Project Title

Best Practices on Critical Issues in the Asia-Pacific Region for the Implementation of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement 

Project Year

2015   

Project Number

CTI 12 2015A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

CTI 12 2015A 

Project Title

Best Practices on Critical Issues in the Asia-Pacific Region for the Implementation of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: General Fund 

Project Year

2015 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

134,117 

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

134,117 

Sponsoring Forum

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Topics

Trade Facilitation 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Peru 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Malaysia; Mexico; Philippines; Singapore; United States 

Expected Start Date

01/11/2015 

Expected Completion Date

30/11/2016 

Project Proponent Name 1

Gloria Ramirez 

Job Title 1

Coordinator of Trade Facilitation and Customs Prcedures 

Organization 1

Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism 

Postal Address 1

Calle Uno Oeste No. 050 - San Isidro - Lima 

Telephone 1

51-1 5136100 Extension 8036 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

gramirez@mincetur.gob.pe 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Gloria Ramirez 

Project Summary

This project aims to a) identify member economies’ regulations and standards on trade facilitation related issues in order to implement WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement commitments in the Asia-Pacific Region, focusing on harmonizing work in critical areas on measures that address priority development and implementation objectives; b) provide opportunities to share experiences and lessons learned by the Economies that have already implemented measures and trade facilitation policies in line with the TFA that can be considered best practices; c) provide relevant information to help donor economies understand how to direct their assistance in an efficient manner.

Two main outputs of this project include 1) a survey and 2) a subsequent 2-day workshop at the margins of SOM3 2016. The survey will identify key issues that member economies have experienced in past and current implementation endeavours. The workshop is aimed to exchanging experiences among economies implementing the TFA.

Relevance

APEC Economies have been working on trade facilitation since the 1990s, but work remains to ensure all APEC economies are able to adopt transparent trade policies that enable economies to fully implement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). TFA established a guideline to streamline trading processes at the multilateral level. In this sense, the Project will help us identify critical issues related to trade facilitation measures in order to begin discussions and take concrete actions for the prompt implementation of the TFA.

APEC has always shown leadership in supporting the Multilateral Trading System and has served as an example to other WTO members in promoting the implementation of broader WTO initiatives, including the TFA. The TFA presents a great opportunity for the improved supply chain performance, expanded trade and enhanced participation of APEC economies in the global economy. In this sense, this project seeks to identify concrete domestic measures that can serve as a guideline for policy makers in implementing the TFA, contributing to the exchange of knowledge on best practices, technical approaches and lessons learned. This proposal is an effort to harmonize the TFA implementation in order to improve the flow of goods and supply chain performance, benefiting trade operators among the region. 

Additionally, the project will provide relevant information to help donor economies to direct their assistance in an efficient and targeted manner and consequently, developing economies receiving this assistance will benefit from the outcomes.In this sense, this project falls under Rank 1, as it addresses the following topics: “Supporting the Multilateral Trading System”, “Trade Facilitation and Liberalization” and “Supply Chain Connectivity”. 

Developing Economies will benefit from the identification of their own critical issues, as well as from the identification of other economies’ critical issues. By identifying more critical issues, economies will have more possibilities to avoid obstacles in the future, taking into account past experiences from all economies.

In order to help economies use their resources in an efficient manner.

Objectives

1) To identify regulations and standards on trade facilitation-related issues in order to implement the TFA, focusing on harmonizing work in critical areas on measures that address priority development and implementation objectives;

2) To provide the opportunity to share experiences and lessons learned from Economies that have already implemented trade facilitation measures and policies in line with the TFA that can be considered best practices; and

3) To provide relevant information to help donor economies understand how to direct their assistance in an efficient and targeted manner.

Alignment

As APEC continuously supports the multilateral trading system through Leaders and Ministers declarations, this project intends to follow the same vision. In 2014, APEC Leaders reiterated “the value, centrality and primacy of the multilateral trading system in promoting trade expansion, economic growth, job creation and sustainable development”. In the same year, Ministers Responsible for Trade stated that “the implementation of the TFA will further APEC efforts to achieve the Bogor Goals and improve connectivity. We call upon donor Members to provide developing Members with assistance and support for capacity building to implement the TFA.” The project will address these commitments directly and build upon efforts already underway in the APEC region. It is important to identify critical issues, not only in the implementation of new measures, but also in improving existing measures. The project will holistically contribute to better implementation of TFA measures at critical points or where special consideration is needed. It will take into account experiences in other areas like customs and those developed in international trade and international logistics.

