade AgreementsServicesSouth Asia

 


How Much Could South Asia Benefit from Regional Electricity Cooperation and Trade?

This paper assesses the potential economic benefits of cross-border electricity cooperation and trade in South Asia from 2015 to 2040. It focuses on the possibilities of unlimited power flow across borders in response to regional demands and investment in generation and transmission to cost-effectively meet those demands. The study quantifies the potential economic benefits that South Asia could reap if the countries engage with full regional electricity trade and cooperation. Among South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation countries, Bhutan and Nepal have the potential to cost-effectively supply electricity from hydroelectric resources in excess of their own demands; Bangladesh and India are likely to become more dependent on higher-cost coal as well as natural gas to generate electricity. The countries of the South Asia region also have non-coincident demand peaks across the year, implying gains from trade.

Author: The World Bank
Year: 2015
Download - 0.98 MB
Tags:  EnergySouth AsiaTradeBangladeshIndiaSASEC

 


Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific 2015

This Asian Development Bank report explores the potential of the digital economy to improve the inclusiveness of Aid for Trade (AfT). It uses the review of AfT as a springboard to explore new ways of thinking and how to address issues such as high trade costs in some regions. In particular, it considers how to build on information and communications technology and infrastructure connectivity from established AfT spending. The report also highlights the experience of exporters to illustrate the unique challenges and opportunities for trade-driven growth in a region where high trade costs are structural.

Author: Alisa Di Caprio and Kati Suominen
Year: 2015
Download - 958 KB
Tags:  ICTInfrastructureTradeADBAsia-PacificExportsEconomic GrowthTrade Facilitation

 


Clean Energy and Access to Infrastructure: Implications for the Global Trade System

This paper focuses on how international trade rules could better accommodate renewable energy trade through fixed infrastructure. It explains the World Trade Organization disciplines relevant to trade in clean energy via fixed infrastructure, in particular General Agreement on Trade in Services disciplines on energy services and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade transit rules. Finally, it suggests policy options to adopt existing rules to the challenges of integrating clean energy transported via fixed infrastructure.

Author: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
Year: 2015
Download - 512 KB
Tags:  EnergyTradeWTOIndiaSouth AsiaSustainabilityTariff

 


Cross-Border Electricity Cooperation in South Asia

Strengthening cross-border electricity cooperation in South Asia can be part of the solution for providing adequate and reliable electricity. This World Bank Policy Research Working Paper reviews the status of cross-border electricity cooperation in South Asia, identifies key regional-level barriers to expand cross-border cooperation and trade in South Asia, and discusses the extent to which current domestic sector policies impede greater cross-border electricity cooperation. Finally, the findings offer policy recommendations on increased cross-border trade and cooperation.

Author: Anoop Singh, Tooraj Jamasb, Rabindra Nepal, and Michael Toman
Year: 2015
Download - 721 KB
Tags:  EnergyRegional CooperationRegional TradeBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSouth AsiaSri LankaTradeTrade PolicyWB

 


Trade in Value Added: Concepts, Estimation and Analysis

This Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade working paper aims to explain the concept of Trade in Value Added (TiVA), which could properly measure exports of an economy. It discusses how TiVA is measured and how it can help in a more comprehensive understanding of trade flows. It also explains global value chains and reviews current initiatives in constructing regional and international input-output tables, and estimates of TiVA involving Asia-Pacific economies.

Author: Marko Javorsek and Ignacio Camacho
Year: 2015
Download - 1.1 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificGlobal Value ChainsTrade

 


Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2015

In the Asia-Pacific region, 36 out of the 58 economies are considered countries with special needs (CSN), which include least developed countries (LDC), landlocked developing countries, and small island developing States. This report highlights important areas that should be addressed as key priorities by CSNs such as economic diversification, external trade, South-South cooperation, and official development assistance including foreign direct investment. Bhutan and Nepal met the criteria for graduation from LDC status as of 2013. Other countries such as Bangladesh have a good chance of meeting the graduation criteria by 2018. Among the Small island developing States, Maldives is considered a success story in broadband internet connectivity. The results of this research show that Asia-Pacific CSNs must choose their paths to diversification carefully, depending on country circumstances.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2015
Download - 8.4 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificLeast Developed CountriesSmall Island Developing StatesBangladeshBhutanEnergyFDIInvestmentMaldivesNepalTradeTransportUNESCAP

 


Outward FDI by Indian Manufacturing MNEs: Impacts and Implications

This Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade Working Paper investigates the home country effects of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) on domestic activity of Indian multinational enterprises (MNEs). The empirical evidence suggests that OFDI by Indian MNEs has a positive impact on export intensity and research and development. In order to derive desired complementary benefits of OFDI by manufacturing firms, policies may be directed to enhance the country’s international supply chain connectivity for greater participation in global value chain and production network.

