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From global factory to global mall: East Asia’s changing export composition

From global factory to global mall: East Asia’s changing export composition
Over the past decades, East Asia has been the most successful region in the world in building up cross-border supply chains and has subsequently become described as “Factory Asia” (Baldwin 2008). In a form of “triangle trade”, advanced countries in East Asia exported sophisticated parts and components to less developed countries in the region, where these are assembled into final consumption goods and then shipped to rich-nation markets, especially the US and EU (Baldwin and Kawai 2013). Read more.
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Trade

The German Mittelstand – a model for Asia’s emerging economies?

German Mittelstand (GM), the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany—are a unique and highly successful economic phenomenon that could serve as a model to promote trade and industry for emerging Asia. Read more.
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Trade

Is finance a binding constraint for SME participation in trade in Asia?

Is finance a binding constraint for SME participation in trade in Asia?
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a very important part of Asia’s economy. In this article, we explore SMEs and their financing issues with respect to the performance of SMEs in international trade, based on the sample of more than 8,000 companies across the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states. The discussion is derived from a recent Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) working paper (Jinjarak, Mutuc, and Wignaraja 2014). Read more.
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Trade

The new mega-regionals: the TPP, RCEP and beyond

The world may be on the verge of renewing the global trading system with huge “mega-regional” negotiations on the trade rules of the 21st century. These negotiations include the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP); the countries involved cover nearly 80% of global GDP. The hope is that these approaches will overcome constraints that have held up progress in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Read more.
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Trade

Use of national currencies for trade settlement in East Asia: A proposal

Use of national currencies for trade settlement in East Asia: A proposal
Financial cooperation and integration in East Asia has been languishing for almost a decade. But ASEAN, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Japan, and the Republic of Korea (henceforth, Korea), or ASEAN+3, have been more successful in promoting free trade in East Asia by establishing a number of bilateral and plurilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries in the region and outside the region. Read more.
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Trade

Government procurement – key element in TPP; Missed opportunity in RCEP?

Government procurement – key element in TPP; Missed opportunity in RCEP?
Government procurement has been treated quite differently in trade agreements initiated by the US than in those that have been led by Asian governments. US-led trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), incorporate government procurement commitments as an important element. In contrast, Asian-led trade agreements omit or minimize government procurement provisions. The parties to Asian agreements, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), should consider the benefits of including government procurement in their trade pacts. Read more.
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Back on track? The importance of the Bali Package for the WTO and global trade

Back on track? The importance of the Bali Package for the WTO and global trade
After several days of grueling negotiations the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013, adopted the Bali Package aimed at mainly streamlining global trade. However, this is only the first step toward a Doha deal and much work remains to re-formulate a post-Bali agenda, as well as reform of the WTO to restore its relevance as a key pillar of multilateral trade relations. Read more.
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Trade

Where should the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations go next?

Where should the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations go next?
Officials have been scrambling to conclude the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) among the current 12 participating members: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, and Viet Nam. As the talks reach the finish line, officials need to focus on several key broader issues that will set up the institutional structure for the TPP going forward. Read more.
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Trade

A vision of global free trade? The new regionalism and the ‘building blocs’ debate

A vision of global free trade? The new regionalism and the ‘building blocs’ debate
While the WTO Ministerial meeting in Bali in December may deliver on individual initiatives related to such themes as agriculture, trade facilitation and development, a major breakthrough on the “single undertaking” is far from sight. At the same time, mega-regional agreements are fast emerging as a key feature of the global architecture. This “new regionalism” could pose risks, but successful mega-accords will create a strong incentive for a global accord; hence, the “new regionalism” will arguably be a powerful “building bloc” that will ultimately support multilateralism. Read more.
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Trade

Economic integration and trade liberalization in South Asia

Economic integration and trade liberalization in South Asia
Thanks to its sustained economic growth over the last several decades, Asia has become the world’s most dynamic region. Maintaining this impressive growth rate, however, requires market integration to ensure the free flow of goods, services, and capital across borders (ADB 2013). Indeed, interplay of market forces and increased participation in trade have been decisive in the growth of emerging Asian economies. Until now, most of Asia’s final goods have been exported to Europe and the United States. Access to large markets allowed Asian countries to exploit their economies of scale on the one hand, and stimulate growth in their productive sectors on the other. With the rise of Asia, it is time for these countries to cooperate and become an integrated market of their own. Read more.
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