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Facilitating ASEAN Trade in Goods


  • Lili Yan Ing

    (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), University of Indonesia)

  • Olivier Cadot

    (University of Lausanne)


Trade facilitation should be viewed as a strategic issue rather than a technical one. While ASEAN has been successful in the phasing out of intra-regional tariffs, ASEAN's trade facilitation is not just about reducing cross-border transaction costs but also focusing on (i) rules of origin (RoOs), (ii) NTM (non-tariff measure) transparency, and (iii) NTM streamlining. The RoOs in the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) have a relatively simple structure of which about 40 percent consists of RVC-40 or CTH. In spite of their apparent simplicity, ATIGA's RoOs seem to have substantial trade-inhibiting effects, with recent research putting their ad valorem equivalent at about 3.40 percent. In the case of NTMs, the costs imposed by NTMs on businesses are of three sorts: enforcement, sourcing, and process adaptation. The most important thing lies in the transparency of NTMs which rests on two pillars: accurate data, and open dissemination and dynamic disciplines. The underlying notion is that NTM streamlining should not be viewed as a trade-negotiation issue because NTMs are not pure trade policy instruments. Thus, what we propose is to take it back to the country level and promote the creation of an economic council with a mandate to review and improve key business-relevant regulations.

Suggested Citation

  • Lili Yan Ing & Olivier Cadot, 2016. "Facilitating ASEAN Trade in Goods," Working Papers DP-2016-20, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
  • Handle: RePEc:era:wpaper:dp-2016-20

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bouët Antoine & Laborde-Debucquet David & Dienesch Elisa & Elliott Kimberly, 2012. "The Costs and Benefits of Duty-Free, Quota-Free Market Access for Poor Countries: Who and What Matters," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-27, June.
    2. Helble, Matthias & Shepherd, Ben & Wilson, John S., 2007. "Transparency, trade costs, and regional integration in the Asia Pacific," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4401, The World Bank.
    3. Doan Thi Thanh Ha & Kozo Kiyota & Kenta Yamanouchi, 2016. "Misallocation and Productivity: The Case of Vietnamese Manufacturing," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 33(2), pages 94-118, September.
    4. Dani Rodrik, 2013. "Unconditional Convergence in Manufacturing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 165-204.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilberto M. Llanto, 2016. "Towards a Requisite Regulatory Management System: Philippines," Working Papers DP-2016-21, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

    More about this item


    trade facilitation; rules of origin; non-tariff measures; trade in goods; ASEAN;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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