UNCTAD, September 2010. Note prepared for the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport and Trade Facilitation, Geneva. Document TD/B/C.I/MEM.1/8.
In an increasingly globalized trading environment, development prospects are strongly reliant on cost-effective and reliable transport systems, a transparent and simplified regulatory framework, and efficient trade procedures. Efforts to improve developing countries’ trade performance and competitiveness require policy interventions to reduce transport and trade costs and to modernize the trade system and infrastructure. Policy objectives such as trade facilitation, cost-effective and energy-efficient transport services, supply-chain security and environmental sustainability need to be brought together in a comprehensive and strategic policy framework. While developing such a framework, policymakers need to take into account a variety of factors which currently impact on the field of trade logistics. These span a broad range of areas – economic (e.g. the financial crisis), energy-related (e.g. fuel prices), environmental (e.g. climate change), political (e.g. security), regulatory (e.g. international conventions and multilateral/regional agreements in transport and trade facilitation), and technological (e.g. information and communication technologies). This note highlights a number of relevant issues for consideration by experts. In particular, it provides background on (a) emerging and pressing global challenges affecting international transportation; and (b) regulatory developments in relation to the environmental sustainability of transportation. It also discusses the need for coherence between national and international commitments in the area of trade facilitation.
Bernard Hoekman, April 2010. World Bank.
While differences in view persist on the appropriate role of government intervention, there is general agreement regarding the strong positive association between economic development and trade expansion. The World Trade Organization (WTO) promotes trade, and in that sense can be regarded as an institution that promotes development. However, despite the boom in world trade that has occurred in the last 30+ years – in part under the stewardship of the WTO (and before it the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) – and the increasing participation of many developing countries in world trade, many observers are concerned that the impact of the WTO – and trade agreements more generally – is asymmetric: poor countries may not be able to fully harness market opportunities because of a lack of competitiveness and inability to deal with adjustment costs. Even where it is agreed that specific disciplines are appropriate, the burden of implementation costs may fall disproportionately on poorer countries.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and World Bank, 2010
This is the second edition of Connecting to Compete: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy, which was first published in November 2007. The Logistics Performance Index (LPI) and its indicators are a joint venture of the World Bank, logistics providers, and academic partners. The LPI is a comprehensive index created to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in trade logistics performance. The World Bank conducts the LPI survey every two years. Evidence from the 2007 and 2010 LPIs indicates that, for countries at the same level of per capita income, those with the best logistics performance experience additional growth: 1 percent in gross domestic product and 2 percent in trade. These findings are especially relevant today, as developing countries need to invest in better trade logistics to boost recovery from the current economic crisis and emerge in a stronger and more competitive position. On a hopeful note, the 2010 LPI points to modest but positive trends in key areas such as customs use of information technologies for trade, and investment in private services. It also shows that logistics over performers—countries with a higher LPI score than income would predict— are countries that have consistently invested in reforms and improvements. The 2010 LPI highlights new areas that need further attention, such as the coordination of agencies involved in border clearance and the quality of domestic trucking and customs brokerage services.
UNESCAP, December 2009.
This collection of studies is the outcome of the project of the Regional Expert Group Meeting on Trade and Transport Facilitation for Export Competitiveness. The publication comprises a number or studies relevant to trade facilitation in Asia and the Pacific, including the following: Enhancing Export Competitiveness through Trade Facilitation in Asia; Enhancing Asia’s Trade: Transport Costs Matter; Regional Cooperation on Trade and Transport Facilitation; Institutional Quality and Competitiveness in the Greater Mekong Subregion; The Implication of Customs Modernization on Export; Competitiveness in China; Trade and Transport Facilitation in Cambodia; and Enhancing Export Competitiveness through Trade Facilitation: The Experience of Sri Lanka.
Asian Development Bank, August 2009.
Ongoing globalization has imposed challenges on the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) countries because of current transport and trade constraints. Thus, a transport and trade facilitation strategy and implementation action plan were prepared to develop an efficient transport and trade system, which is critical to sustain economic prosperity in the CAREC region for the next 10 years. This publication presents the major elements of the strategy and the action plan, both of which support broad-based activities comprising competitive corridor development and management, trade facilitation, and sustainability enhancement by improving infrastructure, management, and technology, focusing on the six major corridors of the CAREC region.
Gordon Wilmsmeier, and Ricardo J Sanchez, March 2009. UNCEPAL Recursos Naturales e Infraestructura series No. 142.
This report analyses the current state of the landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) Bolivia and Paraguay. The report analyses the traditional topics (1) infrastructure at national level and connectivity towards adjacent countries; (2) the recent development in international laws and treaties and (3) cross-border operation. Beyond these traditional topics the report evaluates the level of international transport costs and the potential impact on trade. It further presents the currently induced over costs in logistic chains, which pose an additional burden to the competitiveness of the countries. This structure aims to give insight on the current situation in South American’s LLDCs in relation to the five priority areas in the Almaty Programme (2003):Transit Policy and regulatory framework, Infrastructure development, Trade and transport facilitation, Development assistance and Implementation and Review.
UNCTAD, February 2009. UNCTAD Trust Fund for Trade Facilitation Negotiations, Technical Note 8.
This technical note provides background information on GATT Article V and then provides an overview on various implementation issues, including traffic and access rights, bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements and transit corridor arrangements. It concludes by providing a number of references and tools available.
