A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development

    • Subjects include: the links between trade and a greater transparency, efficiency, and procedural uniformity of cross-border transportation of goods, the role of institutional frameworks, such as trade support services and transport networks, and the use of information technologies.
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        African Continental Free Trade Area (English)
        Discussion paper by Agatiello, Osvaldo/UNCTAD, 2016, 52 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        The paper, African Continental Free Trade Area, subtitled 'Advancing Pan-African Integration (Some Considerations),' provides an overview of the opportunities and challenges for African continental economic integration through the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) initiative. It discusses complementary building blocks for intra-African trade to flourish within Africa when it is stimulated by the adoption and implementation of the CFTA, and provides guiding principles for approaching the CFTA and priority policy measures for adoption by African countries to ensure sustained trade growth and economic integration following the CFTA.

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        African Continental Free Trade Area: Developing and Strengthening Regional Value Chains (English)
        Discussion paper by Dairon, Emily/UNCTAD, 2016, 78 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        The paper, African Continental Free Trade Area, subtitled 'Developing and strengthening regional value chains in agricultural commodities and processed food products', comes after the African Union Assembly decided in an assembly in 2012 to boost intra-African trade and to fast track the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). The study aims to provide an analysis on requisite policies and measures needed for fostering the development and strengthening of regional supply and value chains in agricultural commodities and processed foods. Its aim is to contribute to the setting up and strengthening of regional agro-foods supply chains.

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        African Continental Free Trade Area: Policy and Negotiation Options for Trade in Goods (English)
        Discussion paper by Farahat, M/UNCTAD, 2016, 37 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        This discussion paper is part of the series on the 'African Continental Free Trade Area.' It continues the discussion by presenting an overview of the practical possibilities of an free trade area (FTA) on the African continent. The paper is divided in three main parts. Part I deals with the requirements for establishing FTAs in goods. Part II analyses the harmonization of macro-economic policies, the applicability of non-tariff measures and trade facilitation. Part II considers the negotiation process among key stakeholders and the leaders.

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        Aid for Trade, Infrastructure, and the Growth Effects of Trade Reform: Issues and Implications for Caribbean Countries (English)
        Working paper by Moreira, Emmanuel Pinto/World Bank, 2010, 45 pages
        Categories: Finance for Development, Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This paper examines how aid-for-trade programs can help to magnify the growth benefits that developing countries can reap from trade reform and global integration, with a special emphasis on the Caribbean region. The first part discusses various rationales for trade-related aid, viewed both as a compensatory scheme (aimed at cushioning the impact of revenue cuts and adjustment costs) and a promotion scheme (aimed at alleviating supply-side constraints). In the latter case, particular attention is paid to the role of infrastructure as a constraining factor on trade expansion. The second part discusses the relevance of aid-for-trade arguments for Caribbean countries and identifies a number of specific issues for the region. The third part illustrates the potential growth effects of aid-for-trade programs with simulation results for the Dominican Republic -- a country where infrastructure indicators remain relatively weak. The results illustrate the potentially large growth benefits that a temporary and well-targeted aid-for-trade program can provide to countries of the region.

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        Assessing Regional Integration in Africa IV: Enhancing Intra-African Trade (English)
        Book by UNECA, 2010, 527 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        ARIA IV, which is a joint-publication of the ECA, the AUC and the AfDB, finds on average that over the past decades, only about 10 to 12 per cent of African trade is within the continent which is one of the lowest intra-regional trade levels worldwide. Low intra-African trade implies that many opportunities are lost for benefiting from the gains of trade, promoting growth and accelerating development. Indeed, the empirical research reviewed in ARIA IV suggests that there is a positive correlation between trade openness and economic growth, in particular through the transmission of technological innovation and the creation of enhanced capacity to compete with more advanced economies on the international market.

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        Assessing Regional Integration in Africa VI: Harmonizing Policies to Transform the Trading Environment (English)
        Report by UNECA, 2013, 84 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        This paper carries forward the momentum of January 2012’s Decision and Declaration on boosting intra-African trade and fast-tracking the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area by 2017 by addressing the issue of harmonizing rules of origin and trade facilitation instruments to facilitate Continental Free Trade Area negotiations by member States. The report starts with a brief overview of progress in regional integration, followed by discussions on the harmonization of three key prerequisites to pave the way for a meaningful continental market—namely rules of origin, trade facilitation instruments and cross-border linkages for information and communications technology.

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        Benchmarking Productive Capacities in Least Developed Countries (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2016, 56 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade and Poverty, Trade Facilitation

        At the thirteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII), which took place in Doha, Qatar, in April 2012, member States requested UNCTAD to develop quantifiable indicators with a view to providing “an operational methodology and policy guidelines on how to mainstream productive capacities in national development policies and strategies in LDCs” (Doha Mandate, para. 65(e)). The present report, which is part of ongoing work by the secretariat and a response to the above-mentioned request, focuses on measuring and benchmarking productive capacities in least developed countries (LDCs): their current levels; how LDCs have performed in the recent past; and how the productive capacities in LDCs compare with the internationally agreed goals and targets and with other developing countries.

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        Biodiversity and Trade: Promoting Sustainable Use Through Business Engagement (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2014, 32 pages
        Categories: Commodities, Trade Facilitation, Trade Related Capacity Building

        This paper reports on the key discussion points and presentations at the III Biotrade Congress held by the International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities Division in the Republic of Korea in 2014. The Congress aimed to foster discussions and stimulate debate on new approaches and schemes to promote the sustainable use and trade of biodiversity, legal access and benefit sharing when engaging in BioTrade activities. It provided an important and useful platform for business engagement and multi-stakeholder dialogue on issues related to sustainability and biological diversity. Different views and perspectives on the new challenges and opportunities ahead in the BioTrade area were shared, such as the Nagoya Protocol’s entry into force. For the effective implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, there is a need for tailor-made technical assistance to governments, businesses and other relevant stakeholders. Different practices and tools applicable to sustainable sourcing and corporate social (and environmental) responsibility in the cosmetic, traditional medicine, fashion design and tourism sectors exist. The importance and value of openness and transparency along the value chains and the need for inclusive processes were stressed. Some reflections were shared on the importance given by consumers to sustainability and its impact to business branding strategies. Many tools were identified such as assessments, guidelines, codes of conduct, standards, traceability systems, certification, public-private partnerships (PPPs) and accountability practices. The Congress recognized the value of partnerships and cooperation by all participants and organizations involved, as well as with relevant stakeholders in the field.

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        Bringing Smes onto the E-Commerce Highway (English)
        Report by International Trade Centre, 2016, 120 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade and Poverty, Trade Facilitation

        This report is a starting point for public-private dialogue to address e-commerce bottlenecks, especially for small firms in developing countries. Small firms face policy challenges in four processes typical to all e-commerce: establishing online business, international e-payment, international delivery and aftersales. To improve competitiveness, challenges must be met within the firm, in the business environment and by governments. The report provides checklists for policy guidance, as well as case studies from e-commerce entrepreneurs in developing countries.