This project contributes to the Supply Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan (SCFAP) to enhance the performance of supply chains across the region. As the Chokepoints of the SCFAP and the trade facilitation measures show synergy and convergence, working on the implementation of the TFA should translate into improved supply chain performance. The results of the project may contribute to a potential next stage of the SCFAP from 2016 and onwards. The project also responds to the APEC Strategic Blueprint for promoting Global Value Chains Development, specifically with the proposed actions and initiatives made by Singapore to "Adopt effective Trade Facilitation Measures". On this subject, the project will be an input for the consolidation of the ongoing work on TFA, and its results will contribute to the initiative of developing a compendium of case studies/best practices on trade facilitation and capacity building to implement Trade Facilitation Measures.

At the same time, this proposal contributes with the APEC Customs 3M Strategic Framework which promotes the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. The present project works in compliance with the short and long term objectives of the aforementioned Framework, as it also seeks to keep Economies updated on the accomplishments and continuous experience sharing, and prepare them for a future review of the implementation of the Trade Facilitation measures. Moreover, the project also addresses the Boracay Action Plan to Globalize MSMEs as it will contribute to address the trade facilitation measures mentioned in its agenda, hoping that Economies would not make the same mistakes implementing these measures. CTI is the coordinating body for all APEC’s work regarding trade and investment facilitation and liberalization, in this sense the project is perfectly aligned with CTI work.

TILF/ASF Justification

This project will directly support the capacity building efforts of developing economies by identifying critical issues in the implementation work of the TFA measures with technical assistance through a survey and a workshop. In reference to donor Economies, they will be able use the project’s outcomes in order to administer their contributions and assistance in a more efficient manner towards the common goal: implementing the TFA measures.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: The products derived from this project will include:

a) A survey;
b) a report from a survey;
c) the workshop;
d) a report from the workshop outcomes, and
e) guidance for the better implementation of the TFA.

Survey: This will be a brief questionnaire to collect information on the critical issues arising in the implementation of the TFA measures, especially in developing economies. The project organizers will hire a consultant to develop the survey. .The consultant will ensure that the survey approach does not duplicate existing instruments.

Survey Report: All the information gathered from the questionnaire answered by the Economies will be recollected in a report. This report will be used in the Workshop as a guiding tool for the dialogue among relevant actors attending the event. Consequently, its preliminary report will represent another step towards developing real-line best practices to complement the theoretical guidance provided by lead TFA institutions.·        Workshop: This will be a 2-day workshop, preferably, on the margins of SOM 3. The workshop will be a forum for structured dialogue from analysts, policy makers, experts and other relevant stakeholders around the most critical issues in implementing the TFA measures previously identified in the survey. The participant’s inputs, the presentations and the results of the workshop will be a source of information on APEC-specific implementation guidance and best practices that are aligned with established TFA implementation guidelines.

Workshop Report: This report will bring together all contributions from the analysts, policy makers, experts and other relevant stakeholders. It will represent an unstructured and informal step before the “Best Practices Guidance”. 

Best Practices Guidance: The guidance is to be used in concert with implementation guidelines prepared by the WTO and the WCO and will support the efficient implementation of the TFA measures in all Economies. This will be obtained from the analysis of the results from the survey and the workshop, and the practical recommendations given by the Economies.

Outcomes: The project is directly focused on assisting and improving trade facilitation measures among APEC Member Economies in order to improve their governance, effectiveness and performance of the trade facilitation policies and measures. It represents a concrete action fully consistent to identify critical issues contributing directly to the accomplishment of APEC priorities, as it supports the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. In this sense, the project will ensure its thorough development through its outputs.

The Economies will have a better toolkit for implementing TFA measures; financial support from donor economies will help in the process of reducing identifiable critical points, which have been analyzed and, expectedly, be tackled by the recommendations. Moreover, the project will help to improve the relationship within the public sector and, also, with the private sector, identifying weaknesses by which these have not been able to implement some of the TFA measures. 

Beneficiaries: Direct beneficiaries of the project will include policy makers from Ministries in charge of implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement such as Ministry of Foreign Trade, Economy and Finance, Foreign Affairs and, specifically, those in charge of customs procedures and sanitary regulations, among others. In addition, sub-fora such as SCCP, ABAC and A2C2, will directly benefit from the outputs of this project. On the other hand, indirect beneficiaries of this project will be the trade operators. In the long term, the project will also benefit donor Economies as it will provide relevant information to help them direct their assistance in an efficient manner and, consequently, accomplish more concrete actions towards the implementation of the TFA in the region.