United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), October 2008
This report analyses the current state of the landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) Bolivia and Paraguay. The report analyses the traditional topics (1) infrastructure at national level and connectivity towards adjacent countries; (2) the recent development in international laws and treaties and (3) crossborder operation. Beyond these traditional topics the report evaluates the level of international transport costs and the potential impact on trade. It further presents the currently induced over costs in logistic chains, which pose an additional burden to the competitiveness of the countries. This structure aims to give insight on the current situation in South America’s LLDC’S in relation to the five priority areas in the ALMATY Programme (2003): namely Transit Policy and regulatory framework; Infrastructure development; Trade and transport facilitation; Development assistance; Implementation and Review.
Daniel Gay, Ameir Mbonde, and Massimiliano Riva, 2008. UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, 2008
This guide is designed to help policymakers, trade officials and researchers conduct needs assessment studies on trade and human development under the Aid for Trade initiative conceived at the 2005 World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong. Despite the variations between countries and the challenges of linking trade and human development, it is possible to identify a number of analytical tools for conducting an assessment. The guide aims to show how this can be done with a focus on transition economies.
UNCTAD, June 2007. Contribution by the UNCTAD secretariat to the Mid-term Review of the Almaty Programme of Action. Document UNCTAD/LDC/2007/1.
The Almaty Programme of Action (APoA) adopted at the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation, held in 2003, recognized the critical importance of the transport sector for economic growth and development. It set out a framework for the establishment of efficient transit transport systems for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and emphasized the need for partnerships between LLDCs and transit developing countries, as well as with their bilateral and multilateral partners. The APoA also identified seven priority areas for infrastructure development and maintenance: rail transport, road transport, ports, inland waterways, pipelines, air transport and communications. This overview presents key features of the current state of transport infrastructure for transit trade of landlocked countries in West and Central Africa, with a special focus on terrestrial transport other than pipelines and on seaports. It identifies specific problems that affect utilization, development and maintenance of transit transport infrastructure in the regions and discusses possible options for more efficient use of transit transport infrastructure in both the landlocked and transit countries of those two regions.
UNCTAD, April 2007. Reported at United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Thematic Meeting on Transit Transport Infrastructure, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Document UNCTAD/LDC/2007/1.
This overview, which was prepared by the Division for Africa, LDCs and Special Programmes, presents key features of the current state of transport infrastructure for transit trade of landlocked countries in West and Central Africa, with a special focus on terrestrial transport other than pipelines and on seaports. It identifies specific problems that affect utilization, development and maintenance of transit transport infrastructure in the regions and discusses possible options for more efficient use of transit transport infrastructure in both the landlocked and transit countries of those two regions.
UNESCAP, 2003. Document ST/ESCAP/2270
Landlocked developing countries are confronted with a range of unique constraints that inhibit full participation in the globalization process. At the same time, economic development and emerging opportunities for interregional trade are stimulating new trade directions which are creating a demand for landlocked countries to provide transit services to neighbouring countries. To help identify physical and non-physical bottlenecks in transit transport processes, ESCAP developed a methodology for analyzing transit transport corridors. The publication outlines this methodology and four case studies on Kazakhstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia and Nepal. It also contains a framework for recommendations and action plan from the results of studies and sub-regional seminars.
UNCTAD, 2003. Reported at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva. Document UNCTAD/LDC/2003/8.
This report analyses the factors that hamper LLDCs’ economic development, and it argues that their successful development requires not only a reduction in transit costs but also economic diversification. It also examines issues related to transit transport, trade expansion and investment. It concludes that landlocked and transit developing countries should pursue three mutually supportive policy instruments which, when used together, can have a major positive impact on their economic development: (a) improvement of transit systems to reduce transit costs and enhance LLDCs’ competitive position in foreign markets; (b) promotion of regional trade and integration to attract increased FDI; and (c) for LLDCs in particular, efforts to attract FDI to industries and activities that specialize in the production of high value, low-weight products (in other words, using FDI to achieve economic diversification). Finally, the report overviews the international support measures needed to promote efficient transit transport systems and economic diversification. While acknowledging that landlocked and transit developing countries bear the primary responsibility for their own development, it urges the international community, including financial and development institutions, to provide stronger support to these countries.
Jack I. Stone, June 2001. Reported at the Fifth Meeting of Governmental Experts from Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Representatives of Donor Countries and Financial and Development Institutions. Document UNCTAD/LDC/112.
This report focuses on two main objectives concerning landlocked countries and their transit neighbours: (a) to examine the extent of external financial support for the main transit corridors serving landlocked countries, which by their very geographical nature lie mainly in the territory of transit neighbours; and (b) to provide an analysis of the overall size of the transport cost burden on imports facing landlocked countries in comparison with their own coastal transit neighbours. In both of these exercises it is important to keep in mind the basic fact that most of these landlocked countries already provide transit transport services to their own neighbours, both landlocked and coastal countries, and that the potential for even greater transit flows of this sort in the future may in many cases be considerable.
Alejandro Micco & Natalia Pérez, March 2001. Inter-American Development Bank Department, presented at the Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors, Inter-American Development Bank and Inter-American Investment Corporation, Santiago, Chile.
There is a wide consensus on the crucial importance of port activities for transport services. However, there are no measures of the importance of port-level inefficiencies for transport costs, and arriving at such measures is one of the objectives of this study. The authors first analyze the effect of port efficiency on transport costs (in addition to other standard variables), and then explore the factors that underlie port efficiency. The authors show econometrically that port efficiency is an important determinant of maritime transport costs. They also analyze the importance of infrastructure, regulation and organized crime in explaining port efficiency.
Last updated: March 2012
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