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        Building a Dataset for Bilateral Maritime Connectivity
        Study by Fugazza, Marco; Hoffmann, Jan and Razafinombana, Rado, 2013, 31 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This paper presents a unique database reporting the shortest liner shipping routes between any pair of countries for a reference sample of 178 countries over the 2006–2012 period. Computed maritime distances are retrieved using an original database containing all existing direct liner shipping connections between pairs of countries and the corresponding sea distance. The number of transhipments necessary to connect any country pair to allow for containerizable trade is also retrieved. The contribution of this database is threefold. First, it is expected to be a useful tool for a better appreciation of transport costs and access to regular container shipping services and their impact on trade. Secondly, as presented in this paper, it helps to describe and analyse the structure of the existing global network of liner shipping services for containerizable trade, i.e. most international trade in manufactured goods. Finally, this database is expected to facilitate the construction of a bilateral liner shipping connectivity index building on UNCTAD’s original work.

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        Compendium of trade facilitation recommendations (English)
        by UN/CEFACT, 2001, 74 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        What: This Compendium is intended to be used as a reference by those engaged in simplifying, harmonizing and rationalizing trade procedures and practices. The Compendium is also useful for industry, commerce, transport, administrations and organizations, to create awareness of the possibilities that exist in the area of facilitation and harmonization of trade and transport. It reviews the present situation in international trade regarding information flows, documentary requirements, electronic business, official requirements and payment procedures with a view to come to an increased efficiency through further harmonization, standardization and simplification. Who: Useful for anyone teaching trade facilitation and WTO issues. How: Can be used as a reference material on trade facilitation issues.

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        Composite Index of Market Access for the Export of Rice from Uruguay
        Discussion paper by Alfaro, Daniela; Pérez del Castillo, Carlos/ ICTSD, 2010, 37 pages
        Categories: Commodities, Trade Facilitation

        This study explores the sorts of market access barriers that rice exports from Uruguay face and generates a Composite Index of Market Access for the most significant markets. What stops Uruguayan farmers from selling more rice to other countries? Ambassador Perez del Castillo and Professor Alfaro investigate this question and work out a figure that captures taxes imposed by other countries at the border, payments that overseas governments make to their own growers, the cost of meeting health standards, and other issues. They find that these barriers limit the flow of rice from Uruguay - even when other countries' border taxes are low.

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        Constructing a Composite Index of Market Access (English)
        Report by Josling, Timothy/ICTSD, 2009, 40 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        Trade barriers are often opaque and difficult to compare. All too often, an exporter faces costs well in excess of a simple tariff when seeking entry to a market. However, to date, there exist few tools to measure the changes in market access that will takeplace at the conclusion of the Doha Round, or those that may result from any other trade agreement. The Composite Index of Market Access (CIMA) has been conceived as a tool to help trade policy-makers and other stakeholders to address this challenge. This study provides a methdology and country study guide to illustrate the actual costs faced by exporters of selected tropical products when trying to penetrate markets of interest. While liberalisation through tariff reduction may partially achieve the aim of facilitating access for tropical products, the CIMA project highlights the fact that tariff reductions are only a part of the puzzle that trade policy has to solve.

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        Coping with Trade Reforms: Implications of the WTO Industrial Tariff Negotiations (English)
        Presentation by Santiago Fernandez de Cordoba, UNCTAD, 2005, 20 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        A presentation for an UNCTAD expert group meeting providing an overview of the methodologies and results of UNCTAD studies on the impact of trade reforms as well as introduction to the NAMA negotiations and an overview of the methodologies and results of UNCTAD studies on the impact of trade reforms.

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        Creating an efficient environment for trade and transport (English)
        Summary by UNCTAD, 2000, 25 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        What: Overview of the effects of globalization on trade facilitation and efficiency. The article also gives guidelines on how to promote trade efficiency. Who: Could be used by teachers as a summary/starting point. How: Interesting charts in the first two parts of the document.

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        The Development Impact of Information Technology in Trade Facilitation
        Working paper by Alburo, Florian A., 2010, 65 pages
        Categories: Science and Technology, Trade Facilitation

        This chapter, part of an ARTNeT Regional Study on the Impact of Information Technology Based Trade Facilitation Measures on SMEs, provides an overview and context of the country studies on Information Technology (IT) for Trade Facilitation (TF) in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

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        Doing Business 2010: Reforming Through Difficult Times (English)
        Report by World Bank; International Finance Corporation., 2009, 231 pages
        Categories: Enterprise Development, Trade Facilitation

        Doing Business 2010 is the seventh in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 183 economies--from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe--and over time. Regulations affecting 10 stages of a business's life are measured: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, employing workers, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and closing a business. Data in Doing Business 2010 are current as of June 1, 2009. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms have worked, where and why.

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        Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2016: Nurturing Productivity for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development (English)
        Report by Akhtar, Shamshad/ ESCAP; Hahm, Hongjoo/ ESCAP; Hasan, Aynul/ ESCAP, 2016, 172 pages
        Categories: Emerging Economies and South South Cooperation, Trade and Poverty, Trade Facilitation

        The first chapter of the Survey contains an examination of the macroeconomic performance of and outlook for the Asia-Pacific region, analyzing the implications of some of the economic challenges that the region is facing. It also contains a discussion on several policy options, with emphasis on the importance of fiscal policy. The chapter also includes an examination of the impact of the recent economic slowdown in the Asia Pacific region in terms of its effects on poverty, inequality and employment prospects, along with challenges posed by an expanding middle class and rapid urbanization. In the second chapter, the diversity of the region is considered by providing a more disaggregated analysis of economic issues and challenges that each of the five sub regions is facing. In doing so, a distinct issue is the focus for each sub region, which provides an opportunity for increased understanding of a variety of experiences and policy considerations. Finally, the third chapter contains analyses on the importance of productivity in the Asia-Pacific region and a set of policy recommendations on how to strengthen productivity growth.

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        Efficient transport and trade facilitation to improve participation by developing countries (English)
        Background note by UNCTAD Secretariat, 2003, 16 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        What: Article on how trade and production are affected by transports services. It highlights the importance of low cost and efficient services for trade and economic development. It also reviews the legislation on transports and its implications for developing countries. Who: Good introductory reading to the subject for anyone dealing with trade facilitation. How: Could be used as a starting point in a research/course.

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        Estimating the Benefits of Cross-border Paperless Trade (English)
        Report by UNESCAP, 2014, 36 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This report focuses on determining the precise measures covered by cross-border paperless trade initiatives. It aims to estimate the possible economic benefits—export gains, and cost savings—from partial or full implementation of the determined set of measures. The approach of this report is to conduct counter factual simulations: “what if” exercises based on the current reality of cross-border paperless trade implementation, and two ambitious but realistic reform scenarios.

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        Expanding Trade Within Africa: the Impact of Trade Facilitation (English)
        Working paper by Njinkeu, Dominique; Wilson, John S.; Fosso, Bruno Powo / World Bank, 2008, 31 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This paper examines the impact of trade facilitation on intra-African trade. The authors examine the role of trade facilitation reforms, such as increased port efficiency, improved customs, and regulatory environments, and upgrading services infrastructure on trade between African countries. They also consider how regional trade agreements relate to intra-African trade flows. Using trade data from 2003 to 2004, they find that improvement in ports and services infrastructure promise relatively more expansion in intra-African trade than other measures. They also show that, almost all regional trade agreements have a positive effect on trade flows.

