Vanuatu Shows How to Reduce Emissions Through Trade Facilitation
Vanuatu has emerged as a trailblazer in the Asia‑Pacific region in leveraging the benefits of trade facilitation through the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) program. For over 40 years, ASYCUDA, which is UNCTAD’s largest technical assistance program, has helped customs offices around the world clear goods faster and increase the pace of trade. Vanuatu is one of only seven ASYCUDA countries worldwide, and the only one in the Pacific region, running a single-window system using ASYCUDA.
Cooking school gives tourism in Cambodia the taste of success
However, investment in tourism industry requires software to run, including high-end chefs to work hotel and restaurant kitchens. But top chefs able to serve world-class cuisine to discerning tourists have always been hard to come by, says Pierre Tami, who arrived in Cambodia as a diplomat in 1990.
Tea Processing at Innovative Jasbire Tea Factory
The tea makers eagerly await a specific aroma or, as they say, “for the teas to speak.” The machines are switched off as soon as the leaves emit that particular aroma. The rolled hunks of darker, chunkier leaves are then hauled to the drying machine. There, another dexterous worker awaits the leaves.
Importance of building evidence for gender-sensitive trade policies
Building evidence does not only happen through research and analysis; it also comes from sharing experiences. For example, EIF support has been directed to sectors in which women are predominantly engaged, so female-owned businesses can expand and access new regional and global markets. Responses to the M&E exercise indicate a wide recognition that these efforts result in strengthening women’s economic and financial independence.
How can we harness aid for trade for a just transition to sustainable trade?
In 2022, WTO members have the opportunity to move forward on an aid for trade agenda that supports LDCs to tackle pressing challenges at the intersection of trade and sustainability. Given the massive trade-related challenges facing LDCs, the huge gap between needs and available support for a just transition to sustainable trade, and the urgency, scale, and impact of intersecting environmental crises in LDCs, mobilizing additional resources, investments, and partnerships is vital.
6 things to know about Aid for Trade
Trade continues to play an important driving force not just of economic growth, but also poverty alleviation. Recognizing the role that trade can play in development, the WTO Aid-for-Trade Initiative seeks to mobilize resources to address trade-related constraints identified by developing and least-developed countries. But against the backdrop of multiple crises affecting the world economy, this task is challenging.
It's time for public-private partnerships to drive digital trade in the most vulnerable nations
Unlike in 2013, PPPs are today widely embraced as a vehicle to promote digital trade. Now, they need to be used in places where they have been scarcer, such as the LDCs.
The role of WTO Aid for Trade in actualizing an inclusive circular economy
The Aid for Trade initiative could also become an important platform to encourage collaboration between donor and recipient countries on shared circular economy trade related opportunities and challenges going forward.
Taking tourism exports online
The Ministry of Tourism hosts the handicraft and Souvenir Development project, which is supported by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF); with among other objectives being improving quality, standards and marketing tourism exports such as souvenirs to boost foreign exchange.
New Word Bank research tells us how to make Global Value Chains more resilient
Global Value Chains have helped make the world more prosperous. Making them more efficient will make the global economy more resilient to future shocks.
Beyond ODA and Aid for Trade: The critical value of alternative trade funding
The Enhanced Integrated Framework has remained a key conduit for both channelling and leveraging wider Aid for Trade resources to the LDCs over the past decade but also has the mandate to support LDCs expand their trade funding base.
Plastic pollution: Can aid for trade help least developed countries tackle this crisis?
LDCs have to deal with millions of tonnes of plastic products imported each year, including products with embedded plastics and with associated plastic packaging.
The world of finance is waking up to the reality of climate change, but money still isn’t getting to the right places
Trade is a critical part of on the ground adaptation efforts that must also be considered, specifically local trade amongst small and medium enterprises which are impacted head-on by climate emergencies. We are seeing communities already vulnerable to shocks affected not only in terms of their resources getting destroyed or depleted but also due to a lack of support systems when this happens.
