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New UN ESCAP-World Bank Database Shows Developing Countries Face Higher Trade Costs

News release: “Although the international economy has integrated considerably in recent decades, a new database developed jointly by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the World Bank reveals that trade costs fall disproportionately on developing countries. Although developing countries are becoming more integrated into the world trading system in an absolute sense, they are starting from a higher baseline and their relative position is deteriorating because the rest of the world is moving more quickly. The new Trade Costs database uses an innovative method to estimate trade costs in agriculture and manufactured goods, opening new analytical possibilities for policymakers and researchers interested in trade integration. According to the research, trade costs are influenced to varying degrees by distance and transport costs, tariff and non-tariff measures, and logistics. The new data, which cover the time period 1995-2010, stress the importance of supply chains and connectivity constraints in explaining the higher costs and lower levels of trade integration observed in developing countries.”

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