The Readiness Assessment on Cross-border Paperless Trade report co-launched by the Government of Tuvalu and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) offers an evaluation of the country’s ability to trade by enabling electronic trade processes and documentation across borders.
According to UNESCAP, paperless trade makes international trade more efficient and transparent while improving regulatory compliance, particularly if trade-related data and documents in electronic form are exchanged across borders. Empirical evidence shows that full digital trade facilitation, including the WTO TFA commitments, could cut average trade cost in the Asia-Pacific region by 13% (ADB and ESCAP, 2021). For the Pacific, this perspective is reinforced by the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy (the Strategy), which underlines how cross-border e-commerce relies on the exchange of trade data in electronic format between different countries. Tuvalu has embraced this approach and the release of the report is a valuable step to achieving automated trade processes.
Mr. Nikolasi Apinelu, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Fisheries and Trade, said in his keynote remarks during the launch, “In the pursuit of economic growth and development, Tuvalu embraces the digital horizon through the Readiness Assessment on Cross-border Paperless Trade. With the support of UNESCAP and our commitment to automation, we set sail towards a future of efficiency, transparency, and prosperity in international trade. Together, we harness the power of paperless trade, reducing costs and unlocking the potential of a fast-growing digital economy. Tuvalu stands ready to seize the opportunities of cross-border e-commerce, ensuring that our citizens and businesses benefit from this transformative journey.”
UNESCAP representative points out, “Results from the UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation shows that Tuvalu achieved a 45 per cent implementation rate for general and digital trade facilitation measures, while the regional average implementation rate is 67 per cent. This suggests a lot more needs to be done, including leveraging digital solutions and automation where relevant and possible. Moving forward, cross-border paperless trade, the conduct of international trade based on electronic data and documents, could certainly help Tuvalu in reducing trade costs and helping its citizens and business benefit from the fast-growing digital economy and e-commerce opportunities.”
The report aligns with Tuvalu’s accession to the Framework Agreement on Cross-border Paperless Trade and the Pacific (CPTA) in 2022. Measure 3.1.3 of the Strategy recommends that Pacific countries accede to the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of CPTA, which is a UN treaty that aims to speed up the use of digital methods to make trade easier and boost development. The assessment will help the island nation ensure the benefits of the CPTA are fully realized, in line with the vision of the Regional Strategy.
Tuvalu’s Readiness Assessment benefitted from the support of UNESCAP. Along with Tonga, Tuvalu is the only other Pacific country that has completed its Readiness Assessment so far.
Download the Full Report for Tuvalu: Readiness assessment for cross-border paperless trade: Tuvalu – Pacific Ecommerce Initiative
Download the Full Report for Tonga: Readiness assessment on cross-border paperless trade: Tonga – Pacific Ecommerce Initiative
Download ADB and ESCAP 2021 report: Asia-Pacific trade facilitation report 2021: supply chains of critical goods amid the covid-19 pandemic disruptions, recovery, and resilience