Unlocking e-commerce in LDCs: Governments hold the key
The EIF recognises that our contribution to creating a thriving e-commerce ecosystem in LDCs is part and parcel of a bigger effort bringing together the expertise and skills of many others. While some are working together with the private sector, including small businesses, others are working with governments. While some invest in building digital infrastructure, others impart knowledge to build digital skills and yet others provide support to prepare and implement e-commerce policies.
Women play a key role in fighting climate change
Women are 14 times more likely to die from a climate disaster than men. Despite being face-to-face with the problem, women are often not part of the solution.
As pandemic eases, LDCs face a long road to recovery
The World Bank warned that recovery will be slower in low-income countries, especially small, fragile and conflict-affected states. This is due to lower vaccination rates, tighter fiscal and monetary policies, and more persistent scarring from the pandemic.
Technology is the key to transforming least developed countries. Here's how
Ratnakar Adhikari (EIF) and Taffere Tesfachew (UNTBLDC) discuss how LDCs can benefit from technology on their path towards structural transformation.
Why trade finance matters to unlock LDCs' trade potential
A better access to trade finance in least developed countries (LDCs) could allow businesses to have the financial tools to participate in national, regional or global trade.
Let's avoid an AfCFTA own-goal – why Africa must invest in connectivity now
The AfCFTA's success lies in last-mile implementation. Connectivity and mobility are key.
What Bhutan got right about happiness - and what other countries can learn
Guided by its Gross National Happiness, Bhutan has considerably improved its economic, environmental, social and governance situation in the past four decades.
How aid for trade can best support Least Developed Countries in the next decade
How can LDCs be supported to improve their trade performance and sustainably raise their share of trade in the global economy?
Amid cyclones and COVID-19, Vanuatu makes bold decision to graduate from ‘least developed country’ category
Originally published by OECD Development Matters blog on 30th April 2021
Services: The new staple of 21st century development?
Manufacturing has traditionally driven economic growth in developing countries. A new book by the World Bank highlights the potential of the service sector in driving development. What are the implications of this shift for least developed countries?
GVCs for LDCs: How would new plan boost trade for least developed countries?
The multilateral trading system and the body of trade rules enshrined in the World Trade Organization (WTO) rulebook have been the cornerstone for trade-led economic development in recent decades.
Banking on protected areas to promote a green recovery
New study finds that conservation and tourism can go hand in hand, offering recommendations how to make it so
On prioritizing digital communications infrastructure, for digital nomads and new economic promise
For SIDS and LDCs, tapping into the remote working revolution requires internet infrastructure
How can the EU’s border carbon adjustments avoid unintended consequences for LDCs?
On avoiding risks and challenges for countries striving to reduce poverty and tackle climate change
Competitive in good times, resilient in bad times: What COVID-19 taught us about MSMEs
In January 2020, the spread of an infectious disease appeared at the very bottom of the World Economic Forum’s top ten high-impact risks. A year later, it had risen to number one.
Access denied: Ensuring vaccines for the world’s poorest countries
by Brendan Vickers, Salamat Ali, Dr. Neil Balchin, Hilary Enos-Edu
Making global value chains sustainable and enhancing the position of LDCs: A shared responsibility
Multinationals and governments need to recognize the trade world’s interconnectedness, and its impact
Opinion: How the pandemic exposes power imbalances in global supply chains
Photo: An apparel worker at a garment factory that reopened amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
How cotton and its by-products can help create resilience for African smallholders
For smallholder farmers and processors in LDCs, cotton by-products could provide additional income as they adjust to COVID-19 and other exogenous factors impacting world lint prices
Somalia making steps toward WTO accession
Country working toward regional and global trade goals in a post-conflict scenario. Becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) isn’t automatic – it’s a process that involves commitments and consensus, questions and responses, meetings and negotiations.
Mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on domestic rice value chains and food security in West Africa
Rice plays a strategic role in food security in West Africa, but the region increasingly relies on imports, and local value chains face constraints in terms of technology, finance and coordination.
