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Marketing, trade and trade policy

Central to the proposed Asia Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study is the need to analytically incorporate critical issues of marketing, trade and trade policies. Markets are not 'neutral' and responsive only to the lowest price. Efforts to influence demand through marketing practices, economic incentives and disincentives towards domestic objectives, trade distortions through trade barriers, and trends in country and regional trade policies need to be systematically investigated and incorporated formally into outlook analysis. It is Recommended that a analytical component of the proposed outlook be inclusive of these issues and linked to quantitative assessments of scenarios or projections of trends. Assessment of the sensitivity of trends to these factors through carefully developed scenario options specified in terms of individual country outlooks can assist in this phase of the assessment. Inclusion of indicators of comparative advantage at each level of processing in terms of both costs and returns to resource owners would be helpful to assess responsiveness of individual countries to potential market shifts.

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