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Book Launch Seminar: The Cost of Being Landlocked

Sponsor: Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network

Book Launch Seminar: The Cost of Being Landlocked

Book Launch Seminar: The Cost of Being Landlocked 
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Description: This event introduced the “The Cost of Being Landlocked” book and featured presentations by notable experts on this topic from the World Bank and the U.S. International Trade Commission. The case of Landlocked Developing Countries has received special attention for decades, including a specific set of development priorities based on the idea of dependence over the transit state. Efforts to tackle the cost of being landlocked have been mainly directed to ensure or facilitate freedom of transit through regional/multilateral conventions, and to develop regional transport infrastructure. In contrast, analysis of service delivery constraints has been seriously neglected and could explain the disappointing implementation of regional transit agreements and massive investments in corridors for exports diversification in landlocked economies. Based on extensive data collection in several regions of the world, the “Cost of Being Landlocked” argues that although landlocked developing countries do face high logistics costs, these do not result from poor road infrastructure - contrary to conventional wisdom-since transport prices mainly depend on trucking market structure and organization. In turn, high logistics costs depend on low logistics reliability and predictability, which are sensitive to rent-seeking and governance issues.


1:00 - 1:05 pm


  • Presentation by José Luis Irigoyen, Senior Manager, Sustainable Development Department-Africa Region, World Bank
1:05 - 1:35 pm


  • Presentation by Gaël Raballand, Senior Economist, Country Office in Zambia, World Bank / Co-Author
  • Presentation by Jean-François Arvis, Senior Transport Economist, International Trade Department, World Bank/Co-Author
  • Presentation by Jean-François Marteau, Senior Transport Specialist, Transport Unit, World Bank /Co-Author
1:35 - 1:45 pm


  • Presentation by Michael J.Ferrantino, Lead International Economist, Office of Economics - Research Division, U.S. International Trade Commission
1:45 - 2:00 pm


  • Closing comments by Bernard Hoekman, Director, International Trade Department, World Bank

About the Authors:

Jean-François Arvis - is a Senior Transport Economist with the International Trade Department (PRMTR) at the World Bank, where he is in charge of the knowledge activities in the area of trade logistics. Prior to joining the Bank, he worked in various positions with the French Ministry of Economy and Industry (regulation, trade, finance and development aid). He is a graduate from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, and holds doctorate degrees in physics.

Gaël Raballand - is a Senior Economist in the World Bank Africa region (based in the Zambia country office). He holds a PhD in economics and has co-authored two World Bank books on transportation in Africa; he has been involved in customs reforms, especially in Cameroon.  He is now working on public spending efficiency, governance and aid effectiveness issues. 

Jean-François Marteau – is a Senior Transport Specialist, who joined the Bank in 2002 as a seconded staff from the French Ministry of Transport then became a staff in 2004 to work as a transport specialist in the Africa Region. He is now Program Team Leader for the Transport Sector in Central Europe and Baltic states and in charge of most of the Georgian road sector projects portfolio in the Europe and Central Asia Region. He has led, prepared and implemented projects related to air, rail, urban and road transport in that region and coordinated transport work program in several countries of Central and West Africa. 

Other Panelists:

Michael J. Ferrantino - is a Lead International Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission, where he has served since 1994. His primary responsibilities involve providing economic analysis of trade-related matters to the executive branch and Congress. He has taught at Southern Methodist, Youngstown State, Georgetown, and American Universities, and has published widely on topics relating to international trade, including non-tariff measures, U.S.-China trade, and the relationship of trade to the environment, innovation, and productivity.

Bernard Hoekman - is the Sector Director of the Trade Department (PRMTR) in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Vice-Presidency (PRMVP). Before taking up his present position, he managed the team on trade and international integration in the Development Research Group in the Development Economics Vice Presidency, the international trade and global integration activities of the World Bank Institute's Economic Policy division. He has worked extensively in countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Between 1988 and 1993 he was on the staff of the GATT Secretariat in Geneva. He is a graduate of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan and is a Research Fellow of the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research.

José Luis Irigoyen - is a Senior Manager within the Social Development Network (SDN) of the Africa region. He joined the Bank in 1990 as a Highway Engineer in the Latin America and Caribbean Region Infrastructure & Energy Division. Since then, he has held various positions, his most recent assignment being Sector Manager in the Latin America and Caribbean Region Transport unit (LCSTR).

For Information: please contact Cynthia Abidin-Saurman at or (202) 458-2740

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