Can Africa’s third industrial development decade deliver?
As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic kick in, hopes for better progress, at least in the short term, appear to be fading.
Can digital platforms help mitigate agricultural losses from COVID in Uganda?
The government of Uganda put containment measures in place to tackle COVID-19. These included quarantines; bans on public gatherings and weekly markets; closures of schools, borders and nonessential retail outlets; and the suspension of international flights.
From regional to global: the path to graduation for African LDCs?
Integration into one or more value chains could enable LDCs to specialize in certain production activities or modules while gradually evolving towards more complex tasks.
Climbing the ladder under the storm: How the COVID crisis is changing the GVC development strategies of LDCs
The combined and cumulative effect of pre-existing technological, policy and sustainability trends and the current COVID crisis is set to strike a perfect storm in the system of international production and GVCs.
In Cabo Verde, tourism and trade at a crossroads
Cabo Verde is often described as “off the beaten path”, whatever that means. In reality, the tiny country of 10 islands has been on many paths since the 15th century, when Portuguese sailors first stopped in the uninhabited archipelago.
How businesses can build resilience to climate impacts and protect the vulnerable throughout value chains
Companies have a key role to play in building societal resilience to crises, including the current pandemic and climate impacts, across their value chains.
Global value chain lens can inform responses to bolster tourism industry in developing countries
The COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to the global value chain (GVC) world we live in; what happens in one country has profound impacts, intended and unintended, across countries.
Business supply chain strategies are evolving, can poor countries benefit?
Multiple sourcing and proximity sourcing are shaping into long-term trends as global firms hardwire resilience and agility into their supply chains.
Future-proofing safe trade now urgent for developing countries
COVID-19 is highlighting the interconnectedness of agri-food trade; and work needs to be done to mobilise action to build safe food systems
Building back equitably: Spotlight on women workers in global value chains
Women workers in global value chains have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Cooperatives help cross border traders stay in business during COVID-19
Originally published by THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION NEWS on 18 August 2020
‘Rules as data’ – the 21st century answer for trade facilitation?
Following digitisation of commercial documents, the digitalisation of trade implies functional use of data to improve the automation potential of cross-border processes.
The clock is ticking on electronic advance data for trade and ecommerce in LDCs
Urgent digital transformation is needed to create safe and secure cross border ecommerce customs clearance in the world’s poorest countries
Industries post-COVID-19: A gender-responsive approach to global economic recovery
Women’s specific needs and potential as leaders and agents of change must be considered for COVID-19 mitigation and recovery measures.
COVID-19 and the seed sector: How countries are navigating challenges
OECD’s Seed Schemes are working to protect food systems globally, with important benefits for least developed countries
Unpacking COVID-19-related medical supply chains in Commonwealth LDCs
Although LDCs are home to 13.3% of the world’s population, their share of COVID-19-related medical imports is just 1%.
Can Madagascar inspire reform of global fashion’s US$2.5 trillion supply chains?
The collapse in trade provoked by the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the fragility of carefully constructed supply chains in the global fashion industry, and the asymmetries with which they are governed.
Don’t put export bans on medical supplies during COVID-19. Why trade should flow freely to the world’s poorest countries
Originally published in OECD-Development Matters on 28 April 2020
Protecting trees, empowering women, ensuring incomes – suggestions for a just shea story
How to ensure the women who collect shea benefit from being part of the global marketplace
Six suggestions for improving support to least developed countries
To get LDC graduation back on track, and to help other LDCs, reform of the international system of support must be fundamental and far-reaching.
South Asian least developed countries: The rocky path to sustainable graduation
How will graduation impact countries in South Asia and the trade support they benefit from? How can they prepare?
COVID-19 hitting tourism hard: What does this mean for the world’s poorest countries?
