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Industry and trade, Information and Communications Technology, Private sector development

Expanding trade opportunities for SMEs in Asia and the Pacific

Expanding trade opportunities for SMEs in Asia and the Pacific
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Asian economy. They already account for over 95% of all businesses in Asia and employ an estimated 60% of the region’s workforce (Mastercard and the Economist Intelligence Unit 2019). Hence, helping SMEs grow can translate directly into economic and workforce expansion.

Economics, Industry and trade, Regional cooperation and integration

The upgraded ASEAN-People’s Republic of China Free Trade Agreement could matter, big time

The upgraded ASEAN-People’s Republic of China Free Trade Agreement could matter, big time
In 2015, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) signed an Upgrade Protocol to improve the original Framework Agreement for the ASEAN-People’s Republic of China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) as well as their Agreement on Trade in Goods, Services, and Investment. The Upgrade Protocol entered into force in July 2016, and implementation will start from August 2019.

Economics, Industry and trade, Information and Communications Technology

The spillover effects of digital platforms

The spillover effects of digital platforms
“Over-the-top” (OTT) service providers are referred to as so because they allegedly ride exclusively on top of the infrastructure laid by telecommunications service providers. Hidden behind the term OTT is the notion that such providers do not invest in the network infrastructure yet provide the same services as telecommunications service providers. While this may seem intuitive to some through a cursory examination of the marketplace, what such assertions fail to consider are the numerous “edge-of-the-network” investments by OTT service providers as well as the massive efficiency, flexibility, and propensity-to-scale inherent in OTT business models.

Industry and trade

Services policies and manufacturing exports

Services policies and manufacturing exports
Services and manufacturing are closely intertwined. Manufacturers use services as inputs into their production process. It is difficult to imagine a modern global value chain working without efficient transport services, financial services, logistics, and business services.

Industry and trade

How services helped power “Factory Asia”

How services helped power “Factory Asia”
Measuring productivity in the services sector is fraught with difficulties. One key aspect of the “premature deindustrialization” argument is the hypothesis that services are low productivity relative to manufacturing, and that prospects for rapid and sustained productivity growth, which are the primary source of gains in per capita income, are greater in manufacturing than in services.

Economics, Industry and trade, Information and Communications Technology

What can services trade policy do for sustainable development?

What can services trade policy do for sustainable development?
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has many services dimensions; improved access to and provision of services are necessary for attaining many of the Sustainable Development Goals. Because of their effects on competition in services markets and the ability of foreign providers to supply services to consumers and firms in developing countries, services trade policies should be considered in the arsenal of policy instruments that can be used in efforts to realize sustainable development objectives. 

Economics, Industry and trade

Productivity spillovers from services firms in low- and middle-income countries: What is the role of firm characteristics and services liberalization?

Productivity spillovers from services firms in low- and middle-income countries: What is the role of firm characteristics and services liberalization?
It has been widely acknowledged that services play an important role for other industries, in particular manufacturing. A study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) finds that services represent at least 30% of the value added in manufacturing exports (OECD 2014). Another study by the World Bank suggests that countries with a higher services content in their downstream economies are also those producing more complex goods (Saez et al. 2015).

Gender, Industry and trade

Is female entrepreneurship a coping strategy during crises?

Is female entrepreneurship a coping strategy during crises?
The recent global economic crisis, with its peak in 2008, resulted in a decline in global gross domestic product. It led to unstable financial markets and a lag in private sector demand (World Bank 2010). Its consequences, especially for the labor market, have been most unfortunate. In many countries, workers lost their jobs, wage earnings declined, and work hours shortened (World Bank 2011).

Economics, Environment, Industry and trade

How does trade openness affect the environmental Kuznets curve?

How does trade openness affect the environmental Kuznets curve?
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has reformed and opened up its economy for 4 decades. However, accompanying the country’s fast-growing gross domestic product (GDP) and trade sector, environmental degradation, such as deteriorating water quality, land deforestation, pollution, and frequent haze plagues, has attracted a great deal of attention.

Environment, Finance sector development, Industry and trade

Green finance for sustainable investment

Green finance for sustainable investment
To place the Asian economies onto a sustainable development pathway requires an unprecedented shift in investment away from industries relying intensively on greenhouse gases, fossil fuels, and natural resources toward more resource-efficient technologies and business models. The finance sector will have to play a central role in this green transformation. Important aspects of green finance are sustainable investment and banking, where investment and lending decisions are taken based on environmental screening and risk assessment to meet sustainability standards, as well as insurance services that cover environmental and climate risk.