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Trade and transport facilitation can help in economic crisis

Published: 24 February 2009


More efficient and integrated trade and transport practices can help countries address the current economic downturn, while at the same time invest in long-term economic development.

This is the topic of a UNECE Conference, jointly organized by the Trade and Transport Divisions, entitled “The Impact of Globalization on Transport, Logistics and Trade: the UNECE Work”, which takes place on 24 February 2009 at the Palais des Nations (15.00-18.00, room XII).

Being competitive is at the heart of trade and transport policies. However, in some Central Asian countries it takes more than 80 days to export goods, as opposed to countries in Western Europe where it takes around 10 days (World Bank figures, 2009). This underlines the importance of trade and transport facilitation for landlocked countries.

Countries that lack adequate business environments with predictability, transparent trade and transport regulations and procedures are at a clear disadvantage. Agreed conventions, standards, norms and rules can help establish transparency and increase security and enforcement even beyond national borders in such diverse areas as transport services contracts and related liability regimes, data exchange, consumer protection and competition rules.

UNECE has an integrated set of trade and transport facilitation tools that cover the entire transaction process, from the initial order to the final delivery of products to the customer, and receipt of payment thereof, and which cover all aspects of international mobility (cargo, vehicle, driver, infrastructure and border crossing conditions). These tools include legally binding conventions, standards, recommendations and projects, both in the field of trade and transport.

An outcome paper will follow up possible ways forward to help countries take advantage of existing and emerging tools.

The UNECE Conference will be opened by the Chairman of the Commission, Ambassador A. Van Meeuwen, and new UNECE Executive Secretary, Ján Kubiš. Other participants include the European Commission; International Transport Forum (ITF); European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services (CLECAT); International Road Transport Union (IRU); SITPRO; as well as representatives from academia, Customs and chambers of commerce.

For more information, please visit our website: www.unece.org/trans/main/itc/jointconference2009.htm

Or contact:

Ms. Martine-Sophie Fouvez

UNECE Transport Division

Palais des Nations

CH – 1211 Geneva 10

Phone: +41 (0)22 917 1837

Email: infotransport@unece.org

Ms. Liliana Annovazzi-Jakab

Phone: +41 (0)22 917 1837


Mr. Mika Vepsalainen

Phone: +41 (0)22 9173197

UNECE Trade Division

Palais des Nations

CH – 1211 Geneva 10

Email: ctrade@unece.org.

Ref: ECE/TRANS/09/P02 and ECE/TRADE/09/P02

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05