Developing countries including the Philippines can explore the public-private partnership (PPP) model in a bid to ensure success of trade facilitation and enhance export competitiveness.

This recommendation was contained in a chapter of the book on trade policy for export success titled “Move goods across borders effectively” published by Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC).

The chapter was written by Luc Dewulf, consultant to the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and United Kingdom Department for International Development and European Commission on trade facilitation issues; and Rajesh Aggarwal and Andrew Huelin, chief and consultant of the Business and Trade Policy Section at the ITC, respectively.

It said the broad range of trade facilitation issues, both at the border and behind the border, cannot be handled by the government alone.

“Governments need to work in collaboration with the private sector to identify stumbling blocks, propose solutions, finance trade facilitation infrastructure and provide a competitive domestic environment for trade logistics services providers,” it noted.

It cited Ghana’s experience indicating that PPP is an effective means in obtaining financing and technical expertise for customs modernization, while maintaining government control in sensitive areas.

Likewise, Malaysia’s effective use of collaboration and partnerships has encouraged feedback from the private sector regarding problems it faces and solutions in carrying out economic and trading activities.

The private sector can use this information to better consult with governments concerning the specific areas of trade facilitation reforms with the most potential to result in export growth, it added.

Dewulf, Aggarwal and Huelin underscored the need for a ‘broadened approach’ to trade facilitation aimed to improve the business environment and enhance export competitiveness.

Citing result of international studies, they noted that traditional, ‘narrow’ approaches to trade facilitation have been inadequate because they focus primarily on border processing, clearance systems and procedures at the border.

“Today, trade facilitation must also take into consideration logistics services and quality infrastructure,” they said.

The authors added that PPP collaboration is feasible for all aspects of the logistics and trade supply chain.

— Danielle Venz, REPOSTED FROMPHILEXPORT News and Features

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