Call for study proposals: Readiness assessment for crossborder paperless trade (country level) - Deadline 30 April 2021

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Bangkok, Thailand

United Nations ESCAP is issuing a call for study proposals on readiness assessment for cross-border paperless trade of any economy in Asia and the Pacific region member of ESCAP (except for 9 economies where the assessments have already been completed or being conducted – see Eligibility section below). The study should cover technical and legal readiness assessment, recommendations, and an individual action plan for the chosen country to move forward towards cross-border paperless trade. The study should be based upon the Legal and Technical Readiness Checklists and Readiness Assessment Guide for Cross-border Paperless Trade. The selected proposals will be given a consultancy budget of up to USD 12,000.

Background

Trade is recognized as an important Means of Implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and paperless trade can help make trade more inclusive and sustainable. This led ESCAP members to negotiate and adopt the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Crossborder Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (CPTA), a UN treaty to accelerate and support the digitalization of trade procedures. Paperless trade has also been recognized as an effective way to mitigate trade disruptions during the COVID-19 crisis and to build back better, providing for more seamless and resilient trade opportunities for our region and beyond.

Since its finalization and adoption in 2016, the Interim Intergovernmental Steering Group on Cross-border Paperless Trade Facilitation and its Legal and Technical Working Groups have focused on preparing a draft road map and supporting documents for the implementation of the substantive provisions of the CPTA. One of the supporting documents are Legal and Technical Readiness Checklist. Furthermore, ESCAP, in collaboration with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), have developed an online platform to facilitate cross-border paperless trade readiness self assessments.

The checklists, as well as the guide can support countries to conduct self-assessments of their legal and technical readiness for cross-border paperless trade. The readiness assessment is relevant to all member States globally, as it can support the  implementation of not only the CPTA, but also the full digital implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The readiness assessment, in turn, will provide a first step towards developing a concrete action plan for implementation of the CPTA (Article 12) and overall strategies for improving the country’s environment for cross-border paperless trade.

Call for study proposals: Deadline 30 April 2021