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Trade Costs and the Business Environment: A Focus on Africa

Why Trade Costs Matter to Africa

Date: Saturday, May 31, 2008

Venue: Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda

Organizers: The World Bank and African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)

Description: The removal of non-tariff barriers and lower trade costs are increasingly recognized as key factors that affect economic advance.  This is particularly true in regard to Africa.  The ability to deliver goods and services on time - at lowest possible costs - is also a key determinant of successful integration into the world economy and lifting the poor out of poverty.  This one-day workshop will provide an update on these issues and discussion of key factors affecting trade facilitation and development in Africa.  We will also focus on the question: What research, data, and empirical evidence do we have today on trade facilitation and trade costs -- and how do we move that research and analysis more efficiently into operations at the country and regional level?  This workshop is part of an on-going project of policy research, data, and analysis at the World Bank focused on trade facilitation and supported by the U.K. Department for International Development and aligned with the Multi-donor Trust Fund for Trade and Development.


8:45 - 9:00 am Welcome and Introduction

Professor William Lyakurwa, Executive Director, African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). 

Professor Olu Ajakaiye, Research Director, AERC
John S. Wilson, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

9:15 - 10:00 amOverview: Key Issues in Lowering Trade Costs for Development in Africa

John S. Wilson, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

Alberto Portugal-Perez, ETC, Development Research Group, World Bank 

10:00 - 11:00 am A Focus on the World Development Report 2009: Transport and Regional Integration

Andreas Kopp, Lead Transport Economist, World Bank

11:15 - 12:30 pmThe Operational Agenda on Trade Costs: Using Data, Analysis and Research

Michael Freudenberg, Senior Market Analyst, Market Analysis Section, International Trade Center

Mark Pearson, Programme Director Regional Trade Facilitation Programme (DFID)

2:00 - 3:30 pmExpanding  African Trade through Lower Trade Costs

Lawrence Edwards, University of Cape Town. “The Business Climate, Productivity and Export Performance. A Firm Level Analysis in Africa”

Tendeukayi Mugadza, University of Cape Town, “Opportunity Costs of Trade-Related Capacity Development in Sub-Sahara Africa 

3:30 - 5:00 pmImproving Trade Facilitation in Africa: Innovative Approaches

“Making Trade Facilitation Reach Poor Farmers,” Guido Porto, Economist, World Bank

  • Presentation (pdf - 616k)
  • Paper (pdf - 760k) - "Burley Tobacco Clubs in Malawi: Nonmarket Institutions For Exports"
  • Paper (pdf - 280k) - "Informal Export Barriers and Poverty"
  • Paper (pdf - 360k) - "Realizing the Gains from Trade: Export Crops, Marketing Costs, and Poverty"

Jose Anson, Universal Postal Union, Economist, International Bureau, Universal Postal Union, "Using the postal network for trade facilitation: Lessons for Africa from the ‘Exporta facil’ program” 

5:00 pm Conclusion and Next Steps 


Last updated on Sep 25, 2008

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