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Development Account Projects

Capacity-building of Member States of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for managing globalization

Background:

The transition process from state-controlled to market-led economic systems, while difficult and not without social implications, has become even more urgent and important. In countries’ integration into the world economy, the areas of trade and investment are particularly crucial as they the driving forces of globalization.

In order to enable the concerned economies to benefit from the globalization process and establish effective and efficient market economies, the project seeks to strengthen national capacities in the areas of trade and investment, particularly with regard to application of information technology for trade and investment promotion, facilitation, and industrial diversification. In doing so, the project also forges linkages among public, non-government and private sector institutions at national, sub-regional, and regional levels to help achieve its objective.

Objective:

To build the capacity of States of Central Asia that are members of ESCAP in the area of trade and investment in order to facilitate their integration in the world economy and enable them to respond effectively to the challenges and opportunities emerging from the globalization process

Expected accomplishments:

  • Better preparedness for the new economy through enhanced application and utilization of information and communication technologies in the areas of trade and investment
  • Strengthened institutional capacity in the areas of trade and investment, including enhanced utilization and application of information and communication technologies
  • Creation of networks of expertise among relevant institutions of the region in the areas of trade and investment

Effects and Impact:

National workshops on development of trade finance infrastructure were held in 8 countries out of 10 as well as a Trade Policy Training course on WTO Issues and Procedures. Advisory missions were undertaken to 8 countries based on the Trade Facilitation Framework which was developed to provide a generic framework for trade facilitation in Central Asia but can be used for all developing countries. The findings of all missions have been compiled in consolidated reports which will be sent to the governments concerned in early 2005. A Subregional Seminar on the Doha Development Agenda was held in collaboration with WTO. The course served as a follow-up to the earlier Trade Policy Course organized in Kazakhstan in October 2003 and focused on current negotiation issues in the Doha Development Agenda, as well as on accession issues.

As a result of the trade facilitation advisory services undertaken by ESCAP, the national focal points, which were encouraged to take on the role as lead agency for trade facilitation, and their government counterparts have a much better understanding of approaches to holistic trade facilitation and their efficacy in enhancing national competitiveness and cross-border trade, and also of the importance of creating greater awareness among countries with economies in transition on the need to integrate their activities to make trade facilitation an integral and effective trade policy instrument. The countries have a common guiding tool, the ESCAP Trade Facilitation Framework (in Russian), to identify issues and impediments in their national trade facilitation systems and the corresponding references and steps that can be taken to improve them and also a generic roadmap that could serve as a developmental guide for the implementation of an electronic trade documentation system to facilitate cross-border trade and transport.

The Subregional Seminar on Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Protection of Intellectual Property Rights adopted a set of recommendations on IPR and development of ICT and allowed for the effective exchange of views, experiences and best practices. The Subregional Seminar proved a useful preparation for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in 2005 and offered an opportunity to review the implementation of the WSIS held in Geneva in 2003.