United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on 24 September 2014 released Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) 2014. According to report, growth in trade and investment flows in Asia-Pacific region is yet to return to its levels of strength prior to the global financial crisis.
APTIR 2014 highlighted the importance of countries remaining open to imports, and not resorting to unnecessarily trade-restrictive measures.
The report traces a worrying trend of increasingly restrictive measures across the region, dominated by behind-the-border non-tariff measures, many of which have had unintended and detrimental consequences for the Asia-Pacific’s least developed countries, presenting particular obstacles to small and medium sized exporters.
Highlights of the Report
• Total exports and imports of Asia-Pacific grew by only 2 percent in 2013 and were weak in the first half of 2014.
• Exports and exports growth is expected to increase to 7 percent in 2015, but considerable uncertainties in global macro-economic prospects to be noted.
• Regional economies need to diversify away from dependence on traditional sources of export-demand in Europe and the United States and should develop domestic demand and better integrating with other regional economies.
• The APTIR 2014 showed consolidated intraregional trade, with more than half of regional exports now directed to other Asia-Pacific countries.
• ESAP recommended the countries to adapt their national according to changing patterns of global trade. And also advised, to succeed in this globalized world, countries will need to enhance competitiveness and find areas where they can best integrate in value chains.
• Concentrations of exports and imports remain uneven across the Asia-Pacific region that is
• North East Asia alone was responsible for about 60 percent of both total regional merchandise exports and imports in 2013.
• All service exports from the Asia-Pacific region were 65 percent from six economies that is China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, China.
• The above data shows the large gaps remain between countries in terms of their trade competitiveness and level of diversification, and that great potential remains still untapped in services sectors of many countries.
• The growth in commercial services exports from the Asia-Pacific region at 5.2 percent lagged behind the world total of 5.5 percent in 2013.
• Asia-Pacific attracted 549 billion US dollar of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2013 and a rise of 6.6 percent which is accounting for almost 38 percent of global inflows. But this was still lower than the global increase and lagged behind other fast-growing regions such as Latin America.
• A noticeable diversification in the destination of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) within the Asia-Pacific region- with new locations and smaller players now attracting more foreign investors, and on a larger scale.
• Intraregional FDI is also found to be expanding in importance, with inflows through mergers and acquisitions totaling more than 153 billion US dollar, which is accounting for almost one third of total regional FDI inflows 2013 and also flowing to a diverse range of destinations.
• Foreign investment in transferring technology and generating jobs, playing a promising development and augurs well for deepening global value chains, stimulating higher returns and generating decent jobs.
About Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report
The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) is a periodic publication prepared by the Trade and Investment Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
It provides information on and independent analyses of trends and developments in:
• Intra- and inter-regional trade in goods and services
• Foreign direct investment
• Trade facilitation measures
• Trade policy measures
• Preferential trade policies and agreements
The report provides insights into the impacts of these recent and emerging developments on countries’ abilities to meet the challenges of achieving inclusive and sustainable development.
When: 24 September 2014