Author: Khanindra Ch. Das
Year: 2015
Download - 709 KB
Tags:  IndiaFDIGlobal Value ChainsTradeExportDevelopmentManufacturingUNESCAP

 


Trade and Non-Tariff Measures: Impacts in the Asia-Pacific Region

This study brings together existing evidence on the occurrence and trade impacts of non-tariff measures (NTMs) in the Asia-Pacific region. It aims to contribute to an improved understanding on their trade impacts on developing countries. The report focuses on the consequences of NTMs for developing economies and South-South trade. The chapters include an overview of tariff and non-tariff measures, an evaluation of NTMs and trade, and an examination of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Technical Barriers to Trade. Finally, the study concludes by reviewing mechanisms for streamlining NTMs and promoting developing countries’ trade, particularly at the regional level.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2015
Download - 1.6 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificTariffTradeSanitary and Phytosanitary MeasuresTechnical Barriers to TradeUNESCAP

 


Mega-regionals and the Regulation of Trade: Implications for Industrial Policy

This report reviews key industrial policy issue areas being negotiated in mega-regional free-trade agreements—in particular, the Trans-Pacific Partnership—and evaluates how possible outcomes will impact the international trading system. Reviewing areas where the mega-regionals may impose systemic constraints, including border measures, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and e-commerce measures, the report discusses a possible future framework for industrial policy that integrates the additional policy constraints and changes introduced by these agreements.

Author: Dan Ciuriak and Harsha V. Singh
Year: 2015
Download - 621 KB
Tags:  TradeTrade FacilitationFree Trade Agreements

 


Enabling Trade: Increasing the Potential of Trade Reforms

This publication reviews specific elements of trade reform and proposes potential improvements that governments can make in collaboration with the private sector, using case examples to illustrate supply chain bottlenecks. It further examines how national governments and the private sector can optimize ongoing trade reforms to reduce or eliminate these obstacles.

Author: Bain and Company and the International Trade Centre
Year: 2015
Download - 1.84 MB
Tags:  TradePrivate SectorTrade Policy

 


Towards Trade Policy Analysis 2.0: From National Comparative Advantage to Firm-Level Trade Data

This paper argues for the need to upgrade current analytical tools for trade policy analysis and complement them with more detailed, firm-level data. Firm-level data allows a more refined assessment of future impact of trade policy initiatives, improves ex-post assessments, and enhances communication leading to a meaningful engagement with stakeholders, thus reducing public misperceptions about trade policy. A Trade Policy Analysis 2.0 could contribute to a better understanding of international trade for firm competitiveness, job creation, and consumer welfare.

Author: Lucian Cernat
Year: 2015
Download - 360 KB
Tags:  Trade PolicyFirmsTradeADB

 


Electricity Consumption, Output, and Trade in Bhutan

This ADB South Asia Working Paper examines the relationship between electricity consumption, international trade, and economic growth using an augmented production function framework. The findings show that Bhutan is energy-dependent and can promote economic growth through future investment in hydropower. More specifically, the results show that a 1% increase in (i) electricity consumption generates 0.03%-0.05% increase in output, (ii) total trade results in 0.5% increase in output, (iii) trade openness results in 1% increase in output.

Author: Hooi Hooi Lean and Russell Smyth
Year: 2015
Download - 764 KB
Tags:  EnergyTradeBhutanADBSouth AsiaHydropower

 


Gender Dimensions of Regional Cooperation in South Asia: Gender and Safe Mobility – Promising Global and Regional Practices

This technical report analyzes global practices related to gender equality and safe migration, and their applicability to the context of South Asia. "Hard" aspects, such as physical infrastructure and equipment including border infrastructure, passenger holding facilities and surveillance cameras, and "soft" aspects, such as regional, bilateral and/or country-specific policies, programs, mechanisms and institutional linkages of safe mobility, are presented. The report also presents national policies and procedures that promote safe mobility. Given the lessons drawn from the reviewed policies and practices, it highlights the need for stronger evidence-based approaches in understanding the complex experience of women migrant workers, and identifies the need for more regular peer exchange through periodic regional dialogues of key stakeholder groups.

Author: International Organization for Migration
Year: 2014
Download - 2 MB
Tags:  GenderMigrationSouth AsiaBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalTransportTrade

 


Gender Dimensions of Regional Cooperation in South Asia: Gender, Trade and Green Growth (Volumes I and II)

This technical report presents an analysis of the interconnection between gender equality, regional trade and sustainable development in selected areas of four South Asian countries. In general, the report found women's contributions to total exports of all countries to be low, and in green exports to be lower. It identifies constraints and challenges, such as limited training in entrepreneurship, gender stereotypes related to green trade, existing gaps in policy framework, and weak access to technology, hindering women's participation in three green trade industries - agriculture and agro-processing, renewable energy, and ecotourism. The report looks at possible entry points for women, and recommended a list of actions to tap these identified entry points, including the need for greater exchange and cross-fertilization of experience among associations of women entrepreneurs and women’s chambers of commerce in South Asia.

