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Faliciltating Trade at the Border; Behind the Border; and Beyond

nullIn today’s global trading environment, supply chains intertwine seamlessly through countries and regions and trading has essentially become a 24/7 business. Having an inefficient and inadequate transportation, logistics and trade-related infrastructure and services can severely impede a country’s ability to compete on a global scale.  In particular, developing countries and especially those that are landlocked, face considerable challenges when it comes to tackling trade facilitation issues. Recognizing this, the World Bank’s trade facilitation experts have developed a range of toolkits, data tools and publications in 2010 that will help developing countries improve their trade facilitation efforts. These products include a database that provides a comprehensive cross-country benchmark for logistics performance, a diagnostic toolkit for trade and transport facilitation, a book that addresses the magnitude and nature of logistics costs borne by landlocked developing countries and a forthcoming publication that tackles the issue of streamlining customs and border clearance procedures through comprehensive border management reform.   Moreover, the Trade Facilitation Facility (TFF), a multi-donor trust fund launched in April 2009, has supported a pipeline of projects throughout Africa, as well as regional transportation integration projects in East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia and Latin America.

  • The 2010 Logistics Performance Index (LPI) Report and Database:
    Logistics performance has become a critical determinant for trade competitiveness and growth.  Evidence from 2007 and 2010 LPI indicates that those countries with the best logistics performance can experience additional growth of 1 percent in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 2 percent in trade.  The LPI 2010 is a useful tool in comparing logistics performance across countries and identifying key reform priorities within countries.  The LPI report and web-based database covers a total of 155 countries and is based on a worldwide survey completed by nearly 1,000 logistics professionals.  This latest edition was launched in January 2010 by World Bank President Zoellick, and is the second edition since the LPI was initially introduced in 2007.

  • Trade and Transport Facilitation Audit (TTFA) - the Toolkit and  Interview Guide  
    The TTFA includes a practical toolkit and interview guide that identifies inefficiencies in international supply chains that constrain trade competitiveness, in an effort to help countries develop strategies for reform and investment to enhance trade competitiveness.  It can be used to develop a comprehensive diagnosis of operational and procedural constraints to trade and trade-related transportation services.  The revised version is an updated edition of the 2001 edition, and was prepared in response to increasing demand for analytical work in the area of trade facilitation and logistics.

  • Cost of Being LandlockedAbout one in five countries in the world is landlocked; twenty out of 54 low-income economies are landlocked, the majority of them in Sub-Saharan Africa, while only 3 of 35 high-income economies are landlocked. The lack of access to maritime trade and logistics systems presents serious challenges for many Landlocked Developing Countries.   This book presents a new analytical framework to understand the causes, structure and constraints of logistics costs for Landlocked Developing Countries. Combining theoretical research, data/facts and field examples in project preparation and implementation, this book fills an important information gap in assessing the transport/logistics costs involved in being landlocked.  Based on extensive data collection in several regions of the world, this book argues that although landlocked developing countries do face high logistics costs, these do not result from poor road infrastructure per se. High logistics costs also depend on low logistics reliability and predictability, which are heavily influenced by rent-seeking and governance issues.

    Launch of "The Cost of Being Landlocked" book, October 4, 2010

  • The Border Management Modernization Handbook: 
    This Handbook (forthcoming, fall of 2010) aims to help policymakers design and implement practical border management modernization initiatives so that officials meet their traditional control responsibilities while facilitating legitimate trade. Despite significant investment in the reform and modernization of Customs and other border management agencies, border processing and clearance remains a problematic issue for global supply chains. For developing countries, it may take three times as many days, nearly twice as many documents, and six times as many signatures to import goods as compared to rich countries.  Delays and costs at the border undermine a country’s competitiveness, either by taxing imported inputs with deadweight inefficiencies or by adding costs and reducing the competitiveness of exports.  This Handbook points out that the traditional focus on customs reform alone will unlikely resolve all at-the-border inefficiencies.  Instead, a broader and more comprehensive “whole of government” approach is necessary when it comes to border modernization.  

Other trade facilitation projects/events by the World Bank:

Learn more about what we do in trade facilitation:

by Stacey Chow

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