Trade facilitation and development: Driving trade competitiveness, border agency effectiveness and strengthened governance

Transport and Trade Facilitation Series, No 7

Trade facilitation reforms improve a country’s trade competitiveness and the effectiveness of border agencies. In addition, they can directly help advance development goals such as strengthening governance and formalizing the informal sector.

The present study identifies policies to help reap the full development-related benefits from trade facilitation reforms. UNCTAD research and experience with technical assistance programmes has shown that such reforms should be comprehensive and ambitious and advance the trade and development objectives of countries. Trade facilitation should be linked to investments in transport infrastructure, information and communications technologies and broader trade-supporting services. Since many trade facilitation challenges and solutions are regional, their implementation should be included in regional integration schemes.

Given the linkages between trade facilitation reforms and implementation capacities, development partners need to ensure that their support does not leave out the most vulnerable economies, and should make full use of the promises and possibilities for technical and financial assistance provided for by the Agreement on Trade Facilitation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), reached in Bali, Indonesia in 2013.

29 Sep 2016