Trade and Transport Facilitation Mechanisms
While developing countries depend on trade related economic growth, bottlenecks in trade and transport related activities can haunt the competitiveness and the integration of countries into the world trade system.
Competitive advantage can also be derived from the efficiency in trade and transport activities. This success will require the involvement of all the players in the entire value chain. The players, both public and private sector, are interdependent, and their actions dynamically affect each other. The failure to identify causal results from policies and actions which may affect different groups in a positive and negative manner can often set back the development purpose promoted by such policies. Thus, it is necessary that there exists a channel, in which participants in trade and transport chain can communicate and share views on relevant issues.
A trade and transport facilitation committee is one such mechanism. It is a consultative body of balanced public and private participations that represents all companies and institutions involved in international trade and multimodal transport including, but not limited to, importers, exporters, freight forwarders, transport operators, transportation authorities, port authorities, government agencies, insurance and banking institutions.
A joint trade and transport facilitation committee can serve as a forum to discuss, consult, propose, coordinate, and share views among participants of any facilitation, regulatory, development policy and training in trade and transport-related issues. It can also serve as a central point between the country and regional and international organizations in providing country specific information to such organizations, and in disseminating at a national level, information on international developments and best practices. The ESCAP secretariat has been requested by member countries to undertake studies in the best practices in the establishment and operation of the trade and/or transport facilitation committees and provide assistance in forming and strengthening appropriate trade and transport facilitation mechanisms.
UNCTAD and ESCAP are currently implementing project “Trade Facilitation in the context of the Doha Development Agenda: Support to Trade Facilitation Platforms in Developing Countries”. It has the ultimate goal to develop trade and transport facilitation committee that has its own capability in reviewing, analyzing, implementing and making recommendation on trade and transport related issue in a way that optimally benefit the group as a whole. The project activities include the followings:
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