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On October 30, 2017, Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow Stephen Olson spoke at the launch of a flagship report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The event was held at the United Nations building in Bangkok, Thailand.

The report launched at the event— titled “Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2017: Channelling Trade and Investment into Sustainable Development”— underlines the importance of cutting trade costs and deepening regional cooperation in order to ensure that the benefits of trade and investment can be shared across the Asia Pacific region. The report also calls for trade and investment policies to support greater sustainability.

Olson was invited to participate in the launch and provide comments on the report. In his remarks to the UN audience, Olson emphasized the need for countries to engage in trade in a sustainable way. He described the Hinrich Foundation Sustainable Trade Index, which evaluates 20 economies in the Asia Pacific on the sustainability of their trade practices. Olson also stressed that the business community should not be seen in adversarial terms, but as partners in sustainability.

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary, also spoke at the event. Akhtar said that an integrated approach to trade and investment liberalization is essential to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region. Akhtar emphasized that SDG-targeted trade and investment policies and complementary domestic policies are needed to mitigate the social and environmental impacts of trade and investment.

View the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2017 at our Trade research resource center.

About the author – Lauren Kyger

Lauren Kyger is a Research Associate with the Hinrich Foundation where she focuses on international trade research. She is a Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Leader Scholar alumna, earning her Master’s degree in Global Business Journalism from Tsinghua University in Beijing. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.