Regional : Raising the Value of Regional Trade Agreements—Key Factors for Successful Implementation and Positive Economic Impact

Sovereign Project | 55004-001

This knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) will support development of a database on regional trade agreement (RTA) tariff commitments and several studies on the economic effects of mega-RTAs, the factors driving their successful implementation, and key policies to fully realize their economic benefits. These include market access aspects of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) such as tariff commitments, rules of origin, services trade liberalization, trade facilitation, e-commerce, nontariff measures, technical barriers to trade, and investment to improve understanding of their economic impact among policy makers, academics, the private sector, and civil society. These will support policy advice and capacity development of developing member countries (DMCs).

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Crivelli, Pramila A.
    Economic Research and Development Impact Department
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
    Regional
  • Sector
    • Industry and trade
Project Name
Raising the Value of Regional Trade Agreements—Key Factors for Successful Implementation and Positive Economic Impact
Project Number
55004-001
Country / Economy
  • Regional
Project Status
Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 6740-REG: Raising the Value of Regional Trade AgreementsKey Factors for Successful Implementation and Positive Economic Impact
Source Amount
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 300,000.00
Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund US$ 450,000.00
Operational Priorities
  • OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
  • OP7: Fostering regional cooperation and integration
Sector / Subsector
  • Industry and trade / Industry and trade sector development - Trade and services

  • Public sector management / Economic affairs management

Gender
No gender elements
Description

This knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) will support development of a database on regional trade agreement (RTA) tariff commitments and several studies on the economic effects of mega-RTAs, the factors driving their successful implementation, and key policies to fully realize their economic benefits. These include market access aspects of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) such as tariff commitments, rules of origin, services trade liberalization, trade facilitation, e-commerce, nontariff measures, technical barriers to trade, and investment to improve understanding of their economic impact among policy makers, academics, the private sector, and civil society. These will support policy advice and capacity development of developing member countries (DMCs).

The TA is aligned with the following impact: Improved implementation of trade agreements in participating ADB regional members. The TA will have the following outcome: Increased knowledge and awarenessamong RTAs stakeholders (policy makers, government, private sector, civil society, and the public) of trade and investment effects of mega-RTAs such as RCEP and CPTPP (with other RTAs). This will be done through elaboration and dissemination of at least three high-quality studies to promote understanding, policy dialogue (among governments, private sector, civil society, ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Secretariat, multilateral organizations, and ADB-supported subregional cooperation programs such as the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program), and raise capacity of policy makers to maximize RTA net benefits and manage costs. The proposed recommendations and database will support (i) further knowledge, such as flagship reports and other databases, and (ii) ADB's operational work, such as identification of regional public goods and subsequent investment projects, beyond the implementation period of the KSTA.

The TA will also deliver the following solutions and outputs: (i) Knowledge products with regional and country level policy recommendations delivered; (ii) Database on trade agreements with dashboard and visualization established; and (iii) Capacity building activities with public and private RTAs stakeholders delivered.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

As global and regional economies prepare to reopen and begin recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, trade uncertainty persists, including in readjustments in global and regional supply chains. On a positive note, the recent RCEP signing is expected to create the world's largest trading bloc, strongly boosting regional free trade efforts, upholding the multilateral trade system, and deepening the region's open, transparent, and inclusive trade and investment for post-pandemic recovery.

However, experience shows that these benefits depend on successful implementation of RCEP commitments and willingness and capacity from the private sector to fully use its provisions within a context of overlapping and competing trade preference schemes (bilateral, regional, multilateral). That is, RTAs are effective only when they are designed with business-friendly rules, implemented transparently and predictably, and well understood by users.

This requires interventions at three levels. First, policy makers need to design RTA provisions reflecting industrial and global value chain constraints of member countries. The bigger the RTA, the bigger the challenge to find rules suitable for all and better than opportunities provided by existing bilateral and regional agreements. Second, weak government capacity to negotiate and apply user-friendly trade rulesresulting from lack of understanding of RTA impact and best practicesoften creates shallow or incomplete trade agreements with unclear legal provisions. Third, limited outreach to explain RTA content, the complexity of RTAs, and unclear trade rules can limit understanding of international trade rules. Users are either unable or unwilling to comply with the RTA requirements such as rules of origin, or may not know how to benefit from preferential treatment. In particular, unclear operational guidelines, such as for RCEP rules of origin, and insufficient training of customs officials may stifle transparency and predictability, discouraging private sector application for preferential border treatment.

Better understanding of the conditions or criteria for the success of trade agreements in Asia is therefore needed to formulate sound, relevant, timely, and targeted policy recommendations and actions at the three levels. By working closely with all RTA stakeholders, this TA aims to: (i) strengthen understanding of key factors in successful RTA implementation, (ii) allow elaboration of strategies and trade policy options across economies and sectors to maximize positive RTA impact, and (iii) mitigate and manage costs that arise during implementation and allow better trade and investment actions.

Impact

Improved implementation of trade agreements in participating ADB regional members.

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome

Increased knowledge and awareness among RTAs stakeholders (policy makers, government, private sector, civil society, and the public) of trade and investment effects of mega-RTAs such as RCEP and CPTPP (with other RTAs).

Progress Toward Outcome

Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs

Knowledge products with regional and country level policy recommendations delivered.

Database on trade agreements with dashboard and visualization established.

Capacity building with public and private RTA stakeholders delivered.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location
Regional

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation

During Project Design
During Project Implementation

Contact

Responsible ADB Officer
Crivelli, Pramila A.
Responsible ADB Department
Economic Research and Development Impact Department
Responsible ADB Division
Regional Cooperation and Integration Division (ERCI)
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank

Timetable

Concept Clearance
13 May 2021
Fact Finding
05 Jan 2021 to 05 Jan 2021
MRM
-
Approval
29 Jun 2021
Last Review Mission
-
Last PDS Update
29 Jun 2021

Funding

TA 6740-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
29 Jun 2021 - 29 Jun 2021 31 May 2024 30 Nov 2025 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
750,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 750,000.00
Cumulative Disbursements
Date Amount
27 Feb 2024 280,451.89

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.


Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.


Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.



The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.

Tenders

Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Economic Research Analyst Individual - Consulting Closed
Economic Research Analyst Individual - Consulting Closed
Economic Research Analyst Individual - Consulting Closed
Economic Research Analyst Individual - Consulting Closed

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found

Procurement Plan

None currently available.