The Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation (“Global Survey”) is a global effort led by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in collaboration with all of the United Nations Regional Commissions, namely, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The goal of the Global Survey is to gather information from the member states of the respective United Nations Regional Commissions on trade facilitation and paperless trade measures and strategies implemented at the national and regional levels.
The results of the survey will enable countries and development partners to better understand and monitor progress on trade facilitation, support evidence-based public policies, share best practices and identify capacity building and technical assistance needs. The Global Survey is a key initiative under the Joint UNRC Approach to Trade Facilitation (the “Approach”) agreed upon in Beirut, Lebanon in January 2010 by the Executive Secretaries of all five United Nations Regional Commissions. The Approach was designed to enable the Regional Commissions to present a joint and global view on trade facilitation issues in light of the then ongoing negotiations of the Doha Round at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the heightened importance of global supply chains. With the entry into force of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in February 2017, the Approach becomes even more significant on a regional and global scale.
Within this framework, the Global Survey was designed by the United Nations Regional Commissions and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the International Trade Centre, and the World Customs Organization. The questions included in the Global Survey draw from Sections I and III of the TFA as well as from the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific, currently open for signature among ESCAP members.1 The Global Survey was first conducted in 2015. This report presents the results of its second version, carried out in the first half of 2017 with the participation of twenty-one countries from Latin America and the Caribbean. The report seeks to gauge how far the region has advanced in the areas of trade facilitation and paperless trade with regard to the baseline provided by the Global Survey in 2015.