Author: Shreyasi Jha, Ritu Dewan, Amee Misra, Saloni Singh, Navanita Sinha, Maheen Sultan and Sonam Tobgay
Year: 2014
Download - 4.5 MB
Tags:  GenderTradeSustainabilitySouth AsiaBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal

 


Asia-Pacific Development Journal Vol. 21, No. 2, December 2014

The paper "Indo-Nepal Economic Cooperation: A Subregional Perspective" published in this issue of the Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ) explores how subregional engagement among bordering regions can stimulate economic cooperation among countries in South Asia. It assesses the current status and potential of greater integration between India and Nepal, and develops a SWOT (strength-weakness-opportunity-threat) analysis reflecting on the need for a subregional approach to promotion of regional cooperation. APDJ, published twice a year by the Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division of UNESCAP, provides a platform for exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas, information and data on all aspects of economic and social development issues and concerns facing the region.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Download - 5.34 MB
Tags:  Economic IntegrationIndiaNepalTradeBangladeshSri LankaTransportTradeTourism

 


Asia-Pacific Development Journal Vol. 21, No. 2, December 2014

The paper "Indo-Nepal Economic Cooperation: A Subregional Perspective" published in this issue of the Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ) explores how subregional engagement among bordering regions can stimulate economic cooperation among countries in South Asia. It assesses the current status and potential of greater integration between India and Nepal, and develops a SWOT (strength-weakness-opportunity-threat) analysis reflecting on the need for a subregional approach to promotion of regional cooperation. APDJ, published twice a year by the Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division of UNESCAP, provides a platform for exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas, information and data on all aspects of economic and social development issues and concerns facing the region.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Download - 5.34 MB
Tags:  Economic IntegrationIndiaNepalTradeBangladeshSri LankaTransportTradeTourism

 


World Tariff Profiles 2014

This statistical yearbook devoted to market access for goods contains a comprehensive compilation of tariff parameters for each of the 160 World Trade Organization members, plus a number of other countries and customs territories where data is available. Each country profile presents information on tariffs imposed by each economy on its imports, including an analysis of market access conditions in its major export markets. Statistics for all countries allow easy comparisons between countries and sectors, as well as between bound and applied tariffs.

Author: World Trade Organization, International Trade Centre, and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2014
Download - 4.46 MB
Tags:  WTOCustomsTariffBangladeshIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTransportTariffsTrade

 


SME Competitiveness and Aid for Trade: Connecting Developing Country SMEs to Global Value Chains

This joint ITC-WTO study discusses constraints faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in international trade, particularly by least developed countries. It reviews how Aid for Trade addresses these challenges through a sample of 23 Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies. Three bottlenecks emerge – quality of business environment, access to finance, and lack of institutional support to overcome trade-related challenges. This study also highlights actions taken by companies to integrate SMEs into their supply chains and concludes with an analysis of recent private sector program evaluations.

Author: International Trade Centre and World Trade Organization
Year: 2014
Download - 2.11 MB
Tags:  SMETradePrivate SectorSmall and Medium EnterprisesBhutanIndiaNepalSri LankaSustainability

 


A World Trade Organization for the 21st Century: The Asian Perspective

This Asian Development Bank Institute book examines key changes in the world trading system and explores policy implications for Asia. Through a compilation of essays from prominent international and Asian trade experts, this book presents interaction of market forces and trade regulation. Lessons from the Asian experience offer new approaches and economic policies to sustain growth, presenting the World Trade Organization as a forum to improve regional and global trade governance in the 21st century.

Author: Richard E. Baldwin, Masahiro Kawai, Ganeshan Wignaraja (Eds.)
Year: 2014
Download - 3.97 MB
Tags:  TradeTrade PolicyWTOBangladeshBhutanEnergyIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTransport

 


Seaborne Trade between South Asia and Southeast Asia

This Asian Development Bank Institute paper examines trade and the main ports around the Bay of Bengal to identify projects that will enable trade and contribute to improved maritime infrastructure. It also reviews the nature of trade and trade patterns, particularly through the Indian East Coast Corridor study. The paper develops further strategic options for seaport adjustment around the Bay of Bengal to support trade evolution, policy assessment, and other constraints.

Author: David Wignall, Mark Wignall
Year: 2014
Download - 926.5 KB
Tags:  TransportTradePortsADBIndiaEconomic CorridorBangladeshEnergyMyanmarSri Lanka

 


Regional Transit Agreement in South Asia: An Empirical Investigation

This discussion paper published by the South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment assesses the potential gains of a sub-regional transit arrangement and the removal of other border-trade barriers, particularly the eastern South Asia sub-region (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal). It also discusses the link between transit and trade flows, provides profiles of intra-regional transit trade and current transit arrangements in South Asia, and identifies efficient regional transit corridors using linear programming or the Data Envelopment Analysis model.

Author: Prabir De and Arvind Kumar
Year: 2014
Download - 799.28 K
Tags:  South AsiaTradeTransportEconomicsEconomic CorridorSASECSAARCUNESCAPCustomsHarmonisationBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalMaldivesSri Lanka

 


Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2014

The Statistical Yearbook contains comparative statistics and facts about the 58 regional members and associate members of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. It includes brief analyses of 32 key development features such as energy supply and use, international trade, and transport, among others. In energy, the region’s production structure is highly resource-intensive, although per capita energy use is low. The section on international trade recommends focusing on raising domestic value-added rather than increasing gross exports in Asia and the Pacific. Finally, investment in environmentally sustainable transport is encouraged.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Download - 17.4 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificEnergyTradeTransportBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


NTMs in South Asia: Assessment and Analysis

The study “NTMs in South Asia: Assessment and Analysis” analyzes how Non-tariff Measures (NTMs) give rise to non-tariff barriers, which are becoming increasingly crucial for advancing trade cooperation among member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, yet remain less-addressed. The study examines export potential and actual export of South Asian countries, and attempts to highlight gains from reduction in transaction costs in bilateral trade. It also notes that initiatives for trade facilitation reforms in South Asia at the regional level remain low in incentives and have yet to produce significant results. The study closes with several recommendations for reducing and eliminating NTMs.

