ADB - Asian Development Bank

ADB Manila

Job Vacancy | Friday, July 15, 2022

Reference Number: 220419

: Department: Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department

Division: Regional Cooperation and Integration Division

Location: Asian Development Bank Headquarters

Date Posted: Friday, July 15, 2022

Closing Date: Thursday, September 15, 2022 11:59 p.m. (2359 Manila Time, 0800 GMT)


“International Trade and Trade policy – trade facilitation, digitalization and trade agreements.”


Global supply chains disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed weaknesses of the global trading system while raising concerns about vulnerability and inclusiveness. At the same time, we have observed strong commitments towards regionalism and multilateralism through new free trade agreements, mega-regional trade deals, and most recently the successful outcome of the 12th WTO ministerial Conference where the members have adopted a multilateral trade deal with environmental issues on ocean.

Trade policy is one of the powerful tools to boost recovery and support economic growth. The increasing number and scope of bilateral, regional, and plurilateral trade agreements raises opportunities and also challenges that need to be overcome. In particular, customs and trade facilitation measures can be instrumental to avoid supply chain disruptions and promote resilience. Trade facilitation provisions beyond the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO-TFA) entered into force in 2017 are increasingly being found in bilateral and regional trade agreements. To assess the role of trade facilitation provisions in Asia’s regional trade agreements (RTAs), we need to first understand how WTO-TFA and WTO-TFA+ provisions including cross-border paperless trade have evolved.

First, the intern will support preparation of a database on trade facilitation in relation to WTO-TFA commitments. A tentative list of entries are mentioned below:

  • Number of RTAs with customs and trade facilitation measures from 1995 and onwards
  • Mapping of WTO-TFA Articles with the Articles of customs and trade facilitation chapters of RTAs
  • Number of RTAs specifying the similar commitments as listed under the provision of section 1 of TFA
  • What are WTO-TFA+ commitments under the bilateral and regional RTAs? How often countries commit to them?

  • Number of RTAs with commitments on use of information technology and single window
  • Number of RTAs with commitments on use of information technology and single window overtime (1995 to latest)

Next, using the database, the intern will perform econometric analyses to evaluate the effects of inclusion of trade facilitation provisions in RTAs on reducing trade costs or boosting trade flows; and discuss implications for trade policy and digitalization.

Additional support on trade-policy related work within ERCI will also be required, in particular on other aspects of Regional Trade Agreements (market access, services, investment, etc) and digital provisions (e-commerce, DEAs). For example, the intern will support the establishment of a database on tariffs, rules of origin and services commitments and make use of the data to evaluate the incremental market access.


  • Duration: 8 weeks (with a possibility of extension)
  • Timing: January 2023

4. LOCATION: ADB Headquarters, Manila, Philippines (or virtually, depending on prevailing travel restrictions)


a) database on trade facilitation provisions in RTAs;

b) a research paper on the summary of the database and trade policy implications based on main findings from econometric analyses;

c) research support for briefs, policy notes, metadata, and other related tasks requested by the supervising unit.



Currently enrolled in a Masters or PhD program in economics, with interest in international trade and trade policy.


  • Proficiency in statistical and mathematical programming software such as STATA
  • Has excellent writing skills.


Upload the following documents in the “Attachments” section of your application: 1. Curriculum vitae (CV)

2. Proof of enrollment to a Masters or PhD program. Inclusive dates should confirm that you will be enrolled during the intended period of assignment.

3. Essay in MS WORD or PDF document, maximum of 1500 words per question. (Please see essay questions below)


(1) Describe one example of your experience that demonstrated your interest in working in ADB.

(2) Highlight your qualifications that will help accomplish this internship assignment (e.g., coursework, research, work experience, etc.).

Tags: covid, economic growth, economic research, information technology, international trade, internship, market access, regional cooperation, rules of origin, supply chain, trade agreements, trade facilitation, trade policy, travel restrictions