Trade costs resulting from tariffs and other non-tariff measures are a major concern in international trade. The movement of goods from producers to final consumers entails a tremendous amount of costly and time-consuming paperwork and procedures. The international trade community is working to lower these costs and reduce the time needed for the transfer of goods. Efforts include reforms, streamlining and simplifying processes, and the introduction of digital and automated systems to enhance efficiency.
Recent years have seen the development of technological solutions that are instrumental to trade facilitation. Blockchain is one such technology with the potential to improve international trade procedures given its security, reliability and transparency.
This project supports countries in applying blockchain technology in trade facilitation by providing a user guide, training courses and an online platform.
The project is being piloted in five selected countries, tailored according to their specific needs.
The project will start by providing government officials with the foundational knowledge to understand the basics of blockchain. Tools to assist in executing the work are to be provided once a Government elects to apply the technology. These tools include a user guide for implementation and a comprehensive training course.
This project brings together ESCWA as the lead agency and the United Nations regional commissions for Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia and the Pacific, as well as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development .
The activities of the project include:
- Preparing the "Global report on blockchain and its implications on trade facilitation performance"
- Preparing a guide on applying blockchain technology in trade facilitation operations (customs and other trade control agencies) and trade operations
- Developing an online version of the guide and an online readiness checklist for self-assessment
- Providing online training materials and a training platform
- Organizing a global workshop
- Organizing five regional capacity-building workshops for trade and trade-related officials
- Five pilot projects using blockchain.