Author: Selim Raihan, Mostafa Abid Khan, and Shaquib Quoreshi
Year: 2014
Download - 2.1 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTradeSAARCBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSouth AsiaSri Lanka

 


Bridging Transport, ICT, and Energy Infrastructure Gaps for Seamless Regional Connectivity

This publication is a contribution by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific to deliberations at the Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) in Vienna, Austria, 3-5 November 2014. It shows regional connectivity as an unfinished agenda and bridging infrastructure gaps as a complex challenge for LLDCs. While physical infrastructure is a priority, this report argues that deeper regional integration – through regionally cohesive and terrestrial networks – is key to effectively linking Asian LLDCs to the region’s infrastructure networks.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Download - 1.7 MB
Tags:  TransportICTEnergyUNESCAPSASECConnectivityInfrastructureBangladeshIndiaNepalSri LankaTradeTrade FacilitationPolicyTrade Policy

 


Review of Maritime Transport 2014

The Review of Maritime Transport is an annual UNCTAD flagship publication since 1968. It provides analysis of structural and cyclical changes affecting seaborne trade, ports and shipping, freight markets, and transport and regulatory frameworks. It further presents statistics, data, and insights on ownership of the world fleet, with South Asia dominating the market for ship recycling. This year’s special chapter focuses on the challenges faced by the world’s Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and reviews shipping-related challenges resulting from SIDS size, remoteness, and exposure to natural hazards, including impacts of climate change.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2014
Download - 3.7 MB
Tags:  TransportPortsSmall Island Developing StatesUNCTADTradeSouth AsiaBangladeshIndiaMaldivesSri Lanka

 


SASEC Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework 2014-2018

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework 2014-2018 builds on the momentum of member countries over recent years in forging ahead with many significant improvements to facilitate, and ultimately increase, trade in the subregion and with the rest of the world. It supports the mission of the SASEC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy “to promote the prosperity of the subregion by facilitating the efficient movement of trade across the borders”, and focuses on five priority areas: customs modernization and harmonization; standards and conformity assessment strengthening; cross-border facilities improvement; through-transport facilitation; and institution and capacity building.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 756 KB
Tags:  SASECTrade FacilitationRegional CooperationTransportTradeCustomsStandardsHarmonisationRegional IntegrationADBBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaSouth Asia

 


The Global Gender Gap Report 2014

The Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education and health criteria. According to this 2014 edition, the Asia and Pacific region has closed 66% of its overall gender gap. However, it continues to rank second from last on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. According to the report, Bangladesh has achieved its highest overall score since 2006, with significant improvements on the Economic Participation and Opportunity, and the Educational Attainment and Health and Survival subindexes. However, it still ranks 127th on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex, a score still below the subindex average. Nepal ranks second highest in percentage change for improvements in the Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment subindexes, but ranks 122nd on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex. India is also below average on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex.

Author: World Economic Forum
Year: 2014
Download - 6.10 MB
Tags:  GenderEconomic ParticipationTrade

 


Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2014: Recent Trends and Developments

This Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2014 provides an analysis of recent regional trends and developments in: (a) intraregional trade in goods and services; (b) foreign direct investment (FDI); (c) trade facilitation measures; (d) trade policy measures; and (e) preferential trade agreements. According to this report, South and South West Asia’s FDI inflow improved, registering a 6% increase, with India holding the largest FDI share. However, performance in key trade and investment indicators was weak in 2013, with merchandise exports decreasing by 0.2%, around 71% of exports going to destinations outside the Asia-Pacific region, and around 64% of merchandise being imported from extra-regional sources. This publication also provides a preliminary regional assessment of the implementation of trade facilitation measures included in the TFA. This section concludes by identifying areas that countries need to focus on in order to further advance trade facilitation in the region.

Author: UNESCAP
Year: 2014
Download - 3.50 MB
Tags:  FDITradeTrade Facilitation

 


World Trade Report 2014 – Trade and Development: Recent Trends and the Role of the WTO

This annual publication highlights the relationship between trade and development, including changes since the start of the millennium. It identifies four key trends that altered the way trade affects development outcomes – accelerated economic growth in developing countries, expansion of global value chains, increase in agricultural and natural resource prices, and global nature of macroeconomic shocks. This report also explores how these trends have reshaped the role of trade in facilitating development and how recent development gains allow developing countries to adapt and mitigate risks.

Author: World Trade Organization
Year: 2014
Download - 7.49 MB
Tags:  WTOGlobal Value ChainsTradeEconomic GrowthAgricultureTrade FacilitationDevelopmentBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSouth AsiaSri Lanka

 


South Asia Economic Focus: The Export Opportunity

This bi-annual report presents the recent economic developments, outlook, and policy of the following South Asian countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It highlights developing country growth as fairly robust. Meanwhile, India’s growth rate is slowly increasing and its inflation rate declining. South Asian economies solidified their external positions by easing pressures to finance current account deficits, yet face domestic challenges such as reducing fiscal risks, supporting higher levels of investment, and sustaining export growth.

