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Assessing trade friendliness of logistics services in ASEAN

Sumeet Gupta (Shri Shankaracharya College of Engineering and Technology, Bhilai, India)
Mark Goh (The Logistics Institute – Asia Pacific, Singapore)
Robert Desouza (The Logistics Institute – Asia Pacific, Singapore)
Miti Garg (The Logistics Institute – Asia Pacific, Singapore)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 15 November 2011




Free trade agreements have been employed, either unilaterally or as a bloc, as an instrument to overcome the inefficiencies in trade brought about by the prevailing barriers and regulatory measures. During the tenth summit the leaders of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed to integrate their priority sectors with a vision to developing an ASEAN economic community whereby there would be a free flow of goods, services, investment and a freer flow of capital, equitable economic development, and reduced poverty and socio‐economic disparities. This market would have no price discrimination for commodities and against foreign goods, services, capital and labor. The purpose of this paper is to assess the current state of the cross‐border trade in logistics services among ASEAN. The extent of the ease of cross‐border trade is measured in terms of trade friendliness. The trade friendliness is a measure of the openness of ASEAN towards conducting free cross‐border trade.


This study uses a series of semi‐structured interviews with 35 logistics and related firms operating in ASEAN.


It was found that the unwieldy customs procedures and inspections, lack of coordination, and arbitrary rulings are some barriers to freer cross‐border trade within ASEAN.

Practical implications

In this paper, the authors have identified several barriers that influence logistics services across ASEAN. ASEAN must address these barriers before any further attempt of freer trade can be made.


Studies have been conducted for the USA and Europe but not for the Asia‐Pacific. The Asia‐Pacific is a growing region for global trade and therefore assessing the trade openness or friendliness in the logistics sector is useful for taking further policy initiatives for developing an ASEAN economic community.



Gupta, S., Goh, M., Desouza, R. and Garg, M. (2011), "Assessing trade friendliness of logistics services in ASEAN", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 773-792.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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