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Accelerating Regional Integration : Issues at the Border


  • Douglas H. Brooks

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

  • Susan F. Stone


The sharp decline in trade volume and value during the current economic crisis has contributed to lower transportation costs and reduced waiting times at border crossings, reducing the urgency of progress on trade facilitation. Meanwhile, greater trade is expected to play a key role in recovery, and in sustaining growth afterwards. The crisis offers an excellent opportunity to make progress on facilitating intra-Asian trade and boosting the region's contribution to global economic recovery. This paper examines the status of, and challenges to, trade facilitation among the Asian Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation members, and the roles of hard and soft infrastructure (including logistics) in improving that performance. Analysis with a computable general equilibrium framework indicates that even a relatively modest reduction in trade costs can yield significant gains. Gross domestic product in the region expands and countries move into a more diversified trading pattern. Of particular relevance for policy considerations is that the results vary considerably across bilateral trade routes and commodity categories.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas H. Brooks & Susan F. Stone, 2010. "Accelerating Regional Integration : Issues at the Border," Trade Working Papers 23009, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:tradew:23009

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. H. Brooks, Douglas & F. Stone, Susan, 2010. "Infrastructure and Trade Facilitation in Asian APEC," Asian Development Review, Asian Development Bank, vol. 27(1), pages 135-159.
    2. Amiti, Mary & Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata, 2008. "Trade costs and location of foreign firms in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 129-149, February.
    3. Susan Stone & Anna Strutt, 2010. "Transport Infrastructure and Trade Facilitation in the Greater Mekong Subregion," Chapters,in: Trade Facilitation and Regional Cooperation in Asia, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina, 2005. "Assessing the impact of communication costs on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 428-445, December.
    5. Martinez-Zarzoso Inma & Márquez-Ramos Laura, 2008. "The Effect of Trade Facilitation on Sectoral Trade," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-46, September.
    6. Hoekman, Bernard & Nicita, Alessandro, 2011. "Trade Policy, Trade Costs, and Developing Country Trade," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 2069-2079.
    7. Wilson,John S. & Mann, Catherine L. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro, 2003. "Trade facilitation and economic development : measuring the impact," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2988, The World Bank.
    8. Hummels, David & Lugovskyy, Volodymyr & Skiba, Alexandre, 2009. "The trade reducing effects of market power in international shipping," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 84-97, May.
    9. Kimura, Fukunari & Takahashi, Yuya & Hayakawa, Kazunobu, 2007. "Fragmentation and parts and components trade: Comparison between East Asia and Europe," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 23-40, February.
    10. Dennis, Allen & Shepherd, Ben, 2007. "Trade costs, barriers to entry, and export diversification in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4368, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kimura, Fukunari & Obashi, Ayako, 2011. "Production Networks in East Asia: What We Know So Far," ADBI Working Papers 320, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    2. Vaqar, Ahmed & Ghulam, Samad, 2011. "Trade facilitation for economic corridors in South Asia: the perspective of Pakistan," MPRA Paper 31368, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. 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.

    More about this item


    trade; economic crisis; intra-Asian trade; APEC;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy


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