Trade Policy Development > United Nations Economic and Social Commission For Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)

UNESCAP is engaged in capacity development in trade research and trade policy analysis, dissemination and exchange of data, information and research outputs, and facilitation of interaction between researchers, policy-analysts and policymakers, and government officials.

Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT)

ARTNeT is a regional network of almost 50 national-level research institutions in the ESCAP region. It aims to increase the amount and quality of “home-grown” trade and investment policy research in the region, so as to provide governments with a sound basis for policy decisions. ESCAP, with the support of core ARTNeT partners, including the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) (Canada), WTO, UNDP and UNCTAD, provides the Secretariat for the network and coordinates its activities. ARTNeT undertakes regional research projects, develops research dissemination mechanisms (working paper and policy brief series, alerts, and newsletters, regional trade publication database), increases interactions between policymakers and researchers (regional consultative meetings), and organizes specific capacity building activities catering to researchers and research institutions especially targeting those from LDCs.

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Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR)

APTIR provides independent analysis of trends in trade and investment presents creative policy options and highlights future opportunities. This independent analytical work aims to assist government officials, business leaders and other relevant decision makers and stakeholders involved in policies affecting trade in goods and services and flows of capital and labour. APTIR 2011 included analyses of climate-smart trade and investment opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, highlighting the complexities of the current debate on trade and climate change, and identifying win-win opportunities for developing countries in the region. It is accompanied with the online dataset of trade, investment and trade facilitation performance indicators featured in tables or maps.

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Capacity building for evidence-based trade policymaking

ESCAP has developed a training programme to increase developing countries’ capacity for evidence-based trade and investment policymaking. It is open to all members and associate members of ESCAP but especially targets countries with poor research and analysis capacities. The two types of activities include: capacity building in research, delivery of research outputs and their dissemination through the ARTNeT Working Paper series and capacity building in the area of trade policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation through regional policy consultations. The service includes access to databases developed at ESCAP, as well as analytical tools, reference materials, and other relevant literature.

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Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Agreements Database (APTIAD)

The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Agreements Database (APTIAD) was set up as a resource for researchers and policymakers in the area of international trade and investment. It has three main components. The Trade Agreements Database component is designed to give researchers and policymakers both an overview of, and easy access to, all the regional and bilateral trade agreements entered into or under negotiation by the countries of the Asian and Pacific region. As of June 2012 there were over 200 such agreements, including those agreements that have not been notified to WTO but for which there is official information readily available, and also those agreements under negotiation for which there has been at least a first formal negotiation round. The Interactive Trade Indicators component is designed to help policymakers calculate some of the most commonly used indicators related to the trade performance of national economies and/or trade agreements (examples of indicators: export/import value, export/import growth, export/import share, trade share, trade intensity). The third component is an extensive glossary of relevant terms.

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