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Asiapacificcompetesforitsownmarket sourcecomtrade

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Unformatted text preview: d in rapidly growing economies within the region in addition to the traditional markets of the European Union and the United States of America. The emergence of new and stricter standards for agricultural imports in European and North American economies makes Asia and the Pacific a more attractive export market. A recent example of this is the European Union decision to inspect 20% of the agro‐product consignment exported from Bangladesh, which is up from the previous requirement of 10% 10 . Multiple private standards by big Multi‐National Corporations (MNCs) and large retailers pose a continuous challenge to agro‐exporters of the Asia‐Pacific region. South‐south trade or trade between developing countries could be strengthened to play important role in promoting agricultural trade as it has started doing so during the last decade (World Bank 2005). In addition, the global economic crisis has caused the agro‐imports of the two largest and most established markets, the European Union and the United States of America, to fall by 18% and 10% respectively in 2009. This has made south‐south trade even more necessary. The present trend of regional trade integration needs to be continued in order to supply to regional markets. The key to maintaining this growth trend is to tap potential opportunities intra‐ regionally. Asia‐Pacific competes for its own market Source: COMTRADE Source: COMTRADE 2011 2011 10 Discussion from High‐level Consultation on Facilitating Agricultural Trade in Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, January 2011 13 Asia‐Pacific countries are increasingly being integrated into the region’s market. Developed economies such as Japan and rapidly growing economies such as China are major markets for agricultural products within the region. Data from 2004 to 2008 provide a picture of the agricultural imports intra‐regionally (see Fig X). Japan and China together represent a market for about 40% of agro‐products sourced in the region. The Republic of Korea and Malaysia, as well as Hong Kong, China are also among the top five importers from this region. Together they import about three quarters of the agricultural goods exported by Asia‐Pacific countries. Another emerging economy, India, sources 4% of Asia‐Pacific imports from the region. In 2008, Japan’s agro‐imports growth was moderately higher (14%) than in 2004 while China registered an astonishing growth rate of 91% during the same period. Although smaller in import‐value compared to Japan, every emerging economy of Asia‐ Pacific’s major importing countries experienced noteworthy growth. For instance, imports in Malaysia grew by 91% between 2004 and 2008 those of India grew by 67%. Thailand’s agro‐ import value in 2008 was nearly double the figure of 2004. 3. A Closer Look at China and India Both China and India are important trading partners in the Asia‐Pacific region due to their sheer size and, rapid import and export growth. China is the second largest importer of agro‐products, while India is ranked eighth. Additionally, China tops the agro‐export list, where India is fifth. Both economies have large populations, are undergoing rapid urbanization and have an impressive GDP growth rate. These call for an in‐depth look at their agro‐trade performances. China’s population for the past five years has been increasing at 0.5‐0.6% annually and its food production 11 has been rising by 4.17% annually since 2001 (World Bank 2010). Since 2004, China has become a net agricultural importing country and the deficit has been widening ever since. After accession to the WTO in 2001, a more liberalized trade regime has helped to increase China’s agricultural trade. China bases its exports on labor intensive products, going into more processed and value‐added products rather than land‐intensive products. This is explained by scarcity of farming land, and movement of workers to processing industries. Per capita arable land is only about 43% of the World a...
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