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from drawing full benefits from the advantages of open global markets: border bottlenecks generated by inefficient, outdated and complex trade procedures and formalities.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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Trade Facilitation Reform in the Service of Development

The aim of this chapter is to deepen understanding of the costs and benefits of trade facilitation for developing countries, as well as the costs of not undertaking trade facilitation. It focuses particularly on customs operations and customs reform undertaken recently in a number of developing countries, reviewing the key problems that such reforms have sought to overcome, the approaches that countries have adopted to address them, and the results. The discussion is supported by illustrative country case studies, to explore in further detail the rationale, the methods and the results of reform.

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