Trade Facilitation > World Trade Organization (WTO)

Trade Facilitation National Needs Assessment Project

The WTO Secretariat, in cooperation with the IMF, OECD, UNCTAD, the World Bank and the WCO, provides technical assistance to WTO members and observers, upon request, to conduct a national self-assessment of their individual trade facilitation needs and priorities. This project will contribute to the more effective participation of members and observers in the WTO trade facilitation negotiations. A needs assessment will provide detailed information on the technical assistance requirements of recipient countries, and will be a valuable basis for the eventual implementation of any results of the negotiations.

For more information:

Examples of projects:


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

Tel: +662 288 2252


Strengthening Capacities of Asian Developing Countries to Increase Intra-regional Trade by Implementing Paperless Trade and Transport Facilitation Systems

This is a joint project undertaken by ESCAP, UNECE and UNCTAD in the Asia-Pacific region. The project intends to build national governments’ capacity to implement paperless systems for cross-border trade and transport and support implementation of national and regional single windows. Assessment studies will be conducted to identify ICT gaps preventing the implementation or limiting the success of existing paperless trade and transport facilitation systems as well as to understand how trade, transit and transport paperless trade systems can be integrated, including into national and regional single windows. Capacity building guides and training materials on how to implement paperless trade and transport systems to facilitate in particular agricultural trade, transit transport and SME participation in international trade transactions will be developed. Studies and training material will be developed with the support of the United Nations Network for Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (UNNExT), a platform that will be expanded under this project to trade and transport facilitation. Regional forums will be organized to disseminate study results as well as allow sharing of experience among countries of the region. Regional and national workshops will be organized based on the newly developed capacity building guides and training materials. The main project outputs include:

  1. Technical and policy briefs to draw lessons and good practices from paperless initiatives for trade and transport facilitation and relevant studies;
  2. Subregional training-of-trainer workshops on agricultural trade facilitation, paperless transit transport, and paperless trade systems for SMEs;
  3. Regional Forums to share good practices and initiatives on trade and transport facilitation;
  4. Develop training materials and guides on paperless systems.

This project is funded under UN Development Account 8th Tranche.

Strengthening the Capacity of Developing and Transition Economies to Link to Global Supply Chains through the Reduction of Trade Obstacles

ESCAP together with other Regional Commissions have recently embarked on this project funded by the United Nations Development Account 7th Tranche. This will be the first inter-regional project involving all five Regional Commissions and targeting countries from all five regions. The overall objective of this project is to strengthen the capacity of Developing and Transition Economies from all five regional areas to link to global supply chains through the reduction of trade obstacles. ESCAP will implement the activities in Asia and the Pacific region. The main activities that ESCAP is responsible for include:

  1. Organize one inter-regional performance analysis conferences on regulatory, procedural and organizational obstacles to the global supply chain in the Asia-Pacific region;
  2. Organize one regional policy and technical workshops on how to develop policy Recommendations for trade facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region;
  3. Set-up/facilitate regional networks for knowledge and experience sharing on trade facilitation good practices among policymakers and managers from government agencies and the private sector in developing countries and transition economies.


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

Tel : +662 288 2118


Network for Knowledge Transfer on Sustainable Agriculture Technologies and Improved Market  Linkages in South and Southeast Asia (SATNET Asia)

The overall objective of this project is to contribute to improved food security and nutrition of the poorest and most vulnerable people in South and Southeast Asia by increasing and accelerating the rate of adoption of sustainable agricultural technologies and by improving regional trade in food products. The Trade Facilitation component of this project is aimed at identifying options and measures for regional trade facilitation, and strengthening South-South dialogue and intraregional learning on trade facilitation. The following activities will be carried out during the three-year project ending in 2014 in each target country of South (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar):

  1. Diagnostic (Business Process Analysis) studies on selected agro or food product;
  2. Stakeholder consultation on trade facilitation measures for agro or food products;
  3. Training on relevant trade facilitation measure for agro or food products;
  4. Exhibition (regional) on suitable trade facilitation measures for agro or food products.

ESCAP Trade and Investment Division is co-implementing the project in partnership with CAPSA (Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture) and a few other international agencies.

Successful projects

  • Regional initiatives on data harmonization (including on introducing single window mechanisms for trade) in South-Eastern Europe and in the CIS region, in SPECA (launch of a SW in Azerbaijan, start of a discussions in Ukraine);
  • The establishment of mirror UN/CEFACT committees in the CIS countries;
  • Capacity building workshops on data harmonization in the SPECA region (in collaboration with UNESCAP);
  • Provision of legal and practical advice (including on establishing an information exchange system) to the countries of a new economic grouping – the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and theRussian Federation;
  • The transposition of basic UN/CEFACT standards as Russian national standards and as CIS regional standards;
  • Publication of an updated English-Russian glossary of trade facilitation terms created as a tool for promoting the concept and practice of trade facilitation in Russian-speaking countries;
  • A project on trade facilitation and institution-building in Greece;
  • Launch of a joint trade facilitation initiative by the five UN regional commissions as well as a joint project on information requirements for supply chains.