Dissemination

A report from the outcomes of the survey will take part in the workshop as analysis and it will also be published electronically in the APEC website. In addition, we will publish these reports and Best Practice Guidance electronically in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism’s webpage and request supporting Economies to do the same in their respective ministries’ webpage.

Additionally, the Peru will provide a report of the survey, and later on from the workshop and project, to the committee in CTI I, II and III.

The target audience for the Project are:

1) Relevant customs administration, borders and sanitary authorities and policy makers from APEC’s member economies;

2) Representatives from the business sector; and

3) Representatives from relevant international organizations that are directly or indirectly involved in further improving trade facilitation and security in the APEC region.

Gender

Women will be directly and actively involved in the project as it seeks to include women among those we engage to discuss policies, regulations, and practices that relate to TFA and its implementation measures. We are confident women will be participating in the project as Customs Administrations, Sanitary authorities and policy-makers from APEC’s Members Economies have a high percentage of women working in these agencies. We will highly encourage Economies, through the invitation to the workshop, to send at least one female delegate, in order to provide their input.

In regards to the speakers, we intend to contact at least 1 or 2 female experts out of the 3 speakers. In addition, we will consider contacting the PPWE representatives when seeking possible relevant speakers in the Trade Facilitation Agreement implementation.

We hope to bring together approximately 50 attendants, among speakers and workshop participants from Member Economies, from which we expect 30% to be female.

Note: The survey will include a checkbox specifying the gender of the respondent.

Work Plan

Activities

Timeline

Prepare the Request for proposal for contracts valued over USD 20,000 and make the arrangements with the winner consulting firm.

December 2015 – January  2016

Preparation of the survey for the preliminarily study.

January-April 2016

Draft Survey will be circulated for comments.

April 2016

Survey circulation for inputs

May 2016

Circulation of preliminary report of the survey for review and invitation to speakers and participants

Early June 2016

Circulation of draft the agenda for comments

Late June  2016

Hold a 2-day workshop

At the margins SOM3, 2016

Elaborate or conclude Report containing results from the survey and workshop, and circulate draft of Best Practice Guidance

October 2016

Circulate final Guidance for comments

November

2016

Publication of final Best Practice Guidance

December 2016

Risks

There are significant risks that the project must take into account: 

1) Obfuscation/Resistance: Participants, especially at the government level, might not consider the survey as a legitimate and worthwhile chance to identify critical issues for the implementation measures of the TFA, given that the topic of trade facilitation has been treated throughout many scopes. Thus, the results of the survey will not be sufficient for its analysis. To prevent this, we have planned to guarantee their support and participation by talking to each Economy personally and we intend to have open, interactive and ongoing communication with potential workshop participants.

2) Delays: Inputs from the survey’s outcomes may run late due to the delay of some Economies. The time between the input deadline from the survey’s outcomes and the deadline to submit the preliminary report of the survey to CTI must be arranged taking into account possible delays. However, we will take any precaution from the start to encourage Economies to respond the survey on time and if necessary explain any doubts about it. 

3) Inclusion of Women: APEC includes some economies in which the equal participation of women is a challenge to traditional norms and the existing power structure. Thus the women in these economies may feel too intimidated to participate, or international organization may tell us that there are no qualified women speakers. To solve this issue, we will approach each Economy and International organization to seek the inclusion of women.

4) Extrapolation of results across APEC: Extrapolating results from specific data or information gathered through surveys in order to make broader assumptions. There will be outliers where the results or critical issues may not apply to all developing Economies in the region. To solve this issue of creating recommendations,guidanceand best practices that are not applicable to all Economies in APEC, we will seek to have reports, recommendations and results broad and general enough to be relevant and applicable to all APEC Economies. Also, this project will be made available to all APEC economies through the project database and the guidancein the Publication database, helping economies that encounter similar critical issues, now or in the future to use the guidancein the most efficient manner.

5) Work duplicity: Discussions and, therefore results, may duplicate some aspects of work from other international organizations, such as WTO and WCO’s efforts regarding TFA implementation. To solve this, we will make sure to engage relevant international organizations working on TFA implementation. It is worth mentioning that this project doesn’t intend to provide capacity building or technical assistance, but to exchange experiences among APEC economies and provide information to donor economies on what are the critical issue for the TFA implementations.

6) Other circumstances: Time constrains may present themselves because of unforeseeable factors, delaying the work of the consultant/contractor. This will be solved by granting a time period which includes possible unforeseeable factors that may delay the work.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The project will work accordingly with an ongoing process of monitoring and evaluation in order to achieve its objectives.