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        Farm Support and Trade Rules: Towards a New Paradigm Under the 2030 Agenda (English)
        Report by Musselli, Irene/UNCTAD, 2016, 30 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Facilitation, Trade Related Capacity Building

        There is a need to move beyond existing metrics in agricultural trade governance. This on account of major changes in farm support policies and in the overall policy framework. The way ahead requires a pragmatic and ground-breaking approach. A comprehensive approach is needed to improve coherence between farm support policies and sustainability concerns. The boundaries of the Green Box have to be redefined accordingly. Specifically, Green Box transfers have to be made conditional on the respect of specific agri-environmental practices. Decoupled income support not subject to agrienvironmental “cross-compliance” conditions should only be available to low-income or resource-poor producers. It is also important to acknowledge the fact that different developing countries have different agricultural profiles and different needs for farm support, and to give operational meaning to these differences. Overall, trade policy in agriculture should be re-oriented towards context-specific, circumstantial assessments, informed by equitable considerations and sustainability imperatives.

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        Handbook on the Special and Preferential Tariff Scheme of China for Least Developed Countries (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2016, 219 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        China started to grant duty-free treatment to LDCs with diplomatic relations with China in 2001. In China’s customs tariff schedules (that is, the Customs Tariff of Import and Export of the People’s Republic of China), “duty-free” is referred to as “special and preferential tariff treatment for least developed countries” (herein after referred to as the “LDC scheme”). In response to the WTO decision on DFQF for LDC exports adopted at the sixth Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong (China) in December 2005, China announced at the United Nations High-Level Event on Millennium Development Goals held in 2008 that it would increase gradually the coverage of its LDC scheme to reach 95 per cent of the country’s total tariff lines. As a further step to help boost LDC exports to China, in March 2013 at the BRICS1 Summit held in South Africa, China announced its decision to increase its duty-free coverage to 97 per cent by 2015. The decision was implemented on 1 January 2015. Thus, China became the first developing country in WTO to fully meet the tariff line coverage requirement set out in the sixth Ministerial Declaration.

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        How To Utilize FDI To Improve Transport Infrastructure - Ports: Lessons From Nigeria (English)
        Case study by UNCTAD, 2011, 87 pages
        Categories: Investment, Trade Facilitation

        The international trading system relies on the fast, low-cost movement of goods through global value chains. Maritime transportation systems are the most cost-effective way to ship freight over long-distances.Despite their importance, ports in many developing countries are characterized by underinvestment, low productivity, inefficient use of resources, high user prices, long delays, and ineffective services. In response to these problems, a rising number of developing countries have reformed governance models and introduced private investment and management in formerly State-dominated ports. Nigeria has been selected as a case study of a developing country that has exhibited best policy practices in attracting and benefiting from FDI in port terminals. This report reviews the reforms and concession process to identify lessons for other developing countries.

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        ICT Solutions to Facilitate Trade at Border Crossings and in Ports (English)
        Note by UNCTAD, 2006, 17 pages
        Categories: Science and Technology, Trade Facilitation

        What: This note calls on developing countries to improve their ICT usage in transport and customs, in order to keep pace with globalization, liberalization, and the global exigencies for supply chain security. The use of ICT in customs is particularly discussed in the context of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA). All in all, the paper advises developing countries to adopt the following measures: capacity building, IT infrastructure development, a regulatory reform, and a cooperative framework. How: An informative reading for courses on trade facilitation. Who: Anyone interested in the use of ICT for trade facilitation.

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        Implementation of multimodal transport rules (English)
        Report by UNCTAD Trade and transport facilitation branch, 2001, 55 pages
        Categories: International Economic Law, Trade Facilitation

        Gives an overview of multimodal transport rules and international, regional and national legislations. It argues in favor of an harmonization of legislation and studies transport laws in selected regions and developing countries. Background reading for teachers and researchers of trade facilitation issues. Provides examples on regional agreements (MERCOSUR, ASEAN etc.) and developing countries (Argentina, China, India etc.)

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        Implementation of multimodal transport rules - Comparative Tables (English)
        Annex by UNCTAD Trade and transport facilitation branch, 2001, 18 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        Comparative tables based on the paper Implementation of multimodal transport rules. Good summary of legislation in different countries and regional agreements (Mercosur, Asean, India, China, Paraguay…)

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        Implementing Gender-Aware Ex Ante Evaluations to Maximize the Benefits of Trade Reforms for Women (English)
        Policy brief by UNCTAD, 2016, 4 pages
        Categories: Trade and Gender, Trade Facilitation

        This policy brief aims to provide stakeholders with an understanding of the scope of ex ante evaluations. It unpacks the complex relationship between trade policies and gender in terms of liberalization and policy reform. It states that ex ante impact assessments constitute a valuable tool for identifying the impact of trade policies on gender-related outcomes and can contribute to the formation of policies or accompanying measures that maximize benefits for women.

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        Infrastructure and Employment Creation in the Middle East and North Africa (English)
        Case study by Antonio Estache, Elena Ianchovichina, Robert Bacon,Ilhem Salamon, 2013, 114 pages
        Categories: Competitiveness, Trade Facilitation

        The study discusses how infrastructure investments can help to stimulate employment creation in the immediate future while building foundations for sustainable growth and job creation in the MENA region.

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        Is South–south Trade a Testing Ground for Structural Transformation?
        Report by Klinger, Bailey/UNCTAD, 2009, 37 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Facilitation

        The purpose of this paper is to analyse the composition of South–South as opposed to South– North trade in recent years, applying emerging methodologies and highly disaggregated trade data to consider whether the South as a market provides developing countries with greater opportunities to transform their productive structures and move to more sophisticated export sectors than the Northern market does. The results show that for a group of developing countries, primarily in Africa, Latin America and Central Asia, exports within the South are more sophisticated and better connected in the product space than exports to the North, whereas the opposite is true for the faster-growing economies of Asia and Eastern Europe (excluding the Commonwealth of Independent States). It is shown that the primary source of cross-country variation in export sophistication and connectedness is between Northbound rather than Southbound export baskets. And yet it is clear that for a large group of developing countries, current export flows to the North are not particularly growth-enhancing, nor do they offer learning opportunities to fuel structural transformation, and for these countries South–South trade flows may indeed be a testing ground for structural transformation. This paper focuses on clearly establishing the facts about export composition by market, and identifying promising avenues for further investigation.

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        Joint Unrc Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation Survey 2015 (English)
        Report by UNRC, 2015, 44 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        This report features the results of the first UNRC's Joint Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation that was initiated in September 2014. The survey aims to enable countries and their development partners to better understand and monitor progress in trade facilitation, support evidence-based policy-making, identify good practices and define capacity building and technical assistance needs. It provides an overview of the current state of trade facilitation implementation in 119 economies across 8 regions worldwide, including some of the key trade facilitation measures featured in the WTO TFA Agreement, as well as more advanced cross-border paperless trade measures.

