Asia has considerably increased its regional share on world GDP over the past decade, and this trend is expected to continue. It has become the most dynamic region in international trade and the rapid industrialisation of the area can potentially impact the Asian pattern of trade: a doubling of the share of manufactures in world exports is predicted by 2030, while the share of primary products in world imports is expected to rise. Moreover, regional participation on global value chains has substantially expanded, with the leading role of China.
European Union is among the most important partner of Asian countries in these GVCs, but it has been generally less active in cultivating economic ties in the area compared to regional large countries and to the USA. Starting from 2001, we report a proliferation of RTAs/FTAs among APEC countries, culminating with the TPP, a mega-deal including the US and other 11 countries of the area.
This activism in trade deals is likely to enhance also in the future the centrality of Asia in the world markets