Overcoming Border Bottlenecks

The Costs and Benefits of Trade Facilitation

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International trade has grown rapidly in recent years, thanks in part to the progressive reduction of tariffs and quotas through successive rounds of multilateral trade liberalisation. However, this progress brings to light one of the remaining weak links of international trade, which prevents countries from drawing full benefits from the advantages of open global markets: border bottlenecks generated by inefficient, outdated and complex trade procedures and formalities. This book brings together six studies that examine to what extent and in which ways the costs of inefficient border processes influence trade and investment flows, how institutional and political factors affect the design and implementation of efficiency-enhancing measures, whether the expected benefits of these measures enough to justify the expenses of putting them in place, and whether the expenses involved are within the reach of developing and least developed countries, especially in light of other development priorities.

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Annex A

Report on the OECD Global Forum on Trade Facilitation Colombo, Sri Lanka, 18-19 October 2005

The OECD Global Forum on Trade Facilitation was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 18-19 October 2005, in order to provide an opportunity for representatives from government, business, research institutions, civil society and international organisations to discuss the implications of ongoing WTO negotiations on trade facilitation for developing countries. The Forum was organised by the OECD Trade Directorate, in collaboration with the government of Sri-Lanka. It was part of the OECD effort to contribute to the WTO members’ endeavours to “seek to identify ... trade facilitation needs and priorities, particularly those of developing and leastdeveloped countries, and ... also address the concerns of developing and least-developed countries related to cost implications of proposed measures“, as set out in Annex D of the WTO July Package, setting the modalities for negotiations on trade facilitation. Around 85 people representing 45 countries from all parts of the world participated in the event.

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