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        Les Marches D'informations Et Le E-commerce Au Cameroun /informations Markets And E-commerce In Cameroon
        Case study by kenou Liwuitekong Stephan, 2011
        Categories: Enterprise Development, Science and Technology, Trade Facilitation

        The digital revolution, like all technological revolutions that already transformed several times the economic and social environment is of actuality in our societies were they either developed or under-developed. Besides it could not let us indifferent, so this study were carried, and where we collected a number of information which allowed us to define what is an information market, E-commerce, and all concepts around the question as: the E - economy, the E - management, the new economy etc. So, in the goal to discern the level of information society and ICT impact on the degree of the E – Commerce uses, at the level of Cameroon, we proceeded by the primary and secondary data analysis. This permitted us to understand that the Cameroonian internet user was not sensitized enough about the E - Commerce and that the whole logistics as well as the infrastructure that goes with, was not yet enough developed. To this effect, a certain number of measures or actions have been suggested, as: more of sensitization, reduction of the costs of Internet, development of the infrastructures of telecommunications, etc. Nevertheless, one could hope of the best following days in this domain, seen the efforts that are provided by the Cameroonian government, in the popularization of the NTICS, as well as the slogan “Internet for all”. It is whereas the Cameroonian enterprises of all sizes as well as the consumers will be able to experiment in their way to manage their resources the kindness of the E – Commerce.

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        Maritime Piracy Part I: An Overview of Trends, Costs and Trade-related Implications
        Report by UNCTAD, 2014, 47 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        The report considers the costs and trade-related implications of maritime piracy and takes stock of regulatory and other initiatives pursued by the international community in an effort to combat piracy. Part I of the report presents overall trends in maritime piracy and related crimes, and highlights some of the key issues at stake by focusing on its costs and broader trade-related implications.

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        Maritime Piracy (part Ii): An Overview of the International Legal Framework and of Multilateral Cooperation to Combat Piracy
        Report by UNCTAD, 2014, 82 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        The report considers the costs and trade-related implications of maritime piracy and takes stock of regulatory and other initiatives pursued by the international community in an effort to combat piracy. Part II of the report provides an overview of the contemporary international legal regime for countering piracy and identifies key examples of international cooperation and multilateral initiatives to combat the phenomenon.

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        Maritime Security: Elements of an Analytical Framework for Compliance Measurement and Risk Assessment (English)
        Working paper by UNCTAD, 2006, 16 pages
        Categories: International Economic Law, Trade Facilitation

        What: This paper analyzes the impact of new maritime security measures, most notably the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, on international trade. In particular, the paper discusses risk assessment and management techniques within the maritime security framework. After identifying drawbacks of the existing framework, the paper introduces an alternative approach. Most notably, it differs from the old framework in not concentrating on the security of facilities but in seeking to ensure supply chain security of maritime transports. How: Can be used in a course on international trade as a reading on transport regulations. Besides, the paper could be used as a reading for a course on international economic law. Who: Researchers, students, and policy-makers interested in maritime transport regulations.

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        Maritime Security: ISPS Code Implementation, Costs and Related Financing (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2006, 51 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        On 1 July 2004, the 2002 amendments to the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the new International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), entered into force and became mandatory for all SOLAS Member States. The SOLAS amendments and the ISPS Code (hereinafter the ISPS Code) impose wide-ranging obligations on governments, shipping companies, and port facilities. Implementing these obligations entails costs and potential economic implications. Against this background, UNCTAD conducted a global study based on a set of questionnaires designed to obtain first hand information from all affected parties. The main objective was to establish the range and order of magnitude of the ISPS Code-related expenditures made from 2003 through 2005 and to gain insight into the financing mechanisms adopted or envisaged. In addition the study sought to clarify matters relating to the implementation process, level of compliance and other less easily quantifiable impacts. Due to limited responses received from the shipping sector the report presents responses received from ports and governments only.

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        The New Frontier of Competitiveness in Developing Countries - Implementing Trade Facilitation
        Report by UNCTAD, 2014, 62 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        This report consolidates results from 26 national implementation plans (comprise of LDCs, middle income developing economies, landlocked countries, and small island economies in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America.) to help assess the progress thus far achieved in the implementation of the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) as negotiated at the WTO. The report is intended to serve as a guidance tool for trade facilitation policy makers at the national, regional, and multilateral levels in both developed and developing countries.

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        Oil Prices and Maritime Freight Rates: An Empirical Investigation (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2010, 40 pages
        Categories: Commodities, Trade Facilitation

        The study assesses the effect of oil prices on maritime freight rates for containerized goods and two particular commodities, iron ore and crude oil. Results also indicate that, since 2004, the elasticity of container freight rates to oil prices is larger; this suggests that the effect of oil prices\\non container freight rates increases in periods of sharply rising and more volatile oil prices. The results are of particular interest in view of increasing oil supply constraints expected over the coming decades which may lead to significant increases in oil prices, possibly to levels which have not yet been reached.

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        Policy Coherence and Coordination for Trade Facilitation: Integrated Border Management, Single-Windows and Other Options for Developing Countries (English)
        Working paper by Alburo, Florian / ARTNet, 2008, 22 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        There is now increasing recognition of the critical importance of trade facilitation to further international commerce, accelerate growth, and enhance welfare if not alleviate poverty among trading nations. But there is also increasing appreciation that it is not just attention to the barriers and bottlenecks behind-the-border that are involved in trade facilitation (TF), it also calls for coherence between policies and regulations at the border and inside the border. It is argued here that while policy coherence and coordination are important for TF, integrated border management (IBM) and single-windows (SW) are not the only ways for achieving them. Indeed the IBM and SW may actually be the special cases given the limited experiences around. The next section highlights the difference between policy coherence for trade facilitation and the narrower issue of coordination for trade facilitation through a discussion of the relationship between domestic interests and trade. The third section looks at IBM and SW and the extent to which they reflect policy coherence and coordination. A final section considers alternative solutions to policy coherence and coordination in TF than IBM and SW.

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        Regional Integration in South Asia: What Role for Trade Facilitation? (English)
        Working paper by Wilson, John S.; Otsuki, Tsunehiro /World Bank, 2007, 37 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        The trade performance of countries in South Asia over the past two decades has been poor relative to other regions. Exports from South Asia have doubled over the past 20 years to approximately USD 100 billion. In contrast, East Asia's exports grew ten times over the same period. The low level of intraregional trade has contributed to weak export performance in South Asia. The empirical analysis in this paper demonstrates gains to trade in the region from reform and capacity building in trade facilitation at the regional level. When considering intraregional trade, if countries in South Asia raise capacity halfway to East Asia's average, trade is estimated to rise by USD 2.6 billion. This is approximately 60 percent of the total intraregional trade in South Asia. Countries in the region also have a stake in the success of efforts to promote capacity building outside its borders. If South Asia and the rest of the world were to raise their levels of trade facilitation halfway to the East Asian average, the gains to the region would be estimated at USD 36 billion. Out of those gains, about 87 percent of the total would be generated from South Asia's own efforts (leaving the rest of the world unchanged). In summary, we find that the South Asian region's expansion of trade can be substantially advanced with programs of concrete action to address barriers to trade facilitation to advance regional goals.

