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Overcoming Border Bottlenecks

The Costs and Benefits of Trade Facilitation

image of Overcoming Border Bottlenecks

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from drawing full benefits from the advantages of open global markets: border bottlenecks generated by inefficient, outdated and complex trade procedures and formalities.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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The Economic Impact of Trade Facilitation

This chapter examines the economic impact of trade facilitation and in particular the link between trade facilitation and trade flows, government revenue and foreign direct investment. It finds that improved and simplified customs procedures would have a significant positive impact on trade flows. It further shows that a large number of mostly developing countries have managed to boost government revenue by implementing customs modernisation programmes that result in more efficient collection of trade taxes. In addition, the chapter demonstrates that facilitated cross-border movement of goods would have a positive effect on countries’ ability to attract foreign direct investment and better participate in international production supply chains.

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