Trade Interdependencies in COVID-19-Related Essential Medical Goods: Role of Trade Facilitation and Cooperation for the Asian Economies

Publication | June 2022

This paper analyzes how regional trade agreements (RTAs) among Asian economies affected the supply of essential medical goods in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

International trade is an integral part of accessing essential medical goods for Asian economies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, the analysis finds that their nature of trade dependence varies. Furthermore, economies that are party to RTAs containing trade facilitation measures can mitigate the adverse impact on trade in essential medical goods. This emphasizes the role of governments in preparing Asian economies to be more resilient to future shocks through participation in RTAs and implementation of trade facilitation measures.


  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • State of Trade
  • Methodology
  • Trade Interdependencies—One- or Two-Way Trade
  • Role of Regional Trade Agreements and Trade Barriers in Mitigating Slowing Trade
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • COVID-19
  • Industry and trade
  • 34
  • 8.5 x 11
  • WPS220292-2
  • 2313-6537 (print)
  • 2313-6545 (electronic)

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