Author: The World Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 2.31 MB
Tags:  South AsiaTradeEconomicsWBBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


Asian Development Outlook 2014 Update: Asia in Global Value Chains

As developing Asia continues along a stable growth path, India maintains a 5.5% growth forecast for 2014 and shows promise of a turnaround. Reforms are envisioned for 2015, including a forecast 0.3% upgrade to 6.3%. Bhutan recorded the largest current account deficit as a percentage of GDP, due to imports used in construction of several large hydropower projects that will expand its energy export capacity to India. Meanwhile, South Asia is expected to perform with greater momentum in 2015, with a growth forecast upgrade to 6.1% from 5.8%. Most of the improvements in the subregion are from India’s deficit and Bangladesh’s current account. Nepal also shows improved outlook for 2015.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 11.4 MB
Tags:  South AsiaGlobal Value ChainsIndiaEconomicsTrade

 


A Connectivity-Driven Development Strategy for Nepal: From a Landlocked to a Land-Linked State

Transforming Nepal from a landlocked into a land-linked state, the authors argue, could be key to unlocking the country's much-awaited growth. With its strategic location between India and the People's Republic of China, a connectivity-driven development strategy could energize Nepal's lackluster post-conflict economic performance. Further, Nepal implements a multi-track approach to promoting regional cooperation and integration in connectivity with its neighbors, reinforced through participation in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, and South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation. By identifying ten priority projects that could further boost Nepal's connectivity, the paper also discusses how strengthening Nepal's transport, energy, and trade links could benefit the region. However, the authors also warn against “internal threats” to Nepal's development—corruption and the country's difficult political situation.

Author: Pradumna B. Rana and Binod Karmacharya
Year: 2014
Download - 644 KB
Tags:  NepalEconomic CorridorRegional TradeConnectivityDevelopmentEconomic GrowthSASECIndiaRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationSAARCBIMSTECTransportEnergyTrade

 


Trade Performance and Competitiveness: Selected Issues Relevant for Asian Developing Economies – A Study by the Asia Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade

This study comprises four selected research essays on trade and industry in the Asian region. It explores the structural transformation and trade policy in Nepal, analyzes India’s trade in intermediates with Bangladesh and Thailand, and examines the export performance of manufacturing and service sector enterprises in Sri Lanka. These essays also argue that there is scope for better targeting of Nepalese trade and industry promotion policies. There is further discussion on firm level issues related to competition in globalized markets.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Download - 8.76 MB
Tags:  NepalSri LankaBangladeshTrade PolicyIndiaTrade

 


Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2014

This 2014 edition of UNESCAP's flagship publication emphasizes the importance of furthering regional connectivity in Asia-Pacific—a region which, despite significant reductions in poverty levels, is now witnessing rising income inequality, both within and between countries. It calls for driving the region's growth by exploiting the interdependence and synergies of five elements: trade and transport connectivity, ICT networks, energy connectivity, people-to-people networks, and promotion of knowledge-based economies, and advocates approaching connectivity as a regional public good.

Author: UNESCAP
Year: 2014
Download - 12.2 MB
Tags:  Economic IntegrationRegional CooperationPoverty ReductionAsia-PacificConnectivityEnergyICTBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesSri LankaTradeTransportUNESCAP

 


Economic Implications of Deeper South Asian–Southeast Asian Integration: A CGE Approach

High tariff and non-tariff barriers, and costly transport links and inefficient trade facilitation measures continue to hamper the growth of trade between South Asia and Southeast Asia. This paper explores whether potential gains from improved connectivity—via Myanmar as inter-regional bridge—justify a high level of investment. Using an advanced computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, reduction of inter-regional tariffs, decreasing of non-tariff barriers by 50%, and cutting down of trade costs between South Asia and Southeast Asia by 15% yields a prediction of 8.9% rise in welfare in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and an increase of 6.4% in gross domestic product by 2030.

Author: Ganeshan Wignaraja, Peter Morgan, Michael Plummer, and Fan Zhai
Year: 2014
Download - 996 KB
Tags:  TransportTrade FacilitationSouth AsiaSoutheast AsiaRegional IntegrationTariffTradeConnectivityInvestmentMyanmarGDP

 


Nepal: Development Effectiveness Brief 2014

Nepal has the potential to achieve more inclusive growth and can largely benefit from regional cooperation and integration with its developing neighbors. It is also benefiting from South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation, a flagship ADB-supported program that promotes economic cooperation and integration in areas of trade facilitation (custom modernization and transport connectivity), power development, trade, and tourism development. This brief further explores ADB’s contribution to inclusive development and poverty reduction, energy, and transport. Exporting energy when surplus is available is one way of meeting seasonal demand by subregional cooperation and power trade. Transport infrastructure is also another key ingredient to equitable, inclusive growth that can address challenges such as lack of market access, inadequate roads, and poor connectivity.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 960 KB
Tags:  NepalRegional CooperationSouth AsiaADBConnectivityEnergyRoadsSASECTradeTransport

