Paul Collier, December 2011. Finance & Development, Vol. 48, No. 4.
The coming decade could be Africa’s opportunity for investment. Globally, there is a massive pool of investable private resources. Prospects in the advanced economies look bleak, and in the major emerging economies—the so-called BRICs: Brazil, Russia, India, and China—the future is looking more uncertain. Although Africa is not immune to global risks, its continued growth is likely to rest on the potential for further resource discoveries and for commercial cultivation of its vast, underused agricultural land.
Allen Dennis, and Ben Shepherd, January 2011. The World Economy, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 101-122.
This paper shows that improved trade facilitation can help promote export diversification in developing countries. The authors find that 10 per cent reductions in the costs of international transport and domestic exporting costs (documentation, inland transport, port and customs charges) are associated with export diversification gains of 4 and 3 per cent, respectively, in a sample of 118 developing countries. Customs costs play a particularly important role in these results. Lower market entry costs can also promote diversification, but the effect is weaker (1 per cent). They also find evidence that trade facilitation has stronger effects on diversification in poorer countries. Results are highly robust to estimation using alternative dependent and independent variables, different country samples and alternative econometric techniques. The authors link these findings to recent advances in trade theory that emphasize firm heterogeneity, and trade growth at the extensive margin.
Piet Buysa, Uwe Deichmanna, and David Wheelerb, March 2010. Journal of African Economics, Vol. 19, Issue 3, pp. 399-432
Recent research suggests that poor economic integration and isolation from regional and international markets have contributed significantly to poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poor transport infrastructure and border restrictions are major deterrents to trade expansion which would stimulate economic growth and poverty reduction. Using spatial network analysis techniques and gravity trade model estimations, this paper quantifies the economics of upgrading a primary road network that connects the major urban areas in the region. The results indicate that continental network upgrading is worth serious consideration from an economic perspective. The simulations suggest that overland trade among Sub-Saharan African countries might expand by about $250 billion over 15 years, with major direct and indirect benefits for the rural poor. Financing the programme would require about $20 billion for initial upgrading and $1 billion annually for maintenance.
Kennedy K. Mbekeani, 2010. Journal of African Economics, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 88-113.
With increased competition in major markets forcing business to adapt to just in time production and management systems, flexibility, speed and reliability in delivery of goods have assumed significant importance. Yet, for many African countries, inadequate infrastructure and poor transport organization make it difficult to guarantee timely delivery of goods or ensure reliability or flexibility in the supply of goods. Drawing on lessons from the USA railroad experience, Latin America and Asia, the paper presents the global experiences of the role of infrastructure in promoting trade and regional integration and provides lessons for Africa.
María Manuela González, and Lourdes Trujillo, May 2009. Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 157-192.
The purpose of this paper is to further an understanding of the port sector through a systematic analysis of the existing studies assessing the economic efficiency and productivity of the sector. The emphasis is on the measurement methodologies, the variables used and the results in terms of the various port activities as well as on the relevance of dimensions such as port size, ownership, and location. One of the main contributions of the analysis is the evidence that the article provides on the need to very clearly isolate and spell out the port activity for which the efficiency assessment is being conducted. From an economic policy viewpoint, the assessment also points to the necessity of more closely involving the relevant authorities to improve the data collection system.
Johannes Linn, May 2009. Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 241-258.
Eurasia, along with Africa, is the last big frontier of global integration. While the last two centuries were marked by rapid economic integration across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, there is still need for a catch-up across the vast continental space encompassing Europe and Asia (Eurasia). Central Asia is centrally located in this super-continent. Its development will be one of the critical factors for the effective integration of Eurasia. At the same time, Eurasian economic integration represents a major opportunity for Central Asia, as it moves from being a land-locked region far from markets to one positioned at the core of a dynamic and rapidly connecting economic space with access to the major new markets and sources of finance, knowledge and power in the world. The article explores six issues: (i) How severe is the current global financial and economic crisis and its impact on Central Asia? (ii) What are the implications of the Eurasian economic integration process? (iii) What are Central Asia's need and potential for economic integration and cooperation? (iv) How to reap maximum benefits from Central Asia's energy and water resources for the countries in the region? (v) How to facilitate trade and transit within the region and with the major neighbours? And, what can be done to improve the private business climate in Central Asia?
Tomoya Kawasaki, and Shinya Hanaoka, 2009. Proceedings of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies, Vol.7.
