Agricultural trade policies and negotiations are of major concern to developing countries in the region. Little progress has been made on agriculture at the WTO in recent years. Some countries, such as China and Thailand, have used bilateral and regional trade agreement mechanisms in an attempt to make progress on agricultural trade liberalization. Should LDCs, many of which are still engaged in the WTO accession process, take a similar approach? A comparative assessment of the expected impact of regional trade agreements and multilateral trade liberalization on trade and development of the agricultural sector is needed to help policy makers answer this important question.
The main objective is to map (characteristics related to agricultural trade under different agreements in this region and nature and level of agricultural liberalization of these different trade agreements) and analyze (the extent and nature of welfare gains, effects on trade and effects on different industries of various scenarios of trade liberalization in agriculture) existing BTAs and RTAs in the Asia Pacific region to derive implications and recommendations for policy makers and negotiators.
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