Within the United Nations framework, ESCAP serves as the regional focal point and coordinator for capacity building and technical assistance on trade facilitation in Asia and the Pacific, covering 62 economies from West and Central Asia to South and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.
ESCAP has a long-standing programme on trade facilitation and provides the Secretariat for the United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade and Transport in Asia and the Pacific (UNNExT), in collaboration with UNECE. ESCAP also serves as the Secretariat for a new UN treaty entitled Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific. The treaty will provide ESCAP member states with a new tool and “digital” complement for better implementation of the WTO TFA and the development of cross-border e-commerce.
ESCAP’s assistance on trade facilitation includes development of national/regional trade and transport facilitation monitoring mechanisms (TTFMM) as the basis for effective implementation and prioritizing of trade facilitation reforms, in particular in collaboration with ADB. At the Global level, it leads the Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation - a joint endeavour of all UN Regional Commissions in collaboration with OECD-, as well as maintains a global international bilateral trade cost database in collaboration with the World Bank.
ESCAP always delivers its assistance in close collaboration with other relevant regional and global partners. All ESCAP Guides and databases, including the UNNExT Single Window Implementation Toolkit, are made freely available and are used globally.