This report is a preliminary step towards a greater understanding of the digital trade policy environment in the Asia-Pacific region. It provides an overview of the digital trade policy environment in the Asia-Pacific region, based on data collected from 21 sample economies. It also provides policy considerations for regional cooperation to enhance interoperability and inclusivity of the digital economy and cross-border transactions in the new trading environment for the Asia-Pacific region.
The findings in this report are based on ESCAP’s – and OECD’s tools for digital trade-related regulatory analysis. These tools are a new Regional Digital Trade Integration Index (RDTII) developed by ESCAP in cooperation with other United Nations Regional Commissions (UNRCs) and the Digital Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (DSTRI) and Computer Services STRI developed by the OECD. Based on the RDTII, ESCAP reviews regulatory measures affecting compliance costs of cross-border business in the digital age (Please see the RDTII 1.0 Guide for more information about the UNRCs’ RDTII tool). It follows by OECD discussions based on findings from the STRI tools on trade barriers affecting digitally enabled services that can be compared with countries outside the region.