Does Free Trade Matter for Poverty Reduction? The Case of ASEAN

Publication Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The chapter by Pasha Hsieh takes a closer look at the trade-poverty relationship in South-East Asia. Examining the ASEAN case demonstrates how rapid and deep economic growth cannot ensure the integration of neighboring economies. Poverty reduction, argues Hsieh, is a necessary element of further successful economic integration. Hsieh first highlights the inequalities among ASEAN member’s per capita GDP, pointing out the exceptionally high differences in comparison to other free trade areas. The legal framework for liberalizations that would assist growth/reduce poverty and the various anti-poverty initiatives are also analysed to give an overview of the current status of the potential for poverty reduction through trade and the additional steps that would be beneficial to the region’s poor.


International Trade Law


Dishing up the Pie: Bringing the Poor to the Table of International Economic Law


Cambridge University Press