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        Regionalism and Trade Facilitation: a Primer (English)
        Working paper by Maur, Jean-Christophe / World Bank, 2008, 40 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        This paper investigates when trade facilitation reform should be undertaken at the regional level. First, looking at both efficiency and implementation considerations, it confirms the perception that the regional dimension matters. Investigating where efficiency gains can be made, this research explains why national markets alone fail to produce the full scale economies and positive externalities of trade facilitation reform. Second, because trade facilitation policies need to address coordination and capacity failures, and because of the operational complexity challenge, the choice of the adequate platform for delivering reform is crucial. The lessons are that regional trade agreements offer good prospects of comprehensive and effective reform and can effectively complement multilateral and national initiatives. However, examples of implementation of trade facilitation reform in regional agreements do not seem to indicate that regional integration approaches have been more successful than trade facilitation through specific cooperation agreements or other efforts, multilateral or unilateral. Customs unions may be an exception here, and the author suggests reasons why this could be the case.

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        Rethinking Development Strategies After the Financial Crisis, Volume Ii: Countries Studies and International Comparisons (English)
        Report by Alfredo Calcagno, Sebastian Dullien, Alejandro Márquez-Velázquez, Nicolas Maystre, Jan Priewe (ed), 2016, 105 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        Theoretical thinking on economic development largely relies on comparative analysis. In particular, it explores the reasons why some countries or regions have performed better than others in the long run. Essays in Volume II of this publication contribute to this approach, as well as examining why the performance in a given country or group of countries has improved or deteriorated in the long-term depending on changing development strategies.

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        Review of Maritime Transport 2005 (English)
        Report by UNCTAD Secretariat, 2005, 144 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        What: A report on the main issues in maritime transport: international seaborne trade, world shipping markets, trade and freight markets, port development, trade and transport efficiency. Who: For teacher and researcher interested in the transport facilitation issues particularly maritime transport How: Detailed analysis with up-to-date data and case study on Asia (chapter 7).

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        Review of Maritime Transport 2007 (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2007, 167 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        The latest edition of this publication provides statistical information on international trade and transport, particularly maritime transport and related services. In addition to information on the world fleet, ports, trade and freight markets, this year's review also contains special chapters on legal and regulatory developments, and on Asia . The review should be of interest to researchers and lecturers dealing with economic or legal issues of maritime transport, not only due to the large amount of data provided, but also for its analysis of regulatory developments and other relevant developments in the field of transport and supply chain security.

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        Review of Maritime Transport 2009
        Report by UNCTAD, 2009, 219 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        Description: The year 2008 marked a major turning point in the history of the world economy and trade. Growth in the world economy slowed abruptly in the last part of 2008, with the deepening of the global financial crisis. Growth in developing economies and countries with economies in transition has turned out to be less resilient than expected. In tandem with the global economic downturn and reduced trade, growth in international seaborne trade decelerated in 2008, expanding by 3.6 per cent as compared with 4.5 per cent in 2007. The volume of international seaborne trade in 2008 was estimated as 8.17 billion tons reflection a sharp decline in demand for consumption goods, as well as a fall in industrial production in major economies and reduced energy demand, the deceleration in seaborne volumes affected all shipping sectors. Existing forecasts suggest that the outlook for seaborne trade is uncertain and that some challenging times lie ahead for shipping and international seaborne trade. These challenges are further compounded by other developments, including maritime security at sea and the need to address the climate change challenge.

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        The Review of Maritime Transport 2011
        Review by UNCTAD, 2011, 233 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        This annual report closely monitors developments affecting world seaborne trade, freight rates, ports, surface transport and logistics services, as well as trends in ship ownership and control and fleet age, tonnage supply and productivity. In addition, the RMT contains a chapter on legal and regulatory developments and a special chapter analysing the participation of developing countries in different maritime businesses.

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        Review of Maritime Transport 2014: Special Chapter on Small Island Developing States
        Report by UNCTAD, 2014, 136 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        The Review of Maritime Transport provides an analysis of structural and cyclical changes affecting seaborne trade, ports and shipping, as well as an extensive collection of statistical information. The 2014 edition provides data and insights on the issue of seaborne trade, the world fleet, freight rates, seaports and the legal and regulatory developments.

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        Review of Maritime Transport 2015 (English)
        Also available in Russian, Chinese
        Report by UNCTAD, 2015, 122 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Policy Reviews and Briefs, Trade Facilitation

        The Review of Maritime Transport aims to foster the transparency of maritime markets and analyzes relevant developments. The year 2015 is a milestone for sustainable development. The international community has a unique opportunity to strengthen its commitment to sustainable development and consider how best to mainstream sustainability principles across all economic activities and sectors, including maritime transport. In this context, in addition to the review of key economic and legal developments, the present edition of the Review of Maritime Transport highlights some issues that are at the interface of maritime transport and sustainability.

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        Review of Maritime Transport 2016 (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2016, 118 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        The 2016 Review of Maritime Transport discusses long-term growth prospects for seaborne trade and maritime business. It argues these prospects are positive and that there are ample opportunities for developing countries to generate income and employment and help promote foreign trade.

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        The Role of Ict in Implementation of the Wto Trade Facilitation Agreement: Some Preliminary Reflections (English)
        Policy brief by Lacey, Simon/ARTNet, 2016, 8 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        This policy brief aims to highlight some ways that Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) will play a role in helping WTO members implement their commitments under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). It argues that there are ways ICT can be leveraged to enhance and facilitate WTO members in realizing the objectives inherent to the TFA.

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        Sand in the Wheels: Non-Tariff Measures and Regional Integration in Sadc (English)
        Report by Vanzetti et al/UNCTAD, 2016, 33 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        Non-tariff measures (NTMs) are policy measures, other than ordinary customs tariffs, that can potentially have an economic effect on international trade in goods, changing quantities traded, or prices or both. The most common NTMs in SADC are sanitary and phyto-sanitary restrictions, certification procedures, quantity control measures, other technical regulations, government procurement, investment restrictions and intellectual property rights. Some measures are legitimate, such as those relating to food safety and the introduction of invasive species, but other measures may be used to limit trade to protect domestic producers or trade restrictiveness unintentionally exceeds what is needed for the measure’s non-trade objectives. It is relatively simple to list the numerous non-tariff measures, but assessing their impact is more difficult. Two methods involve trying to measure the effect on quantity using a gravity model or by looking at the gap between world and domestic prices. To illustrate the methodology and potential impacts of reducing barriers, we assume SADC countries have similar NTMs as the average for Africa. The impacts on trade, output, employment and incomes of reducing these barriers are assessed using a global general equilibrium model. Depending on the initial trade flows and the magnitude and scope for removing the trade distorting effects of non-tariff measures, the increases in national exports are up to 2.2 per cent. National output, employment and incomes will also increase in all SADC countries

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        Services Liberalization From a WTO/GATS Perspective : In Search Of Volunteers (English)
        Working paper by Adlung, Rudolf, 2009, 26 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        There has been virtually no liberalization under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) to date. Most existing commitments are confined to guaranteeing the levels of access that existed in the mid-1990s, when the Agreement entered into force, in a limited number of sectors. The only significant exceptions are the accession schedules of recent WTO Members and the negotiating results in two sectors (financial services and, in particular, basic telecommunications) that were achieved after the Uruguay Round. The offers tabled so far in the ongoing Round would not add a lot of substance either. Apparently, negotiators are 'caught between a rock and a hard place'. For one thing, the traditional mercantilist paradigm, relying on reciprocal exchanges of concessions, seems to be provide less momentum than in the goods area. For another, there are additional - technical, economic and political - frictions that tend to render services negotiations more complicated, timeconsuming and resource-intensive. The no elty of the Agreement adds an additional element of legal uncertainty from a negotiator's perspective. This paper discusses various options that might help to overcome the ensuing reticence to engage. Few appear within reach at present, however. The bare minimum that would need to be achieved is to revive work on scheduling and classification issues with a view to putting both existing commitments and new offers on a safer footing, and to improve compliance with long-existing information/notification obligations.

