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Assessing the Benefits of Trade Facilitation: A Global Perspective


  • John S. Wilson
  • Catherine L. Mann
  • Tsunehiro Otsuki


This paper estimates the relationship between trade facilitation and trade flows using a panel of disaggregated manufactured goods for the 2000–2001 period for 75 countries. Four categories of trade facilitation are defined, measured and assessed for their impact on bilateral trade flows using a gravity model. The four measures of trade facilitation are: port infrastructure (air and maritime), customs environment, regulatory environments and e‐business infrastructure. The results suggest that raising global capacity halfway to the world average in the four areas would increase trade by $377 billion. Most regions of the world increase exports more than imports. In large part, this result stems from increased exports to OECD markets that is obtained through a country's own effort to improve ports, customs, regulations and services infrastructures. In addition, the results suggest that reform and capacity building in trade facilitation in areas related to GATT Articles V, VIII and X that are under discussion at the World Trade Organisation could expand trade and exports significantly. Many of the reform measures necessary to achieve this goal need not necessarily require large‐scale investment projects, but rather action in legal and administrative reform to facilitate trade.

Suggested Citation

  • John S. Wilson & Catherine L. Mann & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2005. "Assessing the Benefits of Trade Facilitation: A Global Perspective," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(6), pages 841-871, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:28:y:2005:i:6:p:841-871
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9701.2005.00709.x

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