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Regionalism and trade facilitation : a primer

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  • Maur, Jean-Christophe

Abstract

This paper investigates when trade facilitation reform should be undertaken at the regional level. First, looking at both efficiency and implementation considerations, it confirms the perception that the regional dimension matters. Investigating where efficiency gains can be made, this research explains why national markets alone fail to produce the full scale economies and positive externalities of trade facilitation reform. Second, because trade facilitation policies need to address coordination and capacity failures, and because of the operational complexity challenge, the choice of the adequate platform for delivering reform is crucial. The lessons are that regional trade agreements offer good prospects of comprehensive and effective reform and can effectively complement multilateral and national initiatives. However, examples of implementation of trade facilitation reform in regional agreements do not seem to indicate that regional integration approaches have been more successful than trade facilitation through specific cooperation agreements or other efforts, multilateral or unilateral. Customs unions may be an exception here, and the author suggests reasons why this could be the case.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4464.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4464

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Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Trade Law; Trade and Regional Integration; Free Trade; Trade Policy;

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References

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  1. Schiff, Maurice & Winters, L Alan, 1998. "Regional Integration as Diplomacy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(2), pages 271-95, May.
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  3. Schiff, Maurice, 2001. "Will the Real “Natural Trading Partner” Please Stand Up?," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 16, pages 245-261.
  4. Kemp, Murray C. & Wan, Henry Jr., 1976. "An elementary proposition concerning the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-97, February.
  5. Luc De Wulf & José B. Sokol, 2005. "Customs Modernization Handbook," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7216, October.
  6. Jack Hirshleifer, 1983. "From weakest-link to best-shot: The voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 371-386, January.
  7. Kanbur, Ravi & Sandler, Todd & Morrison, Kevin, 1999. "The Future of Development Assistance: Common Pools and International Public Goods," Staff General Research Papers 1629, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Tarik Yousef & Hassan Al-Atrash, 2000. "Intra-Arab Trade," IMF Working Papers 00/10, International Monetary Fund.
  9. C. Fred Bergsten, 1997. "Open Regionalism," Working Paper Series WP97-3, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  10. Mattoo, Aaditya & Fink, Carsten, 2002. "Regional agreements and trade services - policy issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2852, The World Bank.
  11. Sandler, Todd, 1998. "Global and Regional Public Goods: A Prognosis for Collective Action," Staff General Research Papers 1225, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  14. Schiff, Maurice & Winters, L. Alan, 2002. "Regional cooperation, and the role of international organizations and regional integration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2872, The World Bank.
  15. Jean-Christophe Maur, 2005. "Exporting Europe's Trade Policy," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(11), pages 1565-1590, November.
  16. Evdokia Moïsé, 2005. "Trade Facilitation Reforms in the Service of Development: Country Case Studies," OECD Trade Policy Papers 12, OECD Publishing.
  17. Fukunari Kimura & Hyun-Hoon Lee, 2006. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade in Services," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 92-121, April.
  18. Tsunehiro Otsuki & John S. Wilson, 2001. "What price precaution? European harmonisation of aflatoxin regulations and African groundnut exports," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 263-284, October.
  19. Arvis, Jean-Francois & Raballand, Gael & Marteau, Jean-Francois, 2007. "The cost of being landlocked : logistics costs and supply chain reliability," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4258, The World Bank.
  20. Sauve, Pierre & Zampetti, Americo Beviglia, 2000. "Subsidiarity Perspectives on the New Trade Agenda," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 83-114, March.
  21. Baldwin, Richard, 2000. "Regulatory Protectionism, Developing Nations and a Two-Tier World Trade System," CEPR Discussion Papers 2574, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Chauffour, Jean-Pierre & Maur, Jean-Christophe, 2010. "Beyond market access : the new normal of preferential trade agreements," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5454, The World Bank.
  2. Douillet, Mathilde, 2012. "Trade policies and agricultural exports of Sub-Saharan African countries: Some stylized facts and perspectives," MPRA Paper 40962, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Douglas H. Brooks, 2010. "Regional Cooperation, Infrastructure, and Trade Costs in Asia," Working Papers id:3090, eSocialSciences.

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