One plausible reason for the shock result could be unequal distribution of benefits from globalization and free trade.
SMEs should participate in global value chains to reverse the deceleration trend of labor productivity in Asia and the Pacific.
An analysis of the online presence of 300 Samoan websites offers a glimpse into how Pacific SMEs operate in the digital space.
New development opportunities offer Pacific island countries the chance to leverage their unique potential to help the private sector create enough decent, sustainable jobs.
When risk mitigation processes are put in place, inclusive business deals are no more risky than other investments – it’s is just a different kind of risk.
There is no single or simple solution to ensure SMEs benefit from regional integration schemes – ASEAN economies need to fix key productivity, regulatory, infrastructure, and financing gaps.
Development finance institutions can support inclusive business, but mainly as brokers to build an enabling environment for companies that want to provide profitable, long-term solutions to serve the needs of the poor.
TPP and RCEP are not perfect, but they can unlock Asian trade liberalization and growth. Supporting open accession, an eventual Asia-Pacific FTA and complementary national policies will help achieve this end.
Inclusive business can address problems of the poor at scale in a sustainable, commercially viable way. But this approach is still a small niche, and scaling it up will require all actors to ‘up their game.’
Beyond political rhetoric, the question is whether the current trend is indeed ominous of growing protectionism on the horizon.