UNCTAD assists developing countries in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis. In the area of trade, the focus has turned towards the reduction of non-tariff barriers and trade facilitation measures.
This is because barriers, such as long waiting times at borders, inappropriate fees and cumbersome administrative procedures, constitute obstacles for trade that are as serious as tariff barriers. Consequently, UNCTAD is committed to assisting developing countries as they carry out these complex, behind-border measures, which include broad institutional and regulatory reforms as well as specific actions aimed at improving port efficiency, for example. Port efficiency is important for trade facilitation because ports are the main entry and exit points for international trade.
In volume terms, nearly 80 per cent of world merchandise transits by sea. For many developing countries, this figure surpasses 90 per cent. Port efficiency therefore has a direct impact on the ability of a country to participate in international trade. It follows that ports serving developing countries must operate efficiently for them to integrate into the world economy effectively. UNCTAD assists ports in developing countries by conducting research, carrying out technical assistance activities and providing training and capacity-building.
The TrainForTrade Port Training Programme strengthens talent management and human resources development in ports in developing countries by setting up a sustainable capacity-building framework for training future managers. It also creates port networks, bringing together port experts from public and private entities from around the globe to share knowledge and expertise, and to capitalize on research conducted through the programme with regard to port management and port performance indicators.
A key component of the programme is the dissertation process. Participants work with senior managers in their ports to conduct research on a specific problem faced by the port and propose feasible solutions. The dissertation process requires that the participants put into practice what they have learned and allows them to immediately contribute to improving operations in their ports.
Upon completion, the participants defend their dissertations before panels composed of senior managers from their respective ports, as well as senior managers from other ports that are members of the programme and representatives of UNCTAD.
This publication presents the dissertations from the past cycle of the English-speaking network of the TrainForTrade Port Training Programme (2011–2013). The document is structured in two parts.
The first chapter gives background information on the Port Training Programme, in particular the English-speaking network, and explains the dissertation process.
The second chapter focuses on the results of the research done by the participants and provides summaries of the best three dissertations from each member country: Ghana, Indonesia, the Maldives, Namibia and the United Republic of Tanzania.