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Dmitry Izotov 1
  • 1 Economic Research Institute, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Academician, 153 Tikhookeanskaya st., Khabarovsk, 680042, Russia

The GATT/WTO Participation and Asia-PacificRegional Trade: Long-Term Effects?

2023. Vol. 18. No. 3. P. 48–73 [issue contents]
The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of participation by Asia-Pacific countries (APCs) in the GeneralAgreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO) on their reciprocal trade from 1993–2021. The reduction of various barriers due to the APCs’ participation in the GATT/WTO, as well as in tradeagreements, has contributed to the fact that, over the past three decades, trade in the Asia-Pacific region (APR) hasbecome predominantly intra-regional. The estimates developed by the author point to the long-term, positive impactof membership in the GATT/WTO on the trade of the APCs, explaining the dominance of the effect of globalizationover the effect of regionalization. The processes of globalization and regionalization in the APR were neither conflictingnor complementary to each other. The results show that the effects of the APCs’ participation in the GATT/WTO contributed to an increase in intra-regional trade by 129% and to an 11% increase in the entry into force oftrade agreements. The results also show that bilateral (direct) participation of APCs in the GATT/WTO led to anincrease in intra-regional trade by 46%, and unilateral (indirect) participation—by 110%. These results prove theimportance of countries’ participation in the GATT/WTO for creating a relatively free area for trade in the APR,reducing various restrictive measures and intensifying intra-regional trade. Estimates of the border effect confirm thereduction of total barriers in interactions between the APCs in the long term. The article shows that the discussionand creation of various trade formats, including the largest in terms of coverage of the participating countries, on theone hand, can contribute to the fragmentation of the trade and economic system of the APR; on the other hand, itcreates conditions for further liberalization of trade relations, complementing the functions of the WTO. The authorsuggests that participation in the WTO may allow Russia to use the mechanisms of globalization to discuss the easingof restrictions, as well as to increase trade with countries that do not implement strong restrictions on the Russianeconomy, including some of APCs.

This article was submitted 12.06.2023
Citation: Izotov D. (2023) The GATT/WTO Participation and Asia-Pacific Regional Trade: Long-Term Effects. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 18, no 3, pp. 48-73 (in English)
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