Study on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation in CAREC

Sep 2021; CAREC Institute

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and CAREC Institute have released a joint study on digital and sustainable trade facilitation in CAREC.

The report presents results of the 2021 United Nations Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation for ten CAREC members. It presents a detailed analysis based on 58 trade facilitation measures which are classified into four groups (“General Trade Facilitation,” “Digital Trade Facilitation,” “Sustainable Trade Facilitation,” and “Other Trade Facilitation”) and further 11 subgroups covering both binding and non-binding WTO TFA measures and measures beyond the scope of WTO TFA+.

The report suggests that most trade cost reductions are associated with paperless trade measures rather than conventional trade facilitation measures. Implementing both binding and non-binding WTO TFA measures could result in a 4-9% decrease in trade costs. In contrast, ‘Digital Trade Facilitation’ measures enabling the seamless electronic exchange of trade data and documents across borders could result in a reduction of about 17% in a full implementation scenario. For countries to reap the benefits from digital trade facilitation, the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (CPTA) could support countries by providing a dedicated, inclusive and capacity-building focused intergovernmental platform.

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