The Emerging â€œPost-Dohaâ€ Agenda and the New Regionalism in the Asia-Pacific
ï»¿This paper considers emerging commercial policy challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region in light of the impasse reached at the Eighth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Meeting in December 2011. It underscores that, while marginal liberalization of trade barriers under the Doha Development Agenda may not be forthcoming in the short- or even medium-term, the WTO has been successful in erecting a rules-based system of global governance and continues to be extremely important to the future health of the international trading system. Nevertheless, one can expect the current trend toward bilateral and regional free-trade areas (FTAs) will continue, particularly since it is easier to make progress toward â€œdeep integrationâ€ in a smaller group of like-minded countries than in the context of the general WTO membership. This paper considers how the FTA trend is developing in the Asia-Pacific region and what its prospects are in the future. It stresses that regionalâ€”as opposed to bilateralâ€”arrangements will be essential to the region for economic (e.g., supporting regional production networks) as well as diplomatic-political goals. This â€œnew regionalism,â€ which has been supported by Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), will lead to significant reductions in the costs associated with bilateral FTAs (e.g., lower costs associated with rules of origin, improved utilization rates) and has many advantages over â€œnoodle-bowlâ€ bilateralism.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: JG Crawford Building #13, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Australian National University, ACT 0200|
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