There has been an increase in regional trade agreements (ATRs) around the world, but also in the Asia-Pacific region, which has contributed to their trade growth. Indeed, the Asia-Pacific region has undergone an export-oriented trend over the past three decades, with economic growth closely linked to poverty reduction. This increasingly requires better integration into regional and global value and supply chains, which are essential to Asian growth. In particular, outsourcing in manufacturing, particularly in the technology and labour-intensive manufacturing sectors, has made the region a perfect example of the potential positive force that trade can have on the economy and society. Nevertheless, trade growth may also be unbalanced. In particular, trade liberalization can lead to increased inequalities within and between countries, so adaptation and adaptation measures are needed and must be taken into account to ensure that parties to an ATR can exploit trade potential. While the number of poor has declined across the region, in many countries in Asia and the Pacific, for example in Southeast Asia, inequalities remain high, particularly between urban and rural populations, and problems remain in access to health care, education, ICT, energy, transport, etc. In addition, some countries still face difficulties in entering global value chains due to high trade barriers and/or high trade costs or over-reliance on commodity and natural resource exports. Trade can also have a negative impact on the environment.
Much of the scientific literature suggests that increased trade liberalization could lead to an increase in CO2 emissions. The project aimed to increase the capacity of governments and negotiators in the Asia-Pacific region and to increase the contribution of EPZs to inclusive development; and increase the capacity of governments to expand South-South trade through preferential trade policies and agreements. The ability of international trade to bring greater social and environmental benefits to sustainable development depends to a large extent on the quality of the ATR and the public and private sector policies put in place to support this development. An example of these measures are taxes on greenhouse gas emissions, the rejection of the use of plastic bags, among others, or the establishment of a mechanism for cooperation in the conflict between countries to improve labour standards, as was established in 2004 between Chile and the United States by the free trade agreement between Chile and the United States.