Workshop underscores the need to enhance cross-border trade facilitation in North-East Asia

Representatives of relevant cross-border and regulatory agencies from China, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and Russian Federation participated at the Workshop on Cross-Border Trade Facilitation and Single Window Implementation in North-East Asia held from 12-13 April to discuss issues on cross-border trade and facilitate movement of goods within the North-East Asia subregion.

Despite being at the forefront of implementation of trade facilitation measures, North-East Asian economies need to enhance regulatory harmonization and connectivity including implementation of cross-border paperless trade and a single window environment.

“Amid increasing global economic uncertainties, North-East Asian economies are poised to take the lead in maintaining an open trade policy and facilitating movement of goods within and beyond the Asia-Pacific region,” said Dr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Head and Director of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) East and North-East Asia Office. He added that trade facilitation entails enhancing transparency and cooperation among customs and other trade-related agencies at the national level and promoting a cross-border paperless trade environment at the regional level.

“Recent agreements, such as the Trade Facilitation Agreement under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific, imply that dialogue and cooperation for fully implementing paperless trade and single window will be further developed among global trade partners, including among the members of the Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI),” noted by Mr. Tuguldur Baajiikhuu, Director of the GTI Secretariat.

The workshop discussed the progress and issues in implementing paperless exchange of trade-related data and documents among customs and relevant regulatory agencies, as well as trading community through national single window in Northeast Asia, particularly of China, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation. It also examined the feasibility of a GTI-level single window environment by identifying common challenges and opportunities.

Professor Vladimir Mantusov, Head of the Russian Customs Academy noted that the workshop provided an opportunity to exchange information on effective and useful solutions towards single window implementation. Professor Vladimir Dyakov, Prorector-Director of the Vladivostok Branch of the Russian Customs Academy added the importance of cooperation among researchers and specialists on customs activities to enhance the implementation of trade facilitation initiatives within the subregion.

Experts from World Customs Organization, ESCAP, United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (UNNExT), GTI, Eurasian Economic Commission, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the private sector shared their knowledge and experience. The workshop was jointly organized by the ESCAP East and North-East Asia Office, GTI Secretariat, and the Federal Customs Service of Russian Federation.