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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Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing Asia-Pacific

This report explores five long-term trends in the Asia-Pacific region that will shape approaches to poverty alleviation and the prospects for achieving prosperity: regional economic cooperation and integration; rural–urban transitions; demographic changes; ICT access and connectivity; and demand for natural resources. It examines the changing development context in South Asian and other economies. It also looks at opportunities created by regional cooperation and integration that intend to bring about shared economic benefits.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme
Year: 2017
Download - 4.1 MB
Tags:  ADBConnectivityICTRegional CooperationSustainabilityUNESCAPUNDPBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesNepalSri Lanka

 


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

 


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

 


The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement: Promoting South-South Regional Integration and Sustainable Development

As countries begin to depend on more each other, trade policy is helping achieve inclusive and sustainable development. Trade and investment are linked to the environment and social issues, and countries now realize that cooperation is necessary in approaching global and regional problems. The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), the oldest preferential trade agreement in the region, helps promote economic development and the adoption of mutually beneficial trade measures. This book gives an overview of the APTA and outlines potential benefits and challenges for members new to the APTA. The book details a possible road map for APTA and suggests that APTA move from the conventional preferential agreement to a comprehensive economic integration agreement by converting to FTAs in goods, services, investment, trade facilitation and non-tariff measures.

Author: Joong-Wan Cho and Rajan Sudesh Ratna (editors)
Year: 2017
Download - 11.5 MB
Tags:  Asia-Pacific Trade AgreementBangladeshIndiaSri LankaRegional IntegrationSustainabilityUNESCAP

 


Renewable Energy Sector in Emerging Asia: Development and Policies (TIID Working Paper No. 1/2017)

Rapid economic growth in emerging Asia has led to a critical increase of greenhouse gas emissions. Transitioning to renewable energy sources would help reduce emissions. However, massive investment is needed to make that transition. According to this paper, targeted policy interventions are needed to facilitate trade and investment in the renewable energy sector and create “green jobs” in the low-carbon and resource-efficient sectors.

Author: Masato Abe, Candice Lea Marie Branchoux, Jaewon Kim
Year: 2017
Download - 664 KB
Tags:  BangladeshEnergyGovernanceHydropowerEmploymentIndiaMyanmarSustainabilityUNESCAP

 


Towards a Sustainable Future: Energy Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific

Despite the benefits of energy connectivity, energy trade in Asia and the Pacific has remained far below its potential. This publication takes a detailed and engaging look at how smart region-wide energy connectivity could greatly improve energy supply and address the environmental impacts of energy. It maps existing energy connectivity in the region, examines ongoing initiatives, and suggests regional action plans that could lead Asia and the rest of the world to a sustainable future.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2016
Download - 7.15 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificEnergyEnvironmentSustainabilityConnectivityUNESCAP

 


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

 


Information and Communication Technologies for Trade and Transport Facilitation

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provides efficiencies that can deliver many advantages for trade and transport facilitation (TTF) including Single Windows, automated business processes, digitalization of procedures, simpler interaction and transmission of data, and faster decision-making abilities. This paper looks at the business needs of TTF and explains the requirements of an architectural model to support TTF, with policy makers in mind. It highlights the need to integrate and modernize ICT systems and architecture so that ICT can respond to the needs of trade and transport facilitation.

Author: UNESCAP and UNNExT
Year: 2016
Download - 1.83 MB
Tags:  ICTTrade FacilitationTransport FacilitationSingle WindowUNESCAP

 


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

 


Regional Organizations Cooperation Mechanism for Trade Facilitation, Issue IX, January 2016

This biannual publication features updates, publications and forthcoming activities of regional and international organizations working on trade facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Customs Organization (WCO), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. It includes highlights of the Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2015 and the Train-the-Trainer Workshops on Customs Valuation through Post Clearance Audit being jointly implemented by the WCO and ADB in the 6 SASEC member countries. This issue also features an analysis on achieving seamless supply chains through implementing comprehensive and pragmatic national trade facilitation reform programs.