Monitoring and evaluation should be a fundamental aspect of the project in all its stages. We will coordinate with the support of the Economies in order to monitor their progress against the work plan. This monitoring and evaluation will start with the survey’s development, specifically. Our plan is to develop realistic and achievable objectives for the project within a reasonable time. We intend to recollect 21 surveys, from each Member Economy. This friendly survey will be divided in sections, containing questions directed to the different public and private sectors, involved in the implantation of the TFA.

The project will use existing data and information, built on previous experiences from donor Economies using different TFA implementation measures. During the project, the number of completed surveys per economy, number of participants attending the workshop, and the number of women involved from each governmental authority will be indicators of success. A questionnaire will be distributed to the participants to collect their feedback on the workshop. It will be analysed and evaluated in a timely manner.We will ask for certain requirements for each speaker’s presentation, in order to provide useful and relevant knowledge to participants.

In terms of a final evaluation, the final report can serve this purpose, as it will also include the initial expected outcomes, based on the survey, in comparison with the actual results. The workshop will monitor the progress of the preparation in regards to the work plan set out in the Project Proposal. A questionnaire will be distributed to the participants to collect their feedbacks about the workshop. It will be analyzed and evaluated in a timely manner. We will have certain requirements for the presentations, in order to provide useful and relevant knowledge to participants from the speaker’s experiences.

Linkages

In order to push forward the project, we will consult with the CTI, specifically sub-fora such as the SCCP, A2C2, and ABAC and other international fora such as WTO, WCO, World Bank and OECD, Moreover, we will take into account the work of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF).

This project will complement ongoing work, by providing information to economies wishing to adopt better practices in each of their critical areas or improve on existing trade facilitation programs. Finally it will help donor economies to efficiently direct their technical assistance.

In 2014, at the Ministers Responsible for Trade’s meeting in Qingdao, APEC agreed to establish a Capacity Building Plan to Improve Supply Chain Performance. Since then, APEC has been working to provide technical assistance to volunteer economies to help them improve supply chain performance and implement the provisions of the TFA. Finally, we believe APEC is the best source to fund the project, as most of APEC Economies have been working in trade facilitation measures for a long time and, even though these tools have not yet been properly or completely implemented, Economies from the region have the most experience.

Sustainability

After identifying critical points and their possible solutions or good practices, beneficiaries will work together in the process of the TFA’s implementation, in the areas of logistics, foreign trade and customs. Once the TFA has been ratified, Economies will be committed, according to their own domestic policy, to its implementation. Relevant authorities will be able to work efficiently both in the implementation and identifying issues that might require further technical assistance. Moreover, the guidance and recommendations from this project will help develop a plausible next stage of the SCFAP. Overall, the immediate outcome of this project, through its workshop, will significantly improve the ability of relevant authorities in the area of trade facilitation and, particularly, in the implementation of the TFA providing a long-lasting positive effect.

Project Overseers

Mrs. Gloria Ramirez and Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez will manage the project.

Mrs. Gloria RAMIREZ: Mrs. Ramirez, an active participant in APEC-Peru 2008, is currently a Foreign Trade professional with an important experience on international trade and economic integration currently working at the Vice-Ministry of Foreign Trade. Since she started working for the public sector in 1981, Mrs. Gloria has been involved with diverse responsibilities on industry and Artisans since 1982 until 1990. She had a pertinent influence on the Decision 770 of the Andean Community, which approves the guidelines for the Strategic Plan on Trade Facilitation, specifically related to customs issues. Furthermore, she participated as an alternate in the Trade Facilitation and Customs Procedure round with the United States FTA (2004) and as a negotiator in the FTA with Japan and Korea (2009-2010). In the later years, she was a Peruvian representative at the WTO during the TFA negotiations, positively supporting the agreement. Currently, Mrs. Ramirez has been involved on the Trade Facilitation and Customs Chapter of the TPP.

Mr. Alvaro RODRIGUEZ: Mr. Rodriguez is a Commercial Engineer with a specialization on international business. He has wide experience in foreign trade operability and logistics. Currently, he has been working at the Vice-Ministry of Foreign Trade since 2013 supporting all fora and areas related to trade facilitation and customs issues.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Short-term clerical fees: To handle all logistics and most of administrative arrangements for the organization of the Workshop (5 people).

Waivers

Advance payment (travel expenses for participants) will be necessary to ensure participation of travel-eligible Economies whose officials will not be able to participate in the workshop if not for the advance payment.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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