Economic and trade competitiveness of Arab countries will improve on the basis of more efficient and on-time logistics/trade and transport services, concretely through reduction of trade costs and simplification of trade and trade-related procedures. UNDP partnered with countries in the design and adoption of modernized procedures of management of cross border operations and introduction of integrated platform of information processing for trade facilitation such as the National Single Window. Improvement of Arab connectivity is seen as one of major foundations in the promotion of Arab economic integration.
Egypt and Sudan adopted the Action Plan and technical models of the joint pilot aimed at simplification of procedures and reduction of trade costs along the trade/transport corridor linking Sudan, Egypt, Jordan and potentially Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To assist the implementation, the Steering Committee of border management at Qustol of Egypt was activated with Terms of Reference, Work Program and coordination mechanisms. Intensive consultations with Egypt and Sudan were held with regard to introduction of new policies of facilitation of movement of goods.
Consultations were completed with Jordan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on activities of the said trade/transport corridor.
Awareness on Trade Facilitation and Arab connectivity was enhanced. UNDP also conducted assessment of needs of trade-related infrastructure for the development of three draft bankable projects of Egypt, Jordan and Sudan.
Around than 200 officials of Egypt and Sudan benefitted of activities of capacity building in trade facilitation, customs modernization and strategic planning for development of a National Single Window. Conducted need assessments in targeted countries.
Joint Customs control procedures are developed and piloted at two pairs of border posts (Egypt-Sudan) and (Jordan-Saudi Arabia).
Introduction and adoption of international practices have effectively assisted the countries in upgrading their operational practices and procedures to the global standards aimed at reduction of costs and integration of border controls for facilitation of legitimate trade.
Introduction of trade facilitating measures into trade and trade-related policies (Customs and border control agencies) is essential for enhanced competitiveness of target Arab countries, particularly in making Arab exports more competitive in the first stage.
A new model of governance of programmes of regional economic integration is required to secure timely implementation with strong ownership and commitments of Arab countries.
List of Deliverables:
- Deliverable 1: Developed the Technical Models of cross border operations for Egypt and Sudan and the Action Plan. They are adopted by the countries.
- Deliverable 2: Consolidated all needs of technical assistance and requirements of enhancement of trade-related infrastructure of Egypt, Jordan, and Sudan with national authorities. Consultations were also held with Saudi Arabia on the cooperation program.
- Deliverable 3: Adopted the Work Plan of assistance by UNDP to the Egypt Customs Authority and conducted specialized trainings for Sudan Customs.
- Deliverable 4: Provided technical support (preparation of technical documentation) and logistics of the First Meeting of the Egyptian Steering Committee for the conduct of the pilot of modernization of cross border operations with concrete decisions and directions.
- Deliverable 5: Conducted two trainings on customs matters for sixty officials of the Customs Department of Sudan. One national conference on Trade Facilitation for Egypt.
- Deliverable 6: Completed and submitted three draft bankable projects of management of cross border operations of Egypt, Jordan and Sudan.
- Deliverable 7: Conducted assessment of conditions for the design of the Egypt National Single Window.
- Deliverable 8: Held consultations with relevant authorities of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on cross border initiatives and interventions of trade policy reform with concrete inputs and results.