Author: UNESCAP
Year: 2016
Download - 1.57 MB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationAsia-PacificWCOADBUNESCAPCustoms ValuationNepalBangladeshBhutanIndiaMaldivesSri Lanka

 


Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015: Year-end Update

This year-end update revises economic growth in developing economies in Asia and the Pacific to 4.5% in 2015, from earlier projections of 4.9%, and updates the economic growth forecast for 2016 to 5%, from 5.2%. In most developing economies, including South and South West Asia, private consumption will lead to a slight pick-up in economic growth in 2016, amid gradual fiscal tightening and weak exports. With less robust growth compared to the years before and immediately after the global financial and economic crisis that started in 2008, the report highlights a need to tap into domestic and regional sources of demand—alternatives to dependence on external demand—including boosting investment in infrastructure, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the agricultural sector. Promotion of labor participation among the youth and the female population in South and South West Asia is also encouraged, since evidence has shown that improving their job opportunities matters for economic growth.

Author: UNESCAP
Year: 2016
Download - 2.06 MB
Tags:  Economic GrowthGenderInfrastructureUNESCAP

 


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

 


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

 


Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific: Part 2 – Balancing the Three Dimensions of Sustainable Development: From Integration to Implementation

This theme study outlines a conceptual framework, a set of strategies and policy options, and offers perspectives on institutional frameworks for integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic growth, social progress and environmental protection. Regional cooperation is critical in maximizing opportunities for building synergies between the three dimensions. Initiatives at the regional level should consider establishing a regional road map, supporting regional economic integration initiatives, and strengthening regional platforms, including the United Nations and the multilateral system.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2015
Download - 1.1 MB
Tags:  Asia-PacificEconomic IntegrationRegional CooperationEconomic GrowthEnvironmentSustainabilityUNESCAP

 


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

 


Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in the Asia-Pacific Region: Analysis of Category A Submissions

World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) provisions notified under Category A are those that WTO Member States have already implemented or have committed to implement by the time the Agreement enters into force or, in the case of the least-developed countries (LDCs), within a year of its entry into force. Provisions not included under this category are those which will require capacity building and technical assistance, or presumably take longer to implement. This trade insight paper analyzes Category A notifications of 15 economies in the Asia-Pacific region, contrasting the results with findings from an earlier ESCAP Survey on Implementation of Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade (SITFAP) 2013/14 in order to examine some of the most challenging WTO TFA provisions, and gain insights on regional priorities for cooperation and capacity building.

Author: Yann Duval and Pamela Bayona
Year: 2015
Download - 686 KB
Tags:  Trade FacilitationWTOLeast Developed CountriesUNESCAP

 


Making Market Access Meaningful: Implementation of Duty-Free Quota-Free Trade for Asia-Pacific Least Developed Countries (Trade Insights: Issue No. 9)

Asia Pacific least developed countries (LDCs) including Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal account for a small but growing share of global exports. In order to integrate further into regional and global economies, a number of countries have introduced Duty-Free Quota-Free (DFQF) schemes for LDCs. This note reviews those schemes and finds that while improved market access through DFQF schemes is useful, developmental benefits will be limited unless the schemes are relevant and useful.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Year: 2015
Download - 901 KB
Tags:  BangladeshBhutanNepalLeast Developed CountriesUNESCAP

 


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

 


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

 


Impact of Trade Facilitation on Foreign Direct Investment

This United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Trade and Investment Working Paper attempts to quantify the potential impact of trade facilitation on foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. The study uses bilateral FDI data from 2006 onward from both developing and developed countries, including South-South FDI flows, wherein contiguity (common border between source and host country) and geographic distance are found to be much more important factors. In applying an augmented FDI model framework to determine the effect of comprehensive international trade costs, the results show that both non-tariff and tariff costs are important determinants of FDI inflows.

Author: Yann Duval and Chorthip Utoktham
Year: 2014
Download - 842 KB
Tags:  FDITrade FacilitationBilateral TradeUNESCAPInvestmentTariffBangladeshMaldives

 


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

 


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 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

 


Trade Facilitation Potential of Asian Transit Agreements in the Context of the WTO Negotiations

Freedom of transit is an issue critical to landlocked developing countries whose lack of direct access to the sea has increased costs and lessened their competitiveness in international trade. To meet challenges arising from transit barriers, member states of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific recommend transit facilitation as part of an integrated approach to trade facilitation. This working paper analyzes freedom of transit and transit facilitation in the context of trade and transport agreements in the Asia Pacific region, identifying good practices and weighing in on the extent to which existing agreements meet the provisions on transit facilitation stated in the draft text of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

Author: Louis Cousin and Yann Duval
Year: 2014
Download - 1.6MB
Tags:  Transport FacilitationTrade FacilitationWTOAsiaUNESCAPBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal

 
Returned 26 publications