The Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation Report: Asia-Pacific 2019, released in September 2019, presented results of the UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation covering 46 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The Report indicated that regional implementation rate of about 53 trade facilitation measures increased by over 10% compared to the results of a similar survey conducted in 2017. Progress varied across subregions, with East and North-East Asia having achieved the highest average level of implementation at 79.3% relative to other subregions.
While work on trade facilitation in East and North-East Asia is advancing well, progress in other key elements of connectivity needs to also keep pace in order to achieve seamless connectivity in line with sustainable development. In this light, there is opportunity to further amplify the progress achieved in trade facilitation by strengthening its linkages with progress achieved in transport facilitation, another important component of connectivity.
Work continues to further increase the efficiency of transport connectivity in North-East Asia, for instance on transport facilitation, in light of emerging technologies, shifting configurations of production networks as well as the presence of economic and transport corridors in the subregion. In addition, East and North-East Asia is home to frontier economies at the helm of technological advances, which can be applied on both trade and transport initiatives in an integrated manner.
ESCAP East and North-East Asia Office together with the Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI) Secretariat are co-organizing the ESCAP-GTI International Seminar on Trade Facilitation in North-East Asia 2019 with the theme “The Trade-Transport Facilitation Nexus: Developments and Possible Approaches for North-East Asia”.