November 2015 Issue: Trade, Inclusive Growth, and the Role of Policy
This report was presented at the APEC Ministerial Meeting in Manila, Philippines in November 2015. The first section of the report discusses the linkages between trade performance and inclusive growth and examines the role of policy to promote inclusive growth. The second section reports trade and investment trends in the APEC region covering 2014 to the first half of 2015, and lists recent trade and investment policies implemented by member economies.
Preliminary findings indicate that the direct relationship between trade and inclusive growth are far from conclusive, and at times even negative. On the other hand, there is evidence to say that the indirect linkage between trade performance and growth—that is, through GDP growth—is positive and significant. This implies that the positive implications of trade on inclusive growth is not automatic. Rather, trade openness must be accompanied with other policies that enable inclusive growth.