Facilitating trade for development: single window systems as a tool
thesisposted on 27.02.2017, 23:07 by Ndonga, Dennis Nderitu
The issue of trade facilitation has received significant global attention in recent years with international trade agencies, such as the World Trade Organisation, World Customs Organization, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, working on the implementation of various trade facilitative tools. However, many developing countries seem to have resisted their implementation. The resistance stems from the internal supply chain constraints developing countries commonly face, which affect their capacity to competitively produce export wares, and the high trade barriers their exports encounter in developed countries. Developing countries, therefore, seem to take the position that they need to develop their production side first, before they facilitate the exports (and imports) of products. This has culminated in developing countries identifying trade facilitation tools as being costly measures that primarily benefit developed countries by promoting their swift access to markets in developing countries. Consequently, developing countries have stalled trade facilitation reforms and used trade facilitation negotiations to bargain for other international trade issues. This thesis argues for the implementation of trade facilitation tools in developing countries. It presents an alternative perspective to trade facilitation measures, arguing that they have the capacity to generate broader economic benefits that could significantly improve developing countries’ economies. They can be economic development tools. Since the scope of trade facilitation measures is extensive, the thesis focuses on single window systems, and analyses potential of such systems to enhance the attraction of investors to an economy, reduce customs corruption, expand trade, promote e-government and generate economic development for developing countries. Viewed from this perspective, developing countries may consider embracing trade facilitation in general, and SW systems in particular, as trade facilitative tools for their developmental benefits.