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ERIA-UNCTAD Workshop on NTMs for East Asian Countries

28 May 2024

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Bangkok, 28 May 2024: The ERIA-UNCTAD Workshop on Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) for East Asian Countries commenced with insightful presentations and discussions addressing the increasing prevalence of NTMs and their impact on regional trade and investment. Dr Lili Yan Ing, ERIA Senior Economist, participating virtually, highlighted the paradox of declining tariff rates juxtaposed with a surge in NTMs across ASEAN+6 countries. NTMs in Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and New Zealand surged to 20,141 measures in 2018, mirroring a similar pattern across ASEAN, where NTMs increased by more than 15% from 2015 to 2018. Dr Lili emphasised the need to update NTM datasets and analyse their effects on trade and investment to enhance transparency, simplify regulations, harmonise product standards, and foster regional and global trade.

In the first morning session, Dr Ralf Peters, Head of Trade Analysis Branch at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), discussed the political nature of NTMs and their significant influence on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 3, which focuses on good health and well-being. Dr Peters introduced new UNCTAD initiatives, including software for data collection and support for countries in notifying NTMs to the WTO. Dr Doan Thi Thanh Ha, ERIA Economist, provided additional insights, referencing key publications on NTMs in ASEAN and the broader region, and outlined an ongoing NTM programme scheduled to run until April 2025.

The second morning session featured interactive discussions on regional NTM initiatives, with representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, the Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, and India sharing their respective experiences and strategies. Highlights included the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services, and Trade (ASSIST), the Philippine National Trade Repository (PNTR), and Malaysia's journey in Good Regulatory Practices (GRP) and NTM management. India highlighted its Single Window Interface for Trade and digital platforms for trade certificates (Certificate of Origin, Quality Standards Certificates, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Certificates). These initiatives aim to support WTO efforts in compiling comprehensive NTM data, ultimately serving the needs of stakeholders seeking detailed trade policy information. The workshop promises further in-depth training and data dissemination through its upcoming phases.

Please find here for Dr Lili Yan Ing's remarks.


  1. Ing, Lili Yan, Denise Penello Rial, and Rizqy Anandhika. 2022. Non-Tariff Measures Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea. Jakarta: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). https://www.eria.org/publications/non-tariff-measures-australia-china-india-japan-new-zealand-republic-of-korea/
  2. Ing, Lili Yan, Ralf Peters, and Olivier Cadot. 2019. Regional Integration and Non-Tariff Measures in ASEAN. Jakarta: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). https://www.eria.org/publications/regional-integration-and-non-tariff-measures-in-asean/
  3. Doan, Ha Thi Thanh, and Samuel Rosenow. 2019. Non-Tariff Measures in ASEAN: An Update. Jakarta: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). https://www.eria.org/uploads/media/ERIA_Book_NTM_An_Update_2019.pdf

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