Asian Development Outlook 2002: Preferential Trade Agreements in Asia and the Pacific
This 14th edition of the Asian Development Outlook provides a comprehensive analysis of 41 economies in Asia and the Pacific, based on the Asian Development Bank's in-depth knowledge of the region. For the first time, the Outlook includes a section on Afghanistan. It also provides a broad diagnosis of macroeconomic conditions and growth prospects as they relate to progress in poverty reduction in the economies of the region. Economic growth in developing Asia and the Pacific slowed markedly in 2001 after a strong performance in 1999 and 2000. This is mainly on account of a sharp erosion of external demand as industrial economies experienced recession or very slow growth. There are, however, several exceptions to the general trend with a number of economies, notably the People's Republic of China, maintaining relatively high growth. In some economies, domestic demand, responding to expansionary policy, emerged as a more important source of growth. The outlook for 2002 and 2003 is for renewed optimism. The Outlook includes a special chapter reviewing preferential trade agreements, with particular reference to Asia and the Pacific. As international trade grew rapidly in the 1990s, so did the number of such agreements, especially in the region. The chapter analyzes the impact of such agreements, in the context of the multilateral trade negotiations being carried out under the auspices of the World Trade Organization.