Asia-Pacific trade and investment report 2023/24 : unleashing digital trade and investment for sustainable development

The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) is a biennial publication prepared by the Trade, Investment and Innovation Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific to provide insights into the impact of recent emerging developments in trade and foreign direct investment on countries’ abilities to meet the challenges of achieving sustainable development. The theme of APTIR 2023/24 is “Unleashing digital trade and investment for sustainable development.” Prepared in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the report explores the roles of digital trade and investment in guiding the Asia-Pacific region towards sustainable development. It examines digital trade and investment patterns in the region and provides an overview of the digital trade and investment policy environment, viewed through a sustainable development lens. The report also assesses the potential of unilateral policies on trade and investment, as well as the impact of multilateral and regional cooperation, in maximizing the benefits of digital trade and investment while focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Incorporating a quantitative assessment, this study evaluates the role of digital trade in archiving the SDGs and examines the impact of various policy scenarios. Building on this understanding, the report concludes by offering a series of action-oriented policy recommendations, specifically targeting the trade and investment domains, to ensure that digital and investment policies effectively unlock the potential of digital trade and investment for sustainable development.