The 2016 report finds that governments are making slow progress in improving customs and borders procedures, with many small businesses and entrepreneurs cut off from the global trading system as a result. In fact, the performance gap on border administration between high and low-income economies has widened slightly in the past two years.
Reforming border administration remains a largely untapped tool with high potential to drive inclusive growth. The biggest beneficiaries of reforms would be small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which typically lack the resources to comply with complex, expensive or time-consuming measures.
The report finds that countries’ performance on border administration is strongly correlated with the level of development but there are several bright exceptions in Sub-Saharan Africa, with landlocked countries such as Botswana and Rwanda jumping ahead of South Africa in their regional rankings. In contrast, most commodity-rich countries underperformed their income group in border administration.