The New Frontier of Competitiveness in Developing Countries - Implementing Trade Facilitation
Book Information
Transport and Trade Facilitation Series, No 5


Since the First Ministerial Conference in 1964, UNCTAD has aimed to “promote, within the United Nations family, arrangements for: (c) Inter-governmental action for research into improved marketing techniques, the organization of trade fairs, the dissemination of market intelligence and the simplification of formalities relating to Customs procedure, commercial travel, etc.” UNCTAD’s role in Trade facilitation is well detailed.

The following 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 challenges remaining will be examined and addressed.

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.

These insights, summarized in the present report, concern:

  1. Level of implementation of trade facilitation in the participating countries (chapter I)

  2. Implementation priorities and time and financial requirements (chapter II)

  3. Expressed needs for special and differential treatment (SDT) (chapter III)

  4. Use of selected implementation tools: A special focus on customs automation systems and national trade facilitation committees (chapter IV).

The conclusions (chapter V) will present a number of policy implications that can be drawn in terms of implementing the trade facilitation reforms under the framework of the future WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The analysis pays particular attention to the situation of LDCs and highlights their specificities in their situation and the expressed implementation needs.

It is hoped that the report will provide a guidance tool for trade facilitation policymakers at the national, regional and multilateral levels in both developed and developing countries, assisting them to plan and implement trade facilitation reforms and/or tailor TACB activities to the needs of the developing countries.


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Charlie Hebdo