 


Estimating the Benefits of Cross-Border Paperless Trade

Cross-border paperless trade is trade that occurs on the basis of electronic communications and has been part of customs reform efforts in a variety of countries. Increased implementation of cross-border paperless trade is high on the trade facilitation agenda in Asia-Pacific. This report considers six measures to calculate estimates of possible economic benefits of cross-border paperless trade through counterfactual simulations using 2013 data and simple econometric models. Simulation results reveal that this new generation of trade facilitation can significantly reduce trade costs and boost intra- and extra-regional trade in the region. Partial implementation of these measures can lead to an export increase of $36 billion annually. Total direct cost savings across all trade is about $1 billion per annum for partial reform, and $7 billion for full implementation.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2014
Download - 652 KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTradeAsia-PacificUNESCAPCustomsExportBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


Trade and Investment Barriers Affecting International Production Networks in India

Recognizing India as an outlier in development of international production networks with the lowest participation among Asian countries, this study investigates the reason for India’s lackluster participation in production-sharing networks. Using desk work, field surveys, and interviews, an analysis is adopted with three comparator countries in the region that have been successful in production-sharing arrangements as well as industrial growth – China, Malaysia, and Thailand. It further describes foreign direct investment inflows into India, analyzes behind-the-border investment environment, and provides recommendations to improve investment climate and hasten the pace of manufacturing development in India.

Author: Anwarul Hoda and Durgesh Kumar Rai
Year: 2014
Download - 706 KB
Tags:  IndiaTradeProduction NetworksInvestmentThailandManufacturingCustomsEconomic CorridorEnergyTrade FacilitationTransport

 


Bilateral Free Trade Agreements: Opportunities and Challenges for Bangladesh - Framework Issues

Slow progress of negotiations for multilateral trade under the World Trade Organization and the global economic crisis have led to a rise in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in developing countries, yet Bangladesh has remained ambivalent in setting its strategies regarding FTAs. Instead, it has opted to maintain exports through preferential market access with its partners among developed countries. This report cautions that with the increasing reduction of tariffs among developed countries, Bangladesh's preferential market access with these trading partners will soon lose its luster. On the other hand, exploring alternative markets by signing FTAs among least developed countries and developing countries in South Asia may be a better option for Bangladesh. This policy paper argues that Bangladesh needs to expand its export market by exploring bilateral FTAs with other trading partners, including its neighbors in the South Asia region.

Author: Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Mehruna Islam Chowdhury, and Saifa Raz
Year: 2014
Download - 1.58 MB
Tags:  TradeTrade PolicyBangladesh

 


Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation

This paper reports survey findings on progress in implementing various trade facilitation and paperless trade measures made by 29 countries in Asia and the Pacific, including six SASEC member countries. Factors considered include pre-arrival clearance, post-clearance audit, National Single Window, and authorized operator programmes. The survey reveals that while countries have prioritized automation and paperless trade at the regional level, there is an urgent need for regional arrangements that will facilitate cross-border exchange of trade-related electronic documents and information to enable smoother trade facilitation.

Author: Tengfei Wang and Yann Duval
Year: 2014
Download - 1.18 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationRegional CooperationTradeAsia-PacificSASECSingle WindowUNESCAPCustomsBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


Globalization in an Age of Crisis: Multilateral Economic Cooperation in the 21st Century

Is globalization in retreat, ask editors of Globalization in an Age of Crisis. Hosting discussions on multilateralism in trade and macroeconomic issues, the book considers international policy making following the global economic crisis of 2008-2009 that saw countries prioritize policy initiatives advancing national interests over international economic cooperation. Critical junctures are considered, including the current WTO round and whether it can deliver on its promise to improve trading prospects of developing countries (chapter 3), and the compatibility of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with multilateral trading systems (chapter 4). Empirical assessments measuring the 'successes' of existing PTAs are also included.

Author: Robert C. Feenstra and Alan M. Taylor
Year: 2014
Download - 4823 KB
Tags:  Trade PolicyTradeEconomicsWTO

 


Deepening India’s Shallow Export Basket

India’s bilateral trade with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) grew to US$70 million in 2011 and growth trajectories suggest that bilateral trade will continue to expand. India exports low value-added products such as ores, cotton, and copper to the PRC; and imports high value-added and technology sophisticated products such as electrical machinery and equipment from the PRC. India suffers from lack of export diversification although manufactures are an increasing share of India’s bilateral export basket. The proposed PRC-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) can deepen India’s export basket; and FTA-based reforms on pharmaceuticals, and information and technology services sector can significantly impact India’s bilateral trade composition.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2014
Download - 371 KB
Tags:  IndiaTradeTrade Policy

 


Unpacking the Bali Package: a Snapshot of Bali Ministerial Decisions of WTO Members

The Bali Package represents a key turning point for the World Trade Organization. Covering trade facilitation, agriculture, and trade issues for developing and least-developed countries, it is set to increase trade activity on a global scale and lower the cost of doing international trade. This paper acts as a precursor to its implementation by identifying challenges countries may face, giving a brief history of each pillar, exploring the next possible steps for each ministerial decision, and examining the likely effects of this decision/agreement on various other stakeholders, particularly on consumers.

