Trade Facilitation > United Nations Economic and Social Commission For Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)

The aim of this service is to promote efficient and secure trade in the Asia-Pacific region and to improve the ability of business and the administrations of countries in the region to exchange goods and services effectively. The main emphasis is on the promotion of simplification, harmonization, and standardization of trade procedures and related documentary requirements in international trade, in order to reduce transaction costs and time.

ESCAP seeks to increase the capacity of member countries to develop national trade efficiency and facilitation policies, and to implement action plans for trade facilitation measures based on innovative methods and techniques, ICT applications and better regional cooperation. To achieve this objective, the Secretariat provides information and knowledge-sharing activities on trade facilitation and paperless trade, develops capacity building tools, conducts analytical studies and delivers technical assistance projects and advisory services.

United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (UNNExT)

The United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (UNNExT) was created to provide a platform for practitioners and policymakers to share knowledge and practice in order to facilitate the implementation of single window and paperless trade in the region. UNNExT develops trade facilitation tools to support the implementation of international standards and solutions for aligned trade documents and data, single window and electronic data interchange (EDI), as provided, inter alia, by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), and measures negotiated under the WTO negotiations on trade facilitation. It provides access to technical knowledge and expertise, training activities and peer-to-peer support in the following areas:

  1. Business process analysis for simplified trade procedures and documents;
  2. Simplification and automation of trade documents for migration to paperless trade;
  3. Development of aligned sets of national and regional trade documents;
  4. Single window implementation;
  5. Regional harmonization of data requirements;
  6. Regulatory framework;
  7. Business models (including management, financial and operational arrangements).

UNNExT was established and is being maintained by ESCAP and UNECE. UNNExT and its activities, including national, subregional and regional capacity workshops and studies, are funded under the United Nations Development Account project. Countries from Asia and the Pacific interested in benefiting from the accumulated expertise of the network, or to contribute to it, are welcome to contact ESCAP.

For more information: www.unescap.org/unnext

Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum

ESCAP organizes, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, the Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF) on an annual basis, bringing together a wide range of stakeholders from the region and beyond to share information and exchange experiences.

For more information: www.unescap.org/tid/projects/tfforum.asp

Trade Facilitation Advisory Services

Contact:

Sangwon Lim,
Trade Facilitation Section,
Trade and Investment Division,

Tel: +662 288 2573

E-mail: lim6@un.org

ESCAP provides trade facilitation advisory services on requests to its member countries, particularly through UNNExT. The primary focus is on least-developed, landlocked and transitional countries. This has included the development of a national single window masterplan in Mongolia, as well as an analysis of rice export processes in Cambodia.

Regional Organizations Cooperation Mechanism on Trade Facilitation (ROC-TF)

Contact:

Khan Salehin,
Trade Facilitation Section,
Trade and Investment Division,

Tel: +662 288 2448

E-mail: salehin@un.org

As part of a new mechanism launched – at the request of its member countries – to enhance cooperation and coordination among Asia-Pacific regional organizations and programmes working on trade facilitation (TF), ESCAP issues the ROC-TF Newsletter on a quarterly basis. This newsletter aims to provide information on recent as well as planned trade facilitation project and activities of various organizations active in this area, as well as on relevant publications and documents that may be useful across the Asia-Pacific subregions. It also includes a section on national and regional news on trade facilitation and paperless trade. The first issue of the ROC-TF newsletter, please visit: http://www.unescap.org/tid/roctf.asp.

Trade Facilitation Research and Publications

Contact:

Yann Duval, Acting Chief,
Trade Facilitation Section,
Trade and Investment Division,

Tel: +662 288 2252

E-mail: duvaly@un.org

ESCAP, in particular through its Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), a network of developing country research institutions, has been actively supporting trade facilitation research. This research has so far focused on identifying the evolving needs and priorities of developing countries, and evaluating the actual impact of specific trade facilitation measures and behind-the-border regulations on trade, with a particular focus on SMEs. Online tools have also been developed to conduct rapid econometric trade impact analysis of selected measures, which is expected to be particularly useful to trade researchers and government planners.

A new research project is currently underway titled “Trade Facilitation for Poverty Reduction”, funded by the Government of China, with an objective to increase capacity of developing members of ESCAP to implement trade facilitation measures contributing to poverty reduction.

Since 2011, ESCAP maintains a database of bilateral comprehensive trade costs covering nearly a hundred countries and providing bilateral trade cost data for manufacturing as well as agricultural goods from 1995 to 2010.

For more information: www.artnetontrade.org.

ESCAP also publishes practical guides and technical briefs on trade facilitation. Data Harmonization and Modeling Guide for Single Window Environment is the most recent guide published (http://www.unescap.org/unnext/tools/data_harmonization.asp). The Business Process Analysis Guide, published in 2010 is being used in many countries (available athttp://www.unescap.org/unnext/tools/business_process.asp). A series of policy briefs have been published on Single Window Trading Environment (available at http://www.unescap.org/unnext/pub/brief.asp).

Through its research and analysis work, ESCAP recently published two studies on “Trade Facilitation in Asia and the Pacific: An Analysis of Import and Export Processes” (available at http://www.unescap.org/tid/publication/tipub2615.asp) and “Facilitating Agricultural Trade in Asia and the Pacific” (available at http://www.unescap.org/tid/publication/tipub2616.asp).