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Friday, 15 April 2016

UNCTAD Report: Trade, Market Access, and the Sustainable Development Goals

This report examines various interactions between trade policy, with a specific focus on market access conditions, and factors that constitute the basis for achieving sustainable development. Market access conditions vis-avis imports are determined by a combination of border measures and behind the border measures, both of which add costs to the price of an imported product. By generating significant impact upon consumer welfare and the competitiveness of domestic industries, market access conditions in international trade thus are a key determinant of the effectiveness of trade as a means of implementation. Chapter I provides an overview of the report by examining to what extent sustainable development concerns are integrated into today’s trade policymaking. The chapter first looks into how those concerns are treated in trade agreements at multilateral, regional and bilateral levels. It then discusses opportunities as well as challenges in using market access conditions to meet sustainable development objectives. Chapter II discusses the use of tariffs for trade and development purposes, and provides comprehensive statistical information on the trade-related indicators for the reviewing and monitoring of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Chapter III discusses how NTMs can act as an important policy interface within the trade-SDG nexus at home as well as that of trading partners. The majority of NTMs are domestic regulations that cater for social and environmental development objectives. The chapter discusses ways to achieve synergies between policy measures for achieving the SDGs and enhancing trade flows across countries. Chapter IV presents recent evidence on the importance of connectivity, especially maritime connectivity, to international markets. Enhancing physical connectivity to markets is one of the most effective policy actions to complement market access improvement for both exports and imports.