Author: Archana Jatkar and Chenai Mukumba
Year: 2014
Download - 586.18KB
Tags:  TradeTrade FacilitationTrade PolicyWTOAgricultureLeast Developed CountriesIndia

 


Simulating World Trade in the Decades Ahead: Driving Forces and Policy Implications

This working paper considers economic prospects up to the year 2100, offering assumptions about key exogenous variables, providing a baseline for climate change policy evaluation, and discussing sectoral and trade issues. The paper combines an economic growth model with a multi-sectoral model to construct scenarios for around 150 countries up to a maximum time horizon of 2035, with forecasts on a number of key variables such as energy prices, demographics, etc. It suggests that trends toward increased regionalization may be reversed, with multilateral trade relationships gaining in importance.

Author: Lionel Fontagné, Jean Fouré and Alexander Keck
Year: 2014
Download - 178 KB
Tags:  ClimateTradeStatisticsTrade PolicyPolicyEnergyTariffASEANIndiaEnvironment

 


Potential Growth in Emerging Asia

This paper estimates potential growth for China, India, and five ASEAN countries during 1993-2013. It states that India has exhibited a slowdown in potential growth, reflecting a decline of total factor productivity growth. The paper also puts forward that demographic factors will be much more supportive in the future as the working-age population starts to decrease.

Author: Rahul Anand, Kevin Cheng, Sidra Rehman, Longmei Zhang
Year: 2014
Download - 1MB
Tags:  EconomicsIndiaASEANTrade

 


Impacts of Trade Facilitation Measures on Poverty and Inclusive Growth: Case Studies from Asia - A Study by the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade

This book addresses the gap between trade facilitation and poverty reduction and contains a compilation of specific case studies that explores the linkages between trade facilitation measures and poverty. It also presents cross-country analysis that examines inequality in low- and middle-income countries. Other chapters discuss economic corridors and microfinance development as trade facilitation measures and examine access to trade facilitation by export-oriented micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. It also explores barriers to international entrepreneurship for the vegetable business in Bangladesh. Finally, it offers a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) on poverty reduction.

Author: Ravi Ratnayake, Rajan Sudesh Ratna, Martina Francesca Ferracane and Yann Duval
Year: 2013
Download - 8.75 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationBangladeshTradePoverty ReductionEconomic CorridorSmall and medium enterprisesIndiaSAARCCustomsPakistan

 


South Asia Energy Security: Challenges and Opportunities

The imbalance between the growing demand for energy in South Asia and the countries' uneven energy resources has led to weakened energy security in the region. Import dependence from outside the region has become a costly solution. As countries in South Asia move to expand their economies, fostering cross border energy trade and promoting energy investment opportunities could be a better alternative to resolving the energy deficit. However, energy cooperation within South Asia is challenged by major issues that could impede regional energy trade that is beneficial for all.

Author: Bhupendra Kumar Singh
Year: 2013
Download - 2.25MB
Tags:  EnergySouth AsiaBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalPakistanSri LankaTradeHydropower

 


The Future of the World Trading System: Asian Perspectives

According to WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, the problems facing Asian regionalism are a scaled-down version of the problems facing the world. Thus, solutions that address Asia’s noodle bowl would most likely work at the global level. This concise collection of short chapters is based on longer papers presented at the Geneva Conference on 11-12 March 2013, organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute and Centre for Trade and Economic Integration at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in collaboration with WTO. The chapters are written by leading Asian and international trade experts on key changes taking place in the world trading system and its policy implications for Asia.

Author: Richard E. Baldwin, Masahiro Kawai, and Ganeshan Wignaraja, eds.
Year: 2013
Download - 1.7MB
Tags:  Regional IntegrationTrade PolicyTradeGlobal Value ChainsGlobal Production NetworkRegional TradeTrade FacilitationIndia

 


Connecting South Asia and Southeast Asia: Interim Report

This joint ADB-ADBI study focuses on how improved physical connectivity (infrastructure) and associated institutional connectivity (software) can enhance more effective economic integration between the two subregions. The report reviews economic ties, identifies issues and constraints, and explores better connectivity and closer economic integration. It also examines major developments in South Asia-Southeast Asia trade and investment, economic cooperation, role of economic corridors, and regional cooperation initiatives.

Author: ADB and ADBI
Year: 2013
Download - 1.1MB
Tags:  InfrastructureEconomic IntegrationRegional CooperationTradeTransportTrade FacilitationEconomic CorridorEnergy

 


Attracting Foreign Direct Investment: What Can South Asia's Lack of Success Teach other Developing Countries?

Despite South Asian nations experiencing increased foreign direct investment (FDI) flows over the past decade by gaining a large share of cross border investments, FDI inflows in South Asian countries still remain the lowest relative to gross domestic product (GDP) among developing country regions. This paper uses an empirical model that accounts for possible trends in convergence in the ratio of FDI to GDP between countries and cross-sectional data for 78 countries from 2000 to 2011. In examining the historical patterns of South Asia’s FDI and its connection with the policy environment, policymakers can identify constraints to FDI and boost potential for broad-based growth.

