Expert Group Meeting on Modernizing the General Agency for Specialized Inspection (GASI) of Mongolia
Mongolia is the only landlocked country in the sub-region of East and North East Asia. Since entering the WTO, international trade in Mongolia has grown steadily and is playing a central role in promoting economic growth and industrial reform. Despite the importance of trade for national competitiveness, however, the quality of transport and logistics of Mongolia is unsatisfactory. The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report shows that the world ranking of Mongolia in terms of ‘ease of trading across borders’ fell between 2009 and 2011, from 155th to 159th. The Logistics Performance Index of the World Bank also puts Mongolia’s performance below the average for CAREC.
In 2011, ESCAP Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia carried out a project entitled “Subregional Trade and Transit Cooperation in Mongolian Trade Corridors” with the aim to improve the efficiency of major Mongolian trade corridors linking Mongolia to China and the Russian Federation. One of the project outputs was a study on the current trade and transit procedures and legislative requirements at- and behind- the border to identify and address impediments to trade. The study highlighted that a significant portion of import/export time was taken by the inspection and quarantine process at the Mongolian border due to the lack of capacity of the General Agency for Specialized Inspection (GASI). The study results were subsequently discussed at the High-Level Stakeholder Workshop held on 7 October 2011. Participants attending the workshop, including the Chairman of GASI, recommended to strengthen subregional cooperation on modernizing GASI, as a way forward, to improve overall efficiency at the border.
Modernizing GASI will not only streamline trade procedures, resulting in significant reductions in both the time and cost for traders, but will also indirectly promote industries in Mongolia by enhancing the quality of products and services.
The Expert Group Meeting will assess the current status of GASI in the area of quarantine and inspection services, identify good practices, procedures and processes from the subregion, and discuss how they can be applied in Mongolia.
The objectives of the meeting are:
- To analyze the current status of GASI especially with regard to the capacity of officers, equipments and facilities as well as utilization of ICT measures
- To examine policies and regulations in relation to administrative procedures of quarantine and inspection of goods for trade;
- To identify gaps and challenges in modernizing GASI to conform to international quarantine and inspection standards and practices; and
- To develop measures for addressing the challenges identified, including capacity building programmes, upgrading equipment and facilities at the lab and border offices and reforming polices and regulations.