Lowering trade costs : a key goal in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda
Title: Lowering trade costs : a key goal in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda
Author: HOEKMAN, Bernard M.
Series/Number: Global Governance Programme; 2014/03; Policy Briefs
External link: http://globalgovernanceprogramme.eui.eu
The experience of countries in East Asia and an increasing number of developing nations in other regions illustrates the important contribution that lowering trade barriers can make to economic growth and poverty reduction. Firms in low-income countries tend to confront the highest trade costs. There is a rapidly expanding empirical literature that documents the negative effects of high trade costs on the competitiveness of firms in developing economies and on aggregate productivity. In the post-2015 era greater efforts are needed to help low-income countries benefit more from the trading system; trade barrier reform therefore remains a priority. Given that trade costs are generated by – and can be reduced through – a variety of policies, there is a strong case for the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to revisit business as usual and for governments to adopt a specific target that will provide an operational focal point for both national action and international cooperation to reduce such costs. Not only will this ensure that the focus of the post-2015 agenda will be on an area where there is a high benefit-cost ratio, but it will also ensure greater accountability than has been the case with the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Type of Access: openAccess