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Transparency and Regional Integration in the Asia Pacific

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  • Matthias Helble
  • Ben Shepherd
  • John S. Wilson

Abstract

Abstract We show in this paper that increasing the transparency of the trading environment can be an important complement to traditional liberalisation of tariff and non-tariff barriers. Our definition of transparency is grounded in a transaction cost analysis. We focus on two dimensions of transparency: predictability (reducing the cost of uncertainty) and simplification (reducing information costs). Using the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies as a case study, we construct indices of importer and exporter transparency for the region from a wide range of sources. Our results from a gravity model suggest that improving trade-related transparency in APEC could hold significant benefits by raising intra-APEC trade by approximately US$148 billion or 7.5 per cent of baseline trade in the region. Action to improve transparency measures examined could be undertaken in many forms, including within the current APEC framework or future talks on a Free Trade Area in the Asia Pacific. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Helble & Ben Shepherd & John S. Wilson, 2009. "Transparency and Regional Integration in the Asia Pacific," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 479-508, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:32:y:2009:i:3:p:479-508
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    1. Portugal-Perez, Alberto & Wilson, John S., 2009. "Why trade facilitation matters to Africa," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, pages 379-416.
    2. Marcelo OLARREAGA, 2016. "Trade, Infrastructure and Development," Working Papers P177, FERDI.
    3. Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga & Peri Silva, 2013. "Cooperation in WTO's Tariff Waters," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 13061, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
    4. Ben Shepherd, 2010. "Trade costs and facilitation in APEC and ASEAN: delivering the goods?," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT,in: Rising Non-Tariff Protectionism and Crisis Recovery, chapter 5, pages 93-110 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
    5. Prabir De, 2011. "Do institutions matter for trade in Asian countries?," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT,in: Trade-led growth: A sound strategy for Asia, chapter 9 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
    6. Grégoire Rota-Graziosi, 2016. "Implementing Tax Coordination and Harmonization through Voluntary Commitment," Working Papers halshs-01332058, HAL.
    7. Yann Duval, 2007. "Trade Facilitation beyond the Doha Round of Negotiations," Working Papers 5007, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an initiative of UNESCAP and IDRC, Canada..
    8. Hoekman, Bernard & Nicita, Alessandro, 2011. "Trade Policy, Trade Costs, and Developing Country Trade," World Development, Elsevier, pages 2069-2079.
    9. Daniel Saslavsky & Ben Shepherd, 2014. "Facilitating international production networks: The role of trade logistics," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 979-999.
    10. Yue Li & John S. Wilson, 2009. "Trade Facilitation and Expanding the Benefits of Trade: Evidence from Firm Leval Data," Working Papers 7109, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an initiative of UNESCAP and IDRC, Canada..
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    12. Yann Duval, 2008. "Trade Facilitation beyond the Doha round of negotiations," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT,in: Trade Facilitation Beyond the Multilateral Trade Negotiations: Regional Practices, Customs, Valuation and Other Emerging Issues, pages 1-25 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
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    15. Hatzigeorgiou Andreas, 2010. "Migration as Trade Facilitation: Assessing the Links between International Trade and Migration," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, pages 1-35.
    16. Murat Genç & David Law, 2014. "A Gravity Model of Barriers to Trade in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 14/05, New Zealand Treasury.
    17. Fan, Linlin & Nogueira, Lia & Baylis, Katherine R., 2013. "Agricultural Market Reforms and Nutritional Transition in Rural China," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150203, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    18. Lili Yan Ing & Olivier Cadot & Janine Walz, 2016. "Transparency in Non-tariff Measures: An International Comparison," Working Papers DP-2016-23, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
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    20. Richard Pomfret, 2009. "Regionalism in the Asia-Pacific Region: How Wide, How Deep?," School of Economics Working Papers 2009-31, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    21. Vinícios Poloni Sant' Anna & Sérgio Kannebley Júnior, 2016. "Port Efficiency And Brazilian Exports: A Quantitative Assessment Of The Impact Of Port Procedures Time," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 125, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    22. Hoang, Truong Giang & Nguyen, Tu Anh & Nguyen, Thu Thuy, 2014. "Trade facilitation in ASEAN members - a focus on logistics policies towards ASEAN economic community," Papers 918, World Trade Institute.
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