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United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - Institute for ...

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - Institute for ...

Rutgers Model

Rutgers Model ong>Unitedong> ong>Nationsong> 2006 1 Introduction According to the ong>Unitedong> ong>Nationsong> ong>Conferenceong> on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) have a common problem of geographical remoteness and high international trade transaction costs. These two factors make the integration of trade into the mainstream economy very difficult for LLDCs, even though for most states, trade represents the single largest source of revenue. Landlocked nations have an additional logistical cost to transport their cargo, as they need to transport goods through a second nation before there is any access to global markets, and these goods are subject to customs and border regulations of the intermediary state. Traders must therefore adapt to the regulations of the transfer states, often resulting in costly delays. Throughout the years, conferences have convened to address and offer solutions to the problem of enhancing trade in LLDCs. One of the most notable conferences took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2003, resulting in the Almaty Programme of Action, which offers solutions for these states to reduce costs for international trade transactions and increase trade efficiency. Most notably, this conference acknowledged that in most cases in which a landlocked country is forced to trade across the borders of a neighbor, the neighboring country is suffering from similar development challenges. The Programme of Action seeks to identify ways in which these two states could cooperate so that they can both gain from the trade, resulting in broader relations among states. The steps taken to diminish the restrictions facing transit developing nations result in better trade facilitation, and usually include improvement of infrastructure, developing and implementing new methods of transport, and increased transport security. Technology has helped the development of trade by implementing the Automated Systems for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), and has made the management of customs and border procedures a much easier task for states that have undertaken this strategy. This computerized system manages cargo manifests, accounts, and is able to accommodate the varying customs clearance procedures in different states. While to date, some 85 nations

Rutgers Model ong>Unitedong> ong>Nationsong> 2006 2 have implemented ASYCUDA, many of the poorest developing states have been unable to do so due to high implementation costs. Even though technology has enhanced transit trade, UNCTAD has identified fourteen major constraints that hinder this process. The overarching connection between the difficulties can be addressed through the revision of customs procedures and the development of infrastructure that more effectively accommodates the needs of trade, including everything from cargo clearance to account management to logistics. Resolving these issues are at the center of UNCTAD’s goals, and it is believed that once achieved, trade transactions will be much more fluid and efficient. Recent advances in this area have resulted in the development of the Integrated Framework (IF) for traderelated technical assistance, a joint effort between several ong>Unitedong> ong>Nationsong> bodies, such as UNCTAD and the World Bank, as well as other outside organizations. This program seeks poverty reduction to promote economic growth, and therefore growth in trade, calling upon public and private sectors of transit states to cooperate more closely with each other. The more compelling reason to implement programs such as these is perhaps counter-intuitive. When customs procedures and tariffs make trade costly and slow, goods are smuggled across borders, unregulated by any government entity. As a result, no tariffs can be levied, and the result is an insecure and uncontrolled border, offering an opportunity for expanded illicit activity. Background Trade can be traced back to the origins of civilization when it took the form of barter, but today, trade is more associated with the exchange of goods between two entities, or states. As an organization, the ong>Unitedong> ong>Nationsong> ong>Conferenceong> on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) seeks to “maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the

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