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                                 Explore Further

Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific 2015: Thinking Forward about Trade Costs in the Digital Economy - Nextrade Group Report for the Asian Development Bank 

In Asia and the Pacific, firms are moving online, joining value chains, and going niche. Aid for Trade supports these efforts by building the physical infrastructure for trade, and increasingly, through trade facilitation spending.


High trade costs persist in some regions and inclusiveness continues to be a challenge. The 2015 report uses a review of Aid for Trade (AfT) as a springboard to explore some new ways of thinking about how to address these issues. In particular, it considers how to build from established AfT spending on Information and communications technology (ICT) and infrastructure connectivity.


The Pacific is the subject of specific focus. The report highlights the experience of exporters in order to illustrate the unique challenges and opportunities for trade-driven growth in a region where high trade costs are structural.


The report also explores the potential of the digital economy to improve the inclusiveness of AfT. The different trade cost structure of cross-border e-commerce can address some of the specific barriers to exporting that face both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and women-led firms. This brief details five key conclusions of the 2015 AfT report.


Key Points


  • Aid for Trade disbursements and trade facilitation spending are up.

  • Trade costs are trending down, but remain elevated in some subregions.

  • The Pacific is increasingly focusing on value addition and niche exports.

  • E-commerce is expanding rapidly and has potential to increase export participation by SMEs and women-led firms.

Access full report here 

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