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Assessing the potential benefit of trade facilitation : A global perspective

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

The relationships between trade facilitation, trade flows, and capacity building are complex and challenging to assess, both empirically and in implementation. The authors measure and estimate the relationship between trade facilitation and trade flows across 75 countries in global trade, considering four important categories: port efficiency, customs environment, regulatory environment, and service sector infrastructure. A gravity model is employed that accounts for bilateral trade flows in manufactured goods in 2000-01 between the 75 countries, using traditional factors such as GDP, distance, language, and trade areas, and is augmented by the trade facilitation measures in the four categories for each country. The results suggest that both imports and exports for a country and for the world will increase with improvements in these trade facilitation measures. Potential gains from trade facilitation reforms are predicted by using the estimated parameters. The gains from trade facilitation are presented by comparing the gains across geographical regions and trade facilitation categories, and by domestic and partner improvements. The total gain in trade flow in manufacturing goods from trade facilitation improvements in all the four areas is estimated to be $377 billion. All regions gain in imports and exports. Most regions gain more in terms of exports than imports, in large part through increasing exports to the OECD market. The most important ingredient in getting these gains, particularly to the OECD market, is the country's own trade facilitation efforts. The detailed presentation of the results of the analysis may help inform policy decisions and capacity building choices.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3224.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3224
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  1. Hummels, David, 2001. "Time as a Trade Barrier," GTAP Working Papers 1152, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
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  11. Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S. & Sewadeh, Mirvat, 2001. "Saving two in a billion: : quantifying the trade effect of European food safety standards on African exports," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 495-514, October.
  12. W. Hertel, Thomas, 2001. "Dynamic Effects of the “New Age” Free Trade Agreement between Japan and Singapore," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 16, pages 446-484.
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  15. David Dollar & Aart Kraay, 2004. "Trade, Growth, and Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages F22-F49, 02.
  16. 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.
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