$2 Million ADB Grant from Japan to Boost Trade in the Pacific Region

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help identify and ease constraints on international trade in the Pacific through a $2 million technical assistance grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, financed by the Government of Japan.

The technical assistance will conduct a regional analysis of trade and transport linkages and provides insights on how the region can boost trade and access to international markets.

“Interregional and intraregional trade growth is held back by a variety of trade and transport constraints in the Pacific,” said Sarosh Khan, an ADB Senior Transport Specialist. “Improving efficiency and reducing the cost of trade services and logistics can help the Pacific perform closer to its economic potential.”

Total Pacific trade with the world increased from $6.4 billion to $25.4 billion during 2000-2012, mostly due to exports of palm oil, coffee, coconut and fish, and imports of electrical machinery, cars, equipment, petroleum, and food.

The direction of trade has shifted in the past 13 years. Trade with Australia and New Zealand has declined while there has been a significant increase in the share of trade with Southeast Asia, People’s Republic of China, and India—from around 15% to 26% in 2012.

The region’s high dependency on imports means that sea and air transport need to be improved to achieve more benefits from economic integration with regional and global markets.

The support from ADB will help establish tools to assess and improve trade facilitation and transport logistics performance. It will also help national and regional agencies to assess trade and transport demand, design investment and policy options, and improve logistics and custom performance.

ADB will partner with The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Oceania Customs Organization, and the World Customs Organization.