Trade Policy Barriers: An Obstacle to Export Diversification in Eurasia
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Despite trade liberalization efforts made by Eurasian countries, the export structure of the region shows significant levels of concentration across export destinations. To shed light on this observation, this research analyzes trade policy barriers in Eurasia, East Asia and the Pacific, and the European Union. Using the most recent data from sources including the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, and the World Bank – including the Overall Trade Restrictiveness Indices, the Services Trade Restrictions Database, and the Temporary Trade Barriers Database – the role of tariffs, non-tariff measures, temporary trade barriers, trade agreements, and trade barriers in services are explored to explain the lack of diversification by destination. Several conclusions can be drawn from the analysis. First, China, Korea, and Japan, as well as the European Union, impose high levels of protection on products of animal origin, which may explain the lack of Eurasian export diversification toward the East Asia and the Pacific and the European Union regions. It also highlights the potential benefits of diversifying the structure of production in Eurasia toward more sophisticated and technologically intensive goods. Second, the East Asia and the Pacific region (especially China) appears to be more protectionist than the European Union, suggesting a greater challenge for Eurasian countries in diversifying exports to the destination. And third, few or no regional trade agreements exist between Eurasian countries and countries in the European Union or East Asia and the Pacific.
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