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Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation in Asia and the Pacific 2021

The regional report is part of a global survey effort on the implementation of trade facilitation and paperless trade measures, undertaken jointly by the five United Nations Regional Commissions for Africa (ECA), Europe (ECE), Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and West Asia (ESCWA).

Based on the 2021 United Nations Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation covering 46 countries of the Asia-Pacific region, this report reviews the progress of trade facilitation reforms and provides a detailed analysis based on 58 trade facilitation measures that are classified into four groups (“General Trade Facilitation”, “Digital Trade Facilitation”, “Sustainable Trade Facilitation” and “Other Trade Facilitation”) and a further 11 sub-groups covering both binding and non-binding WTO TFA measures, and measures beyond the scope of WTO TFA+.

The fourth survey is built upon the earlier surveys and expanded collection of measures on trade finance facilitation as well as on trade facilitation in times of crisis. The latter was incorporated in order to gather information on the implementation of short-term measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as long-term measures in preparation for future crises and pandemics. The crucial role of trade digitalization has been emphasized not only for increasing regulatory compliance and reducing illicit financial flows, but also as an effective method to mitigate trade disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fourth survey also continues to pay special attention to sectors and groups with special needs, such as the agricultural sector, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and women traders, at the outset of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development’s recognition of international trade as one of the key means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The report could further support the economies around the region in order to make trade simpler, cheaper, more resilient and sustainable through the use and application of technology and innovation in international trade procedures.

For more information on the UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation and other reports, please visit