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Mapping Preferential Trade in Asia and the Pacific: Introducing the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment


  • Mia Mikic

    () (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP))


The paper addresses preferential trade agreements in Asia and the Pacific with the objective of identifying their characteristics, which can be useful in assessing the effects of their implementation. The paper relies mostly on the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Agreement Database (APTIAD) in sourcing data and information for analysis. On 26 February 2007 APTIAD was tracking 125 preferential trade agreements one party of which was a member of ESCAP. Eighty seven of those agreements of various types are in force, 62 of them being bilateral agreements, 11 regional trade agreements (RTAs), and 11 agreements between country and bloc (the residual is made up of agreements of different scope, e.g. global, and country-plurilateral, etc.). The paper utilizes factual information on membership and coverage of agreements as well as statistical data on goods trade flows in discussing selected important aspects of preferential trade in Asia and the Pacific. (a) the rapid proliferation of preferential trade and revealed preference for bilateral links; (b) strong tolerance for an engagement in multiple trade agreements with the same trading partner; and (c) reluctance to commit to full and quick liberalization in merchandise trade, and expose other trade areas apart from goods to preferential liberalization. Penultimate section discusses ways in which PTAs could be harnessed to work as complementary with the multilateral trade regime. Paper offers some policy recommendations in area of preferential trade negotiation.

Suggested Citation

  • Mia Mikic, 2007. "Mapping Preferential Trade in Asia and the Pacific: Introducing the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment," Working Paper Series 407, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  • Handle: RePEc:unt:wpaper:swp407

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schiff, Maurice & Winters, L Alan, 1998. "Regional Integration as Diplomacy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(2), pages 271-295, May.
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    More about this item


    preferential trade; multilateral liberalization; bilateral trade agreements; regional trade agreements; Asia; Pacific; APTIAD;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration


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