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Transparency and Regional Integration in the Asia Pacific

  • Matthias Helble
  • Ben Shepherd
  • John S. Wilson

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.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal World Economy.

Volume (Year): 32 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (03)
Pages: 479-508

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:32:y:2009:i:3:p:479-508
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