Examining the potential impact of tourism disruption in LDCs; developing policy recommendations to limit the damage, initiate recovery and build resilience
In the world’s poorest countries, the move to digitalize trade procedures is needed now more than ever
COVID-19 is highlighting the need for paperless trade in developing countries; a recent assessment offers recommendations for how to start
West Africa's (eco)tourism initiative: Last chance to protect African biodiversity
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s travel impacts, West Africa’s objectives remain valid
COVID-19 and trade: Challenges ahead for least developed countries and Small Island Developing States
Originally published by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) on 1 April 2020
COVID-19 in Africa – some reflections on trade matters
Poverty, inequality and exclusion are key factors contributing to the devastating effects of COVID-19 on all African countries.
COVID-19: Trade restrictions are worst possible response to safeguard food security
Originally published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on 27 March 2020
Yes, medical gear depends on global supply chains. Here's how to keep them moving.
Originally published by Peterson Institute for International Economics on 27 March 2020
Industry 4.0: What next for least developed countries?
The possibility of reconfiguring manufacturing processes through new digital technologies and data provides opportunities to reboot industrial development in least developed countries.
Achieving SDG 2: Policy options and their trade-offs
SDG 2 commits governments to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, with five specific targets setting the level and ambition of this goal.
Tools and finance to help transform least developed country economies
Transforming the economies of least developed countries (LDCs) requires a nationally supported vision on how to tackle the binding constraints to higher value-added production.
Least developed countries can become authors of their technological revolution
Originally published in OECD-Development Matters on 5 February 2020
A window of opportunity for Africa: Agricultural innovation, integration and entrepreneurial ecosystems
Agriculture 4.0, fuelled by innovation and technology, is driving more productive, efficient and sustainable food systems.
How developing country exports fared during the recent Populist era
The latest version of the Global Trade Alert, which monitors state interventions that affect world commerce, explores whether developing country access to large overseas markets has changed during the current era of populism.
Benefits and challenges of automated processes for wildlife trade in poor countries
Efforts towards the automation of the CITES permitting system is an example of how trade facilitation could be applied in the wildlife sector.
How home country measures can promote foreign direct investment in poor economies
In order to be effective, existing and future home country outward FDI measures need to be customised to the needs and realities of LDCs.
How will least developed countries in Asia fare in the trade war?
Countries that have already implemented trade-cost reducing reforms – for example trade facilitation, infrastructure, and data flows – will be better positioned to take advantage of any opportunities that arise from the trade war.
“Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing” in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
A Global Multilateral Benefit-Sharing Mechanism is the appropriate vehicle by which biodiverse rich countries can be compensated for genetic resources utilised in intellectual property.
Breaking silos between trade and climate for the world’s most vulnerable countries
There is urgent need to better understand trade and climate change linkages in the context of least developed countries (LDCs).
Improved assistance for LDC graduation: What else can be done?
Graduation from the least developed country (LDC) category, a milestone in a country’s development, is not free of controversies.
Poorest countries caught in the global trade turmoil
Least developed countries (LDCs) confront a challenging global trade landscape, from slower long-term growth rates and rising protectionism to a weakening nexus between trade and GDP growth.
How trade can assist least developed countries hit by natural disasters
Many least developed countries are vulnerable to recurrent natural disasters, which exacerbate existing challenges, disrupt long-term investments and divert resources away from development to reconstruction.
For the least developed countries, revitalising multilateralism is life or death
The international system governing the environment and economy is under pressure, but it is in trade where least developed countries (LDCs) may lose most from cracks in the global order.
Unleashing the power of women to transform the world’s poorest countries
Originally published by Thomson Reuters Foundation News on 11 September 2019
An Internet of Rules for all: Can "Trade Policy 3.0" foster inclusive trade?
The distinctive character of trade policy 3.0 is that, in addition to “writing down the rules” of trade in natural language (trade policy 1.0) and use of “single window systems” that replicate paper-based delivery in the digital realm (trade policy 2.0), countries are able to publish computational rules to the Internet in a standard way