ESCAP marked its bi-annual Asia Pacific Trade and Investment Week with the launch of a report on trade and investment in the region, and several events related to trade and investment policy.
The 2017 report forecasts 4.5% growth in exports for the next year, an increase in FDI to the region, and export growth of 4.8% for developing countries in the region.
30 October 2017: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) launched its annual report on trade and investment in the region, forecasting 4.5% growth in exports for the next year, and anticipating an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) to the region, recovering somewhat from the previous downturn. Developing countries in the region are expected to experience export growth of 4.8%, while developed countries will see 3.3% growth.
The 2017 report titled, ‘Channelling Trade and Investment into Sustainable Development,’ provides analyses of trends and policies by country and subregion. The subregions covered in the report are: Southeast Asia; East and Northeast Asia; North and Central Asia; the Pacific; South and Southwest Asia; and Small Pacific Islands. In addition, the report includes trade and investment briefs on 16 countries. The briefs provide data and interpretation of trends in goods and services trade, intraregional trade, FDI, tariffs, trade costs, and trade agreements.
Akhtar highlighted UN research showing that the SDGs cannot be achieved through protectionist policies.
Launching the report on 30 October 2017, ESCAP Executive Secretary Shamshad Akhtar highlighted UN research showing that the SDGs cannot be achieved through protectionist policies. She also called for targeted liberalization policies to be “more inclusive,” and to be mindful of the social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
The report was launched during ESCAP’s bi-annual Asia Pacific Trade and Investment Week, which convened from 30 October-3 November 2017, in Bangkok, Thailand. The ESCAP Committee on Trade and Investment met during the week, with discussions addressing the promotion of trade facilitation, paperless trade and electronic commerce for achieving the SDGs, and ways to engage the business sector in achieving the SDGs, as well as the respective roles of the ESCAP Sustainable Business Network and the Asia-Pacific Business Forum. The Asia Pacific Foreign Direct Investment Network also convened, deliberating on regional cooperation mechanisms for harmonized investment regimes for sustainable development, among other topics.
A side event on the theme, ‘Youth and Digital Economy: Realizing the growth potential of young entrepreneurs for sustainable development,’ showcased the experiences of young entrepreneurs who are developing new ways to deliver products and services, and who could benefit from better access to finance and mentoring, and supportive regulatory conditions for start-ups. [ESCAP Press Release] [Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2017 Webpage] [Full Report] [Fifth Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Week] [Agenda of Fifth Session of ESCAP Committee on Trade and Investment] [Webpage of the Seventh Meeting of the Asia-Pacific FDI Network] [Youth and Digital Economy Event]