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        Services Liberalization in Transition Economies: the Case of North and Central Asia (English)
        Working paper by Soprana, Mata/ARTNet & UN ESCAP, 2016, 32 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Facilitation

        This paper offers a review, analysis and assessment of the status of services liberalization in North and Central Asia. This study provides an overview of the binding commitments undertaken by transition economies under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and an evaluation of how they compare to domestic policy reform, with a focus on the three transition economies that most recently acceded to the WTO: Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Tajikistan. It proceeds to explore the scope of interest in services liberalization in North and Central Asia, highlighting the reasons behind the relative little attention so far received by the services sector in the region.

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        Timeliness and Contract Enforceability in Intermediate Goods Trade (English)
        Working paper by Gamberoni, Elisa, Lanz, Rainer, Piermartini, Roberta,, 2010, 26 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This paper shows that the institutional environment and the ability to export on time are sources of comparative advantage as important as factors of production. In particular, the ability to export on time is crucial to explain comparative advantage in intermediate goods. These findings underscore the importance of investing in infrastructure and fostering trade facilitation to boost a country's participation in production networks. Furthermore, we contribute to the so-called "distance puzzle" by showing that the increasing importance of distance over time is in part driven by trade in intermediate goods.

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        Trade and Development Report 2016 (Overview): Structural Transformation for Inclusive and Sustained Growth (Overview) (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2016, 34 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Facilitation

        The Trade and Development Report 2016: Structural Transformation for Inclusive and Sustained Growth (Overview) provides an introduction to the main Trade and Development Report. It outlines the policy challenges of the 2030 development agenda, and provides a synopsis of global trends and forecasts of the year ahead. The overview also summarizes the antinomies of globalization, the missing linkages, reconnecting trade to structural transformation, an unhealthy investment climate and the industrial policy redux addressed in the report.

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        Trade and Development Report 2016: Structural Transformation for Inclusive and Sustained Growth (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2016, 251 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Facilitation

        The Trade and Development Report 2016: Structural Transformation for Inclusive and Sustained Growth, examines one of the big policy challenges at the center of the 2030 development agenda: how to establish strong linkages and complementary policies across the range of productive sectors needed to establish a virtuous circle of rising and shared prosperity. The Report addresses such issues as the "middle income trap", "premature deindustrialization" and the "natural resource curse" through an examination of trade specialization, investment financing and the effective use of industrial policies.

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        Trade and Environment Review 2016: Fish Trade (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2016, 95 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Facilitation, Trade Related Capacity Building

        The 2016 Trade and Environment Review on fish trade examines issues pertinent to the promotion of sustainable use of living marine resources mainly fish in healthy oceans and seas. It focuses on trade in fish within the context of the oceans economy, often also referred to as the blue economy, in terms of challenges and opportunities for the global community in implementing Agenda 2030 and specifically SDG 14. The report is structured in three parts. Part I focuses on the international and regional (governance and legal) framework for oceans and sustainable fisheries and to future trade trends and prospects, including the potential impact of climate change. Part II of the TER provides a prognosis of international trade in fish and fish products by 2035. And Part III addresses the difficult matter of harmful incentives that facilitate overfishing and leads to fish stock depletion, primarily in terms of IUU fishing and fisheries subsidies.

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        Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism (Ttfmm) in Bangladesh- Baseline Study (English)
        Report by Tengfei Wang, Mohammad Farhad, 2017, 77 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        As the key outcome of the baseline study of Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism (TTFMM) in Bangladesh, the current synthesis report is derived from a series of studies carried out by the same project team and is targeted for policy makers, governmental officials, and the general public. Given the nature of the baseline study, the current report is aimed to not only report current trade facilitation in Bangladesh but also to lay a foundation for future studies and the establishment of long-term sustainable TTFMM. Accordingly, this report covers topics such as the importance of trade facilitation, the crucial role of TTFMM for continued improvement of trade facilitation, the key methodology for data collection called Business Process Analysis Plus (BPA+), and the rationale for defining the scope of monitoring.

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        Trade Facilitation and Microfinance for Poverty Reduction in the Greater Mekong Subregion: A Case Study of Thailand
        Working paper by Cheewatrakoolpong, Kornkarum; Mallikamas, Sothitorn; Phupoxsakul, Kawin, 2013, 52 pages
        Categories: Finance for Development, Trade Facilitation

        This paper examines whether trade facilitation measures benefit the poor and explores the role of microfinance in supporting the utilization of the trade facilitation initiatives. The focus of the study is on the Economic Corridors and Cross Border Transportation Agreement, an Asian Development Bank programme to facilitate trade in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The paper shows that trade facilitation measures have brought about major improvements in transportation between Thailand and its neighbouring countries. This has helped considerably in promoting tourism, export activities, labour movement and investment activities. However, the poor and microenterprises still face many obstacles in taking advantage of such opportunities due to their inability to access financing as well as a lack of relevant skills and knowledge.

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        Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation: 2013/14 Asia-Pacific Update (English)
        Working paper by Wang, Tengfei and Duval, Yann, 2014, 40 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This paper provides a unique set of data on the progress made by 29 countries in Asia and the Pacific in implementing various trade facilitation and paperless trade measures in 2013/14, as well as estimates of the benefits from moving forward with implementation. An important finding is that most countries do not regularly assess or publish release times, pointing to the lack of effective national trade facilitation monitoring mechanisms. The study reveals that, at the regional level, automation and paperless trade, including establishment of national single window, were the key focus of trade facilitation reforms in 2013. Enabling cross-border paperless trade is identified as the most challenging task to further advance trade facilitation in Asia-Pacific, highlighting the need for timely conclusion of a regional arrangement to facilitate cross-border recognition and exchange of trade-related electronic data and documents.

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        Trade Facilitation and Poverty Reduction: China - ASEAN Region Case Study (English)
        Working paper by Wu, Laping /ARTNeT, 2013, 39 pages
        Categories: Trade and Poverty, Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        Trade facilitation has been a key part in the opening up process of China. This paper aims to investigate the linkage between trade facilitation and poverty reduction in China. It discusses the impact of the trade facilitation practices in China and the China - ASEAN cooperation on trade between China and ASEAN countries. A provincial panel data set for China from 2000 to 2008 is employed to quantify the impact of agricultural imports, agricultural exports and trade facilitation on poverty. The results show that a 1 per cent increase in port efficiency results in a 1.051 per cent decrease in the poverty index.

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        Trade Facilitation and Poverty Reduction in Asia and the Pacific: A Case Study of a South Asian Economic Corridor
        Working paper by De, Prabir and Raychaudhuri, Ajitava/ARTNeT, 2013, 60 pages
        Categories: Trade and Poverty, Trade Facilitation

        Based on primary survey data, this study assesses the potential impact of trade facilitation on poverty reduction in the region falling under SAARC Corridor 1, which is one of the leading corridors in South Asia that handles considerably good amount of overland trade between three major South Asian countries, namely, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan and also their global trade. One of the conclusions of this study is that poverty reduction, in the perception of the individuals connected with trade, depends on reduction in trade barriers through better trade facilitation. However, in the perception of the trading firms, better infrastructure which facilitates more trade is tagged with a positive response about decline of poverty.

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        Trade facilitation - An introduction (English)
        Presentation by Maxence Orthlieb, UNCTAD, 2002, 21 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        Presentation on how to improve transport services and promote trade efficiency in developing countries. It analyses the problems faced by developing countries, UNCTAD's work on trade facilitation and WTO rules. Could be used by teachers in their courses.

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        Trade Facilitation Beyond the Multilateral Trade Negotiations: Regional Practices, Customs Valuation and Other Emerging Issues (English)
        Working paper by Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), 2007, 333 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        The series of studies provides an overview of trade facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region, both in relation to WTO negotiations and regional and bilateral trade initiatives and agreements. Of particular interest is the information about how trade facilitation is being handled by different regional trade initiatives. Other studies look in greater detail at some broader aspects of concern to exporters and importers, such as rules of origin and customs valuation (a comparative analysis of customs valuation in India, Nepal and Fiji). The collection also contains two studies which focus more broadly on trade logistics - one examining the relationship between liberalization in the logistics sector in Australia and trade facilitation, and the other estimating the effects of trade transaction costs, including transport costs and underdeveloped infrastructure, on bilateral trade flows of 10 Asian developing countries. The value of different studies included in the collection is among others in the empirical data and information about the region that they present. Finally, the concluding chapter provides policy recommendations with regard to a meaningful multilateral agreement on trade facilitation.

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        Trade Facilitation from an African Perspective (English)
        Working paper by UNECA, 2013, 71 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        In the context of negotiations on the proposed agreement on trade facilitation, this paper provides a thorough analysis of key trade facilitation issues from an African perspective, highlighting what is at stake for the continent, thereby contributing to inform the opinions of African negotiators at a critical juncture. The premise of this analysis is that there is a consensus in the empirical literature, regardless of the methodology utilized, on the positive and significant impact trade facilitation could have for Africa’s trade performance.

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        Trade Facilitation Handbook, Part II: Technical Notes on Essential Trade Facilitation Measures (English)
        Book by UNCTAD, 2006, 86 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        What: Part II of this Handbook consists of a collation of technical notes on the most important trade facilitation measures countries should consider when reforming their trade, transport and customs operations. Each note discusses the background of the topic, its implications and its efficient implementation, and cost-benefit analyses. Besides, each note provides pertinent references and tools. The topics covered include: Publications of trade regulations and their uniform administration, electronic media in trade-related publications, integrity and ethical conduct of officials, levy of fees and charges, use of customs automation systems, risk management in customs procedures background, freedom of transit and regional transit arrangements, and border cooperation and cooperation amongst agencies, authorities and the private sector in relation to transit. How: A very helpful reference for courses on trade facilitation. Who: Primarily policy-makers working on trade facilitation, but also students and researchers dealing with this topic.

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        Trade Facilitation Handbook Part I - National Facilitation Bodies: Lessons from Experience (English)
        Book by UNCTAD, 2006, 26 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        What: At first, the handbook presents case-studies of the experiences of Albania, Nepal, Pakistan and Thailand with building up PRO committees (trade facilitation bodies, charged with improving customs, cross-border transactions and best practices in trade). By comparing these countries the handbook advances recommendations for establishing PRO committees, hereby emphasizing the cooperation with regional trade facilitation bodies and the needed support by international organizations. Besides, the handbook puts forward the lessons learned from past such cooperation efforts. How: A useful background reading for trade-facilitation training or university courses. Who: Government officials, trade and transport services providers, and transport users.

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        Trade Facilitation Potential of Asian Transit Agreements in the Context of the WTO (English)
        Working paper by Cousin, Louis and Duval, Yann, 2014, 37 pages
        Categories: Emerging Economies and South South Cooperation, Trade Facilitation, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        This paper examines how freedom of transit and transit facilitation are addressed in trade, transport as well as transit specific agreements in the ESCAP region, with a view to identifying good practices and the extent to which existing agreements meet the transit facilitation provisions set out in the draft text of the WTO trade facilitation agreement (TFA). Following an overview of the provisions on transit found in 153 preferential trade agreements involving ESCAP countries, the study provides a more detailed analysis of a sample of 19 international transport and transit agreements in Asia in terms of their trade facilitation potential. Although some useful provisions for transit facilitation considered during the WTO negotiations did not find their way into the final TFA, the text agreed in Bali strengthens the basis for implementation of freedom of transit in the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, the analysis highlights the complexity of the existing legal environment for transit and suggests a need for further enhancing inter-agency coordination and strengthening of multilateral rules in this area, building on the “good practices” found in the many existing bilateral, regional and multilateral instruments.

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        Trade Facilitation Terms: An English - Russian Glossary
        Manual by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), 2008, 274 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        This English-Russian Glossary of trade facilitation terms is intended as an authoritative international reference for translators and specialists in trade facilitation in the Russian-speaking world.

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        Trade Policy Framework: Angola (English)
        Report by Chisanga, Edward/ UNCTAD; Mathew, Thomas/ UNCTAD, 2016, 92 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        The study examines Angola’s participation in international trade and its existing trade policy, and seeks to recommend some areas of policy changes that may help the Government to improve its trade performance and bring about inclusive development. As regards merchandise trade, the study identifies several sectors that could be usefully explored for the country’s export diversification efforts, particularly through accelerated agro-based industries development. As regards trade services, the study identifies some key services sectors in which reforms and improvement in the supply side would be necessary to boost trade. For telecommunications services, it calls for raising funds to create a broadband infrastructure in order to connect all urban and rural geographic regions of the country and establish connections with the regional infrastructures supporting the development of telecommunications. For tourism services, it calls for development of the Angolan tourism services through quality products, incorporating the regional, cultural and natural diversity and to stimulate and facilitate the consumption of Angolan tourism products in the national, intraregional and international market.

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        Trade Policy, Trade Costs, and Developing Country Trade (English)
        Working paper by Hoekman, Bernard; Nicita, Alessandro / World Bank, 2008, 23 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This paper briefly reviews new indices of trade restrictiveness and trade facilitation that have been developed at the World Bank. The paper also compares the trade impact of different types of trade restrictions applied at the border with the effects of domestic policies that affect trade costs. Based on a gravity regression framework, the analysis suggests that tariffs and non-tariff measures continue to be a significant source of trade restrictiveness for low-income countries despite preferential access programs. This is because the value of trade preferences is quite limited: a new measure of the relative preference margin developed in the paper reveals that this is very low for most country-pairs. Most countries with very good (duty-free) access to a market generally have competitors that have the same degree of access. The empirical analysis suggests that measures to improve logistics performance and facilitate trade are likely to have the greatest positive effects in expanding developing country trade, increasing the trade impacts of lowering remaining border barriers by a factor of two or more.

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        Transparency, Trade Costs, and Regional Integration in the Asia Pacific (English)
        Working paper by Helble, Matthias; Shepherd, Ben; Wilson, John S. /World Bank, 2007, 39 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        The authors show in this paper that increasing the transparency of the trading environment can be an important complement to traditional liberalization of tariff and non-tariff barriers. Our definition of transparency is grounded in a transaction cost analysis. The authors focus on two dimensions of transparency: predictability (reducing the cost of uncertainty) and simplification (reducing information costs). Using the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies as a case study, the authors construct indices of importer and exporter transparency for the region from a wide range of sources. Our results from a gravity model suggest that improving trade-related transparency in APEC could hold significant benefits by raising intra-APEC trade by proximately USD 148 billion or 7.5 pecent of baseline trade in the region.

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        Trips Flexibilities and Anti-Counterfeit Legislation in Kenya and the East African Community (English)
        Discussion paper by UNCTAD, 2016, 26 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Facilitation

        UNCTAD assists in the implementation of flexibilities in intellectual property (IP) rights available under the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The full use of TRIPS flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, to provide access to medicines for all, is a target under Sustainable Development Goal 3 ("Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages").The availability of TRIPS flexibilities creates the legal space for the production of generic medicines, and may thus provide important incentives for foreign generic firms to invest in a country's domestic pharmaceutical sector. UNCTAD considers the use of TRIPS flexibilities as an important element to promote generic pharmaceutical investment and domestic enterprise development under sustainable investment policy frameworks.2 In order for such frameworks to be coherent and effective, policy makers should avoid discrepancies between the use of TRIPS flexibilities, the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs), and domestic laws and policies on drug regulation. This paper aims to make a contribution to the ongoing debate in Kenya and the East African Community (EAC) about substandard drugs, access to medicines, local pharmaceutical production, and the role of IPRs enforcement and drug regulatory laws.

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        UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport 2008 (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2008, 200 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        UNCTAD´s Review of Maritime Transport has been published annually since 1968. With more than 80% of international trade in goods being carried by sea, and an even higher percentage for the trade of most developing countries, the Review of Maritime Transport is an important source of information for a broad audience. While the main focus of the Review is on maritime transport, it also contains some information on developments in multimodal transport covering land based transport systems. The Review provides some analysis of structural and cyclical changes affecting trade and transport, especially in developing economies as well as an extensive collection of statistical information on maritime transport and related services.The 2008 edition of the Review covers developments in 2007 and incorporates initial results for 2008. It also supplements long-term statistical series with new data.

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        Unctad Review of Maritime Transport 2012
        Report by UNCTAD, 2012, 196 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        This year's Review notes that world seaborne trade grew by 4 per cent in 2011, whereas the tonnage of the world fleet grew at a greater rate, by almost 10 per cent, as shipowners took delivery of vessels that had been ordered before the economic crisis began. With supply outstripping demand, freight rates fell even further, to unprofitable levels for most shipping companies. For importers and exporters, however, the low freight rates helped to reduce transaction costs, which is important for helping to revive global trade.

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        Using Supply Chain Analysis to Examine the Costs of Non-tariff Measures (ntms) and the Benefits of Trade Facilitation (English)
        Working paper by Ferrantino, Michael J., 2012, 33 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        It has become increasingly common to produce goods in a number of geographically dispersed stages linked by international trade. This tendency, known by names such as “production fragmentation”, “processing trade”, and “vertical specialization”, has important implications for the analysis of nontariff measures (NTMs) and trade facilitation. First, different types of NTMs or trade facilitation issues are naturally associated with different stages in the movement of goods. Different price gaps can be assigned to these stages, making it possible to decompose the overall amount of distortion and to prioritize the policies with the largest potential efficiency gains. Second, NTMs may accumulate in long supply chains, implying that their trade-distorting effects are greater for goods produced in a fragmented manner than for goods with simple production processes. There is evidence that trade costs are more important for high technology goods or goods undergoing several stages of processing. Issues with product standards may be particularly important for goods with long supply chains. The link between NTMs and supply chains also has implications for economic development and for the relationship between liberalization in services and goods.

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        The Way to the Ocean - Transit Corridors Servicing the Trade of Landlocked Developing Countries (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2013, 36 pages
        Categories: Emerging Economies and South South Cooperation, Trade Facilitation

        This report looks at selected East African transit corridors which provide access to seaports as gateways to link landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) with overseas trading partners, and suggests complementary courses of action to improve transit transport efficiency and sustainability.

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        What Constrains Africa's Exports? (English)
        Working paper by Freund, Caroline, Rocha, Nadia, 2010, 22 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation

        We examine the effects of transit, documentation, and ports and customs delays on Africa’s exports. We find that transit delays have the most economically and statically significant effect on exports. A one day reduction in inland travel times leads to a 7 percent increase in exports. Put another way, a one day reduction in inland travel times translates into 1.5 percentage point decrease in all importing-country tariffs. In contrast, longer delays in the other areas have a far smaller impact on trade. We control for the possibility that greater trade leads to shorter delays in three ways. First, we examine the effect of trade times on exports of new products. Second, we evaluate the effect of delays in a transit country on the exports of landlocked countries. Third, we examine whether delays affect time-sensitive goods relatively more. We show that large transit delays are relatively more harmful because of high within-country variation..

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        Who Profits from Trade Facilitation Initiatives? (English)
        Working paper by Hoekman, Bernard and Shepherd, Ben/ARTNeT, 2013, 32 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        Extensive research has demonstrated the existence of large potential welfare gains from trade facilitation—measures to reduce the overall costs of the international movement of goods. From an equity perspective an important question is how those benefits are distributed across and within nations. The paper evaluates the possible impacts of trade facilitation, and uses firm-level data for a wide variety of developing countries to investigate whether it is mostly large firms that benefit from trade facilitation. It finds that firms of all sizes export more in response to improved trade facilitation, suggesting that trade facilitation can be beneficial in a range of countries, including those that are primarily involved in value chains as suppliers.

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        The World Trade Report 2015 - Speeding Up Trade: Benefits and Challenges of Implementing the Wto Trade Facilitation Agreement (English)
        Also available in French, Spanish
        Report by WTO, 2015, 157 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        The World Trade Report 2015 summarizes the trade situation in 2014 and early 2015 and examines the benefits and challenges of implementing the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The Report finds that developing countries will benefit significantly from the TFA, capturing a large part of the available gains. In addition, it identifies a range of other benefits from the TFA. These include diversification of exports from developing countries and least-developed countries to include new products and partners, increased involvement of these countries in global value chains, expanded participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in international trade, increased foreign direct investment, greater revenue collection and reduced incidence of corruption.

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        World Trade Report 2016 - Levelling the trading field for SMEs (English)
        Report by Auboin et al/WTO, 2016, 182 pages
        Categories: Enterprise Development, Trade Facilitation, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        The report provides a examines the participation of small and medium -sized enterprises (SMEs) in international trade. It examines how the international trade landscape is changing and what the multilateral trading system does and can do to encourage more widespread and inclusive SME participation in global markets.

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        WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement - A Business Guide for Developing Countries (English)
        Manual by ITC, 2013, 44 pages
        Categories: Trade Facilitation, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        The guide explains the significance of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation and the reasons why it was proposed. It aims at helping business communities in developing countries understand the obligations that these countries have taken on or will do so in the future; gives an overview of the main provisions of the agreement; explains how it is intended to ease border controls for business, and how business can still influence the way that governments implement the obligations and specific commitments they have undertaken in reaching the Agreement.

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