Trade facilitation includes simplification, modernization and harmonization of export and import processes. It aims to ease the movement of goods across national borders as well as maximizing efficiency, while reducing related costs and delays. This requires standardization of documents and data, automation, data exchange, efficient risk management, and paperless procedures. This can be achieved through the digitalization of trade information and exchange of data among the key actors involved in the coordination of action and control. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for digitalization and connectivity, as detailed in the WCO’s Revised Kyoto Convention and the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, has become more pressing for developing countries. In this light, the course will discuss the reasons for digitalization and connectivity among Partner Governmental Agencies, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also present the solutions developed by the ASYCUDA Programme to increase efficiency, reduce costs and delays, in addition to be better prepared for responding to future shocks, such as, the global pandemic of COVID-19 and the economic crisis it generated.
The objectives of the short will aim at illustrating the benefits of efficient control of imports and exports; provide a framework of how the systems, tools and solutions developed by the ASYCUDA Programme, in cooperation with international agencies and organizations, can potentially address the needs for digitalization and enhanced connectivity. Additionally, the impact the ASYCUDA Programme interventions and the impact they had generated for economies will be discussed.