13 January 2017
Press Release: G/01/2017
BANGKOK (ESCAP News) — Ministers from countries party to the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) met during the Fourth APTA Ministerial Council today to conclude negotiations that will more than double the number of products under preferential tariff treatment in order to expand trade and boost growth in the region. The Fourth APTA Ministerial Council was organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) which acts as secretariat for the Agreement.
Bangkok (ESCAP News) — The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s (ESCAP) recently released Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016 highlights that the region’s trade flows are wavering amid sluggish global economic and trade growth, downward movement of world commodity prices and an uncertain policy environment. This situation comes at a time when the need for trade growth to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development could not be more critical.
Although the volume of exports of goods grew at 3 per cent in 2015, the nominal value of exports and imports by the Asia-Pacific region experienced a major slump in 2015, of 9.7 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. Sluggish growth in trade is expected to continue through to the end of 2016. Rebounding somewhat, exports are expected to increase by 4.5 per cent and imports by 6.5 per cent in developing countries of Asia and the Pacific in 2017, but the Report forecasts more modest growth in exports and imports in volume terms, at 2.2 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively.
“Trade is the key driver of economic activity in Asia and the Pacific,” stated Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.
What: Launch of Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2016: Year-end Update
- Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP
- Mr. Hamza Ali Malik, Officer-in-charge, Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division, ESCAP
When: Thursday, 1 December 2016, 13:30 – 14:30 hours
Where: Conference Room 4, UN Conference Centre, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok
Watch: YouTube Live Webcast – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGnWqwg6N50
Economic conditions have stabilized in the Asia-Pacific region in the second half of 2016, as such stable economic conditions provide an opportunity to make progress on the productivity and inclusiveness fronts. However, despite recent stability, the likely impact of some risks for the near-term economic outlook should not be underestimated. The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2016: Year-end Update highlights the possibilities to advance on key development opportunities in the region given the current economic climate.
UNDP, Global Initiatives, 600 business leaders and government officials start work on a new coalition for sustainable development
23 November 2016, Singapore – At the fifth Responsible Business Forum, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today called on business leaders to take a greater role in the new development era in order to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This Forum, opened in Singapore by UNDP and Global Initiatives, aims to address a sea change in the nature of development funding by creating a new partnership for sustainable development. Domestic public and private finance accounts for 89 percent of all financial flows in Asia-Pacific, according to a UNDP report launched last month. While foreign funding (Official Development Assistance) is still essential for the development system, it now accounts for 0.7 percent of totalfinancial flows in Asia-Pacific (down from 13.5 % in 1990).