Author: David M. Gould, Congyan Tan and Amir S. Sadeghi Emamgholi
Year: 2013
Download - 1.28MB
Tags:  South AsiaTrade PolicyFDIGDPInvestmentGovernanceTransparencyEconomic GrowthFinancial SectorRegional CooperationTrade

 


UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics 2013

This UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics provides essential data for analyzing and measuring world trade, international financial flows, investment, and development. It documents the south-south trend led by developing Asia and reveals how exports among developing countries remain centered in the Asian region. The share of south-south trade in total world exports doubled over the last 20 years to over 25 per cent. Apart from The People's Republic of China and other major petroleum and gas exporters, India is among the countries that have most expanded their south-south trade during the last two decades.

Author: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Year: 2013
Download - 6.06MB
Tags:  South AsiaStatisticsTradeIndia

 


Evaluating Aid for Trade on the Ground: Lessons from Bangladesh

This paper assesses the effectiveness and impact of aid for trade (AfT) in Bangladesh in a series of eight country studies by the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development. The study argues that the results for AfT are mixed for Bangladesh since it has addressed supply side constraints and contributed to enhancing export competitiveness. However, lack of efficient administrative mechanisms, limited human capacity, and political instability that lead to low absorption capacity limits the overall effectiveness and impact of AfT in Bangladesh.

Author: Fahmida Khatun, Samina Hossain and Nepoleon Dewan
Year: 2013
Download - 1.86MB
Tags:  BangladeshTradeAid for TradeSustainabilityExportDevelopmentAsiaGenderLDCLeast Developed Countries

 


Deepening Economic Cooperation between India and Sri Lanka

This book analyzes the performance and impact of the India-Sri Lanka free trade agreement over the past decade and suggests the way forward. India became an important source of imports for Sri Lanka immediately after the implementation of the free trade agreement.

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 2.9MB
Tags:  Regional CooperationTrade PolicyIndiaSri LankaTradeEconomic CooperationIndia-Sri Lanka Free Trade AgreementFree Trade AgreementsServicesTrade FacilitationExportsImport

 


Bangladesh-ADB: 40 Years of Development Partnership

ADB's Bangladesh program evolved over time in close alignment with the country's priorities of attaining rapid economic growth and poverty reduction

Author: Asian Development Bank
Year: 2013
Download - 8.4MB
Tags:  BangladeshRegional CooperationEnergyTransportTrade FacilitationPortsTrade

 


Unlocking Bangladesh-India Trade: Emerging Potential and the Way Forward

This working paper breaks down the importance of trade cooperation between Bangladesh and India by taking a closer look at the impacts of Bangladesh's increased market access to India, and their improved border connectivity. Employing data from national government resources and multilateral development organizations including the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization, the study provides an estimate of the trade potential of Bangladesh and India, and calculates the implications on costs of trade facilitation, among others. It also discusses ongoing challenges in bilateral relations and provides recommendations that will enable larger gains for the two contiguous countries.

Author: Prabir De, Selim Raihan, and Sanjay Kathuria
Year: 2012
Download - 1.45MB
Tags:  TradeTrade FacilitationRegional CooperationBangladeshIndiaWBWTOBilateral Trade

 


The Institutions of Regionalism in South Asia - Do Institutions Matter?

This paper assesses the contribution of key institutions of regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in South Asia, and suggests ways in which the Asian Development Bank and other development partners can strengthen their support. It attempts to enhance understanding on the interplay between politics and RCI, including how good bilateral political relations or improvements have advanced RCI. With the overall political environment growing increasingly open to RCI, the paper suggests the time has come for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to consider strengthening the capacity of the SAARC Secretariat to meet the growing challenges and work load of managing the anticipated increase in RCI.

Author: Prabhu Ghate
Year: 2011
Download - 463KB
Tags:  Regional CooperationRegional IntegrationDevelopmentSAARCTradeServicesTrade FacilitationEnergyFree Trade AgreementsSAFTABangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri LankaTransport

 


Energy Trade in South Asia: Opportunities and Challenges

The South Asia Regional Energy Study was completed as an important component of the regional technical assistance project Preparing the Energy Sector Dialogue and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Energy Center Capacity Development. It involved examining regional energy trade opportunities among all the member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. The study provides interventions to improve regional energy cooperation in different timescales, including specific infrastructure projects which can be implemented during these periods.

Author: Sultan Hafeez Rahman / Priyantha D. C. Wijayatunga / Herath Gunatilake / P. N. Fernando
Year: 2011
Download - 4.4MB
Tags:  EnergyRegional CooperationRegional IntegrationSAARCTradeBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepalMaldivesSri Lanka

 


Promoting Trade in SASEC: A Report on Non-Tariff and Non-Trade Barriers

This report proposes that improving border coordination and relationships will further increase the existing intraregional trade among SASEC countries. Several non-trade barriers are tackled in the context of trade promotion, with the view that addressing non-trade barriers would also lead to resolving issues on non-tariff barriers.

Author: Florian A. Alburo
Year: 2004
Download - 164KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationTradeBangladeshBhutanNepalTrade Policy

 
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