This study attempts to identify and extract risk factors faced by Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) in accessing seaports in Transit Countries (TCs) for cargo haulage. It is widely said that countries enclosed by land without direct access to seaports face several challenges in high transport costs that cause the economic growth of LLDCs to decline. Since TCs are out of the LLDCs’ jurisdiction, LLDCs have no rights on decision-making for infrastructure planning in TCs and therefore face several risks. Unfortunately, it is difficult to identify such risks. In this study, the authors attempt to develop a prompt list, a useful risk identification tools for freight transport, of LLDCs for logistics activities on the route between LLDCs and seaport in TCs.
Creck Buyonge, and Irina Kireeva, April 2008. World Customs Organization Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1.
Africa’s economic development partly depends on reduction of trade transaction costs, which are currently unacceptably high. Therefore, many African governments, working together with international organisations like the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD), the World Bank, World Customs Organization (WCO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), have in recent years implemented initiatives that have led to improvement of trade facilitation. In this regard, customs reform and modernisation initiatives in Africa inevitably include elements of trade facilitation. In addition to government initiatives, the private sector has recently organised itself to address the challenges of trade facilitation in Africa. Entry of the private sector requires a convergence of interests with government so as to reduce the existing disconnect in government-private sector relations. This article highlights the progress made in trade facilitation, existing challenges, and customs compliance management imperatives for businesses operating in Africa.
Carolin Eve Bolhöfer, 2007. World Customs Journal, Vol. 2, No. 11/12, pp. 385-391.
The article provides an overview of trade facilitation and the relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) law. After introducing the subject, the article describes what trade facilitation entails and demonstrates its economic impact. The focus turns to the current WTO trade facilitation negotiations. In order to assess the potential for revision, related panel and Appellate Body reports are analyzed and the contents of the relevant GATT Articles – namely Articles V, VIII and X of the GATT – are clarified. Furthermore, other multilateral trade agreements are looked at. It is shown that they contain certain principles that are likely to set a trend for matters to be regulated by the WTO. Finally, the article looks at some of the Members’ proposals submitted to the WTO Secretariat and gives an outlook on the future of the negotiations.
Gaël Raballand, Antoine Kunth, and Richard Auty, March 2005. Economic Systems, Vol. 29, Issue 1, pp. 6-31.
This paper examines the role of transportation costs in causing the countries of Central Asia to generate far less trade with the European Union (EU) than their relative location would suggest. Based on data collected from transport professionals, it detects a sharp increase in the transportation costs and time at Warsaw, moving east from the EU towards the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In the case of Central Asia, border-crossing problems, low traded volumes and trade imbalance, inter alia, seem to be major explanations of the unexpected low trade level between Central Asia and the EU.
Ximena Clark, David Dollar, and Alejandro Micco, December 2004. Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 75, Issue 2, pp. 417-450.
Recent literature has emphasized the importance of transportcosts and infrastructure in explaining trade, access to markets, and increases in per capita income. For most Latin American countries, transportcosts are a greater barrier to U.S. markets than import tariffs. We investigate the determinants of shipping costs to the United States with a large database of more than 300,000 observations per year on shipments of products aggregated at six-digit Harmonized System (HS) level from different ports around the world. Distance, volumes, and product characteristics all matter. In addition, we find that portefficiency is an important determinant of shipping costs. Improving portefficiency from the 25th to the 75th percentile reduces shipping costs by 12%. Bad ports are equivalent to being 60% farther away from markets for the average country. Inefficient ports also increase handling costs, which are one of the components of shipping costs. In turn, factors explaining variations in portefficiency include excessive regulation, the prevalence of organized crime, and the general condition of the country's infrastructure. Reductions in country inefficiencies, associated to transportcosts, from the 25th to 75th percentiles imply an increase in bilateraltrade of around 25%.
Nuno Limão, and Anthony J. Venables, 2001. World Bank Econ Rev, Vol.15, Issue 3, pp. 451-479.
The authors use different data sets to investigate the dependence of transport costs on geography and infrastructure. Infrastructure is an important determinant of transport costs, especially for landlocked countries. Analysis of bilateral trade data confirms the importance of infrastructure and gives an estimate of the elasticity of trade flows with respect to the trade cost factor of around –3. A deterioration of infrastructure from the median to the 75th percentile raises transport costs by 12 percentage points and reduces trade volumes by 28 percent. Analysis of African trade flows indicates that their relatively low level is largely due to poor infrastructure.
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