Measuring Commodity-Level Trade Costs in Asia: The Basis for Effective Trade Facilitation Policies in the Region

Date: April 2012
Type: Papers and Briefs
Series: Regional Economic Integration Working Papers


Despite several inherent weaknesses, the World Bank’s Doing Business Report is still the most widely used assessment of trade facilitation status by developing country policymakers and economists. In this paper, we suggest that the use of trade statistics in conjunction with Doing Business trade cost data is helpful in designing sector-specific trade facilitation policies. Unlike the use of Doing Business data alone, our methodology allows policymakers and economists to obtain long-term commodity-level trade costs.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Review of Doing Business (Cost to Export per Container)
  • Trade Cost Measurement using Trade Statistics
  • Complementarity and Alternativity of Doing Business and Trade Costs
  • Recent Developments in Trade Costs of Asian Countries 
  • Cross-Country Comparison of Trade Costs of Specific Commodities: Textile, Footwear, and Vegetable Products
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendixes