unctad.org | Multi-year expert meeting on transport and trade facilitation (second session)
Multi-year expert meeting on transport and trade facilitation (second session)
07 - 10 December 2009

Key Issues

Public and private partnerships for the development of infrastructure to facilitate trade and transport

Transport and trade facilitation infrastructure and services have become essential components for developing countries´ competitiveness in the global market. The demand for ever faster and more reliable trade logistics services has drawn increasing attention to trade and transport facilitation, which can be more important than tariffs in determining the cost of traded goods.

This creates particular challenges for landlocked developing countries confronted with the need to connect to global shipping networks through neighbouring countries´ seaports, combined with multiple border crossings and the long distances of many overland transport routes.

Partnerships between the public sector and the relevant business sectors are critical in enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of transport and trade infrastructures and services. Governments are increasingly seeking private partners for the financing, building, operation and maintenance of such infrastructure and services. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have proven to be successful cooperative means for the provision of public infrastructure and services. Different models for PPPs reflect the diversity of possible contractual relationships.

In the context of the current economic crisis, investment in transport infrastructure and services is confronted with additional challenges. Both the public and the private sectors have found their possibilities to obtain financing reduced, and it is important that both sectors work closely together to prevent a cyclical decline in transport investment today from resulting in capacity constraints and obstacles to trade tomorrow.

The meeting will explore modalities and best practices for PPPs and the role of technology in developing and operating efficient transport infrastructure and services to facilitate international trade and transport in developing countries.

The meeting will take into account the implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action in Land-Locked and Transit Developing Countries as well as specific issues faced by least developed countries and small island developing States.

It will also consider the potential impact of future commitments ensuing from the World Trade Organization negotiations on trade facilitation.

The findings and recommendations of this expert meeting will be reported to the second session of the Trade and Development Commission, to be held 3-7 May 2010.


E-Forum
Transport and Trade Facilitation

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Input from experts:

Experts nominated by member States are encouraged to submit brief papers (approximately five pages) as contributions to the work of the meeting.

The papers will be made available at the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.

Papers should be submitted to the UNCTAD secretariat by 23 November 2009 and addressed to:

Ms. Maria Misovicova
Trade Logistics Branch
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

F.: +41 22 917 0050
E.: maria.misovicova@unctad.org

Agenda

Documents

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Notification

The Trade and Development Board, at its fifty-fifth session, approved the terms of reference for a Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport and Trade Facilitation. In accordance with the terms of reference, the second session of the multi-year expert meeting will focus on "public and private partnerships for the development of infrastructure to facilitate trade and transport".

The expert meeting will be held from 8 to 10 December 2009 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, in room XXI. It will be inaugurated at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 8 December.

Participation

Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts in areas of transport infrastructure and services, border crossing issues, trade facilitation and logistics, and related information and communication technologies at an early date and not later than 23 November 2009.

Experts, who will participate in the meeting in a personal capacity, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject and may be selected from government and non-governmental organizations, private sector or academia.

Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting, as well as non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by 23 November 2009.

Financial assistance

Depending on the availability of funding in the Trust Fund for Financing the Participation of Experts at the time, funds may be made available to finance the participation of a limited number of officially nominated experts from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Governments requiring funding are therefore invited to explicitly request financing in their letters of nomination. The decision as to which experts should receive financing will be based on the principle of equitable geographical representation; needs of beneficiaries, in particular least developed countries; and the expertise of the experts concerned. Changes in nominated experts will be considered as new nominations.

Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 9 November 2009 and should be accompanied by the following information about the nominee:

  • Curriculum vitae

  • Mailing address

  • Telephone and fax number

  • E-mail address

  • Name of a contact person in the Permanent Mission in Geneva

It should be noted in this connection that, once the list of experts to be financed has been finalized, all travel arrangements will be made in accordance with United Nations rules and regulations, although use of the least costly fare will be authorized.

Background documents and contributed papers

The provisional agenda for the meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, will be circulated as document TD/B/C.I/MEM.1/4. In order to facilitate the discussion, the UNCTAD secretariat has prepared a background note, entitled "Public and Private Partnerships for the Development of Infrastructure to Facilitate Trade and Transport" which will be circulated as TD/B/C.I/MEM.1/5.

Experts are encouraged to prepare and submit brief papers related to their studies, findings and/or country´s experience. These papers will be made available to the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.

Papers should be submitted by 23 November 2009 and addressed to Ms. Maria Misovicova, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, fax: +41 22 9170050; e-mail: maria.misovicova@unctad.org.

Logistics

Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badges at the United Nations Security Service, Pregny Gate entrance, 14 avenue de la Paix. The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). Because of the security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 9 a.m. in order to complete entry procedures in good time and proceed to the meeting in the E Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais. Participants are requested to carry a passport or similar national identity card with them. Taxis are not allowed to enter the grounds of the Palais des Nations and visitors will therefore be dropped off at the requested entrance gates. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the Security Service gives special clearance.

Nominations and enquiries

Nominations and related communications concerning representation at the meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH 1211 Geneva 10; fax: +41 22 917 0214; e-mail: meetings@unctad.org.

All other enquiries concerning substantive issues should be addressed to the coordinators in the substantive division (tel: +41 22 917 5198; fax: +41 22 917 0050; e-mail: maria.misovicova@unctad.org).

(signed)

Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
9 October 2009


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