Asian nations asked to eschew trade barriers

Batting for trade openness, the UN ESCAP and the ADB on Wednesday jointly asked Asian nations to refrain from imposing trade restrictions including non-tariff barriers, stressing in a report that the impact of protectionist measures had never been positive for the global economy.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also made a case for promoting digital and paperless trade procedures by the Asian nations in view of the supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Countries should refrain from using export restrictions and other non-tariff measures,” they said in the biennial report.

If countries quickened implementation of digital trade schemes, average trade costs could drop by more than 13%, they added.

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