Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific: Thinking Forward About Trade Costs and the Digital Economy

Aid for Trade (AfT) flows have increased each year since 2006 in the region. And while regional aggregate trade costs continue to fall, many subregions continue to struggle with trade costs that are substantially higher than the global average. Trade performance in the Pacific in particular has been undermined by its geography. At the same time, the relevance of different categories of trade costs is changing. The growing number of firms that are trading online face different logistics and shipping issues than traditional traders. This report takes stock of how AfT has contributed to these trends and considers some constructive ways to move forward, to continue to address trade costs in Asia and the Pacific.


This report reaches six main conclusions:

  • Executive Summary
  • Regional Trends in Aid for Trade
  • New Opportunities to Manage Trade Costs: Digital Trade and E-Commerce
  • Asia: Moving in the Right Direction
  • Pacific: Dynamics in a High-Cost Subregion

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