Why Trade Facilitation Fits in with CIPE’s Mission and Vision

03.30.2021 | Sousena K. Tefera

Trade facilitation means cutting red tape and eliminating corruption at the border or point of entries of goods. Characteristics of goods range from those that would require only payment duties and taxes for clearance to those that would require inspections (physical and documentary), before entering the destination market.

CIPE is working as part of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation to implement trade facilitation measures arising from the Trade Facilitation Agreement. Adopting all the proposed measures could reduce trade cost by 16.5% for low income countries, and by 17.4% for lower middle-income countries. Implementing appropriate governance structures, accountability mechanisms and integrity policies in customs administrations alone has the potential to reduce trade costs by between 0.5% and 1.1% for the same country groups.

Any effort that targets increasing transparency and accountability in the process of customs clearance will have a direct impact in facilitating good governance, improving the standard of living, and creating jobs/opportunities to citizens at a wider scale. This on its own fits in with CIPE’s mission: democratizing economic opportunity.

Clearance procedures and border management has a direct impact on the quality of life of citizens behind those borders. Facilitated border management means faster and cheaper clearance of goods, which in term means affordable goods and services. Happy and prospering traders attract more of the same which has a direct impact on job creation and economic empowerment. This fits like jigsaw puzzle with CIPE mission of empowering the grassroots and providing economic opportunities; especially those vulnerable segments of the population: women and youth.

Any effort that targets increasing transparency and accountability in the process of customs clearance will have a direct impact in facilitating good governance, improving the standard of living, and creating jobs/opportunities to citizens at a wider scale.

In a pandemic and post-pandemic world, where emergency responses and medical supplies are pumped into economies at large scale, it is critical that customs, border entries and other government agencies utilize technological and other best practices to foster transparency and minimize interaction. These measures include: 1) digitization of licenses, permits, certificates, and other documentary requirements; 2) working closely with the private sector while undertaking institutional reforms to ensure sustainability of the proposed solution; and 3) introduction and strengthening of programs like the authorized economic operators and risk management systems.