Calling for Submissions: Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade

Calling all experts in trade facilitation, policy-makers and representatives from international and development partner organizations – the five United Nations regional commissions: the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and, the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA), in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is launching a new global survey on trade facilitation and paperless trade and we need your input.

Outcomes of the survey, including a global report to be available in 2015, will enable countries to better understand and monitor progress in trade facilitation, support evidence-based policy-making, provide a cross-regional knowledge sharing platform and further strengthen south-south cooperation.

The global survey represents a key initiative under the framework of the Joint UNRC Approach to Trade Facilitation, which was agreed upon by the Executive Secretaries of the five UNRCs in Beirut, January 2010 to enable the UNRCs to present a joint (global) view on key trade facilitation issues. The questionnaire for the global survey was jointly prepared and finalized by UNRCs and OECD. The data collected will also support the updating of the OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators.

The global survey builds on an annual regional survey carried out by ESCAP since 2012; of which, the results have provided its member countries with useful policy reference and cursor on implementation of trade facilitation measures.

The global survey covers not only implementation of some important measures included in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) but also of measures aimed at enabling paperless trade, or the conduct of trade using electronic rather than paper-based data and documentation. Indeed, a recent ESCAP report found that “next generation” trade facilitation measures have just as much potential as more traditional measures to reduce trade costs and increase intra- and extra-regional trade, with full implementation of cross-border paperless trade expected to generate USD 257 billion of additional export potential annually for the Asia-Pacific region alone.

The global survey will be mainly conducted through a questionnaire, supplemented by desk research, and, if necessary, followed up by face-to-face or telephone interviews for data and information clarification and verification. The questionnaire will be sent by the UNRCs to their respective focal government agencies and/or selected experts, starting from September 2014. Compiling the survey responses, verifying data, constructing databases and writing study reports will take place from the time the survey is dispersed to mid-2015. It is expected the final study report to be published by mid-2015.
Any experts who are interested in sharing their expertise and knowledge on different aspects of trade facilitation and paperless trade in their country are encouraged to participate in the survey. More information is available from the UNNExT website.

What: Submission to the Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation

Who: Policy makers on trade facilitation (in particular, Customs Officers, government officials from Ministry of Commerce), experts in trade facilitation (such as logistics and transport operators, freight forwarders, national single window operators, researchers). Staff and representative from other international organization and development partner organizations involved in trade facilitation capacity building and technical assistance.

When: Submissions are open now and close 31 March 2015

How: Instructions to submit

For further information, please contact: Mr. Tengfei WANG, Economic Affairs Officer, Trade Facilitation Unit, Trade and Investment Division, Tel: (662) 288 1658, e-mail: [email protected]