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Trade costs and facilitation in APEC and ASEAN: Delivering the goods?


  • Shepherd, Ben


This paper uses a new methodology to provide some first evidence on the overall level of trade costs in APEC and ASEAN. On average, APEC member economies have met the Shanghai target of a 5% reduction in trade costs over five years, but only just. Performance of individual member economies varies substantially, and in some cases is far below the Shanghai target. ASEAN member countries have also experienced some declines in trade costs, but generally to a lesser extent than in APEC. In both groups, tariff reductions have played an important role in reducing overall trade costs. Progress on non-tariff trade costs has been much more limited. Moving forward, APEC and ASEAN should refocus their trade facilitation efforts on non-tariff trade costs. They also need to develop clearer metrics against which progress can be assessed, and move towards a focus on outputs (lower trade costs), rather than inputs (administrative and policy changes).

Suggested Citation

  • Shepherd, Ben, 2010. "Trade costs and facilitation in APEC and ASEAN: Delivering the goods?," MPRA Paper 21531, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21531

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    2. Pomfret, Richard & Sourdin, Patricia, 2009. "Have Asian trade agreements reduced trade costs?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 255-268, May.
    3. Dennis Novy, 2013. "Gravity Redux: Measuring International Trade Costs With Panel Data," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 101-121, January.
    4. 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.
    5. Shepherd, Ben & Wilson, John S., 2009. "Trade facilitation in ASEAN member countries: Measuring progress and assessing priorities," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 367-383, September.
    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yann Duval & Chorthip Utoktham, 2011. "Trade Facilitation in Asia and the Pacific: Which Policies and Measures affect Trade Costs the Most?," Working Paper Series 111, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
    2. Patalinghug, Epictetus E., 2015. "Supply Chain Connectivity: Enhancing Participation in the Global Supply Chain," Discussion Papers DP 2015-14, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    3. Kimura, Fukunari & Obashi, Ayako, 2011. "Production Networks in East Asia: What We Know So Far," ADBI Working Papers 320, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    4. United Nations ESCAP, 2011. "Trade Facilitation in Asia and the Pacific: An Analysis of Import and Export Processes, Studies in Trade and Investment 71," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), number tipub2615, September.
    5. Asian Development Bank (ADB), 2013. "Asian Economic Integration Monitor - October 2013," ADB Reports RPS136096-3, Asian Development Bank (ADB), revised 28 Jan 2014.
    6. Yann Duval & Chorthip Utoktham, 2011. "Intraregional Trade Costs in Asia: A Primer," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 18(2), pages 1-23, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Yann Duval & Chorthip Utoktham, 2011. "Trade costs in the India-Mekong Subregion: Identifying Policy Priorities for Trade Facilitation," Working Paper Series 411, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

    More about this item


    International Trade; Regional Integration; APEC; ASEAN; Trade Costs; Trade Facilitation;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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