ESCAP News In Brief: April 25, 2014

Latest news updates from ESCAP.

ESCAP members make progress on regional arrangement for paperless trade facilitation

A regional agreement on paperless trade which will reduce costs and boost trade in the Asia-Pacific region was reviewed and negotiated at a workshop organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok from 22-24 April. Having witnessed the major economic gains from implementing national paperless trade systems, countries in the region are now looking at facilitating exchange of trade-related data and documents across borders to maximize the return on their investment in paperless systems and make trade transactions easier and more transparent. The regional arrangement considered by the meeting would enable committed ESCAP members to work more effectively towards reducing legal and technical barriers to the flow of electronic information along the international supply chain.

China, Mongolia and Russia finalize legal agreement on Asian Highway route

Delegations from China, Mongolia and the Russian Federation met in Beijing on 23 April to agree on the legal provisions for the transit of goods by road along an Asian Highway route. Organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s North-East Asia Office (ESCAP-ENEA) and ESCAP’s transport division, the meeting focused on the key features of the proposed legal agreement between the three countries on transit transport by road, which will lead to a pilot application of the arrangement. The next meeting, which will see deeper discussions on the agreement, is tentatively planned for October this year. The establishment of the Asian Highway network is one of ESCAP’s major work areas in the field of transport, where it seeks to promote the development of international road transport systems and enhance regional connectivity.