What we have learned

Download publications on the Alliance’s lessons learned and best practices

Related resources

  • World Trade Organization’s TFA Database
  • World Bank’s Trading Across Borders interactive database
  • OECD interactive tool to compare countries on trade facilitation indicators
  • UNCTAD interactive map of trade facilitation committees
  • UNECE online trade facilitation implementation guide

Least Developed Countries Report 2022

Country Report, 2022

The Alliance supports developing and least developed countries (LDCs) in implementing the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Much of our work is concentrated in LDCs, with even greater emphasis anticipated in future, based on a strong pipeline of requests for assistance in helping these countries to meet their TFA commitments.

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Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation Annual Report 2021

Annual Report, 2021

The Alliance annual report 2021 details a year of accelerating growth with a record number of project approvals and the completion of two major trade reform initiatives in Brazil and Colombia.

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Three Continents, Similar Challenges for Women Business Owners

Infographic, March 2022

To better understand the obstacles that women-owned businesses in developing and least-developed countries must overcome to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to participants in world markets, the Alliance and WEConnect International conducted a study involving women with trade experience in Bangladesh, Guatemala, and Nigeria.

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Trade Facilitation Reform as a Trust Catalyst

Lessons learned Series, November 2021

The Alliance’s Trade Facilitation Reform as a Trust Catalyst study examines relations between private sector stakeholders in the Colombian automotive industry and Customs, measuring transformative cooperation between the two. The results have promise for applicability outside of the trade space, showing that trust and reform across a variety of areas – from economic development to environmental regulation – can work hand in hand to increase public-private cooperation.

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The Trade Facilitation Agreement through an MSME lens

Alliance Toolkit Series, May 2021

The Alliance’s Trade Facilitation Agreement Through an MSME Lens provides practical guidance on actions the Alliance, policy makers, and development practitioners can take to ensure that implementation of the TFA supports MSMEs while presenting an in-depth analysis of the TFA itself and how it tackles MSME-specific challenges to international trade.

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Small Businesses, Great Opportunities

Lessons learned series, May 2021

Small businesses are the backbones of national economies, generating value and employment for local communities as they grow. The Alliance’s paper showcases research that confirms MSMEs should be the primary beneficiaries of trade facilitation reforms and suggests ways that these efforts can do better at making the process more attune to their particular needs.

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Gender Mainstreaming Guidelines

Lessons learned series, April 2021

The Gender Mainstreaming Guidelines represent the Alliance’s determination to not only better understand the hurdles facing women in trade or preventing them from entering global markets, but to refine its own approaches and share its vision as a means to breaking down these seemingly intractable barriers.

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Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation Annual Report 2020

Annual Report, 2020

Despite one of the most challenging years in recent history, the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation emerged from 2020 having increased its project work, refined its focus on innovation and digitisation to tackle trade hurdles, and worked harder to help the benefits of easier and simpler trade reach smaller businesses in developing countries, particularly those owned by women. The Alliance’s Annual Report 2020 details these advances.

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The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) through a gender lens

Alliance Toolkit Series, September 2020

The Alliance’s tool, the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) through a gender lens, provides development practitioners and implementors with an in-depth analysis of the TFA Section I Articles from a gender perspective. It shows how the TFA, regardless of its supposed gender-blind drafting, provides an opportunity to tackle gendered barriers to international trade.

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Gender Sensitising Trade Facilitation Reform

Lessons Learned Series, September 2020

There is growing acknowledgement that trade reform is not gender neutral, thus specific action must be taken to ensure that neither women nor men are negatively impacted by trade facilitation programmes. In particular, women and men are uniquely affected by trade due to the different roles they play in society as producers, consumers, business owners and traders. Recognising this, the Alliance has undergone a process to gender sensitise its work helping countries to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement. This paper summarises the lessons learned by the Alliance in building its gender mainstreaming approach and provides new insights on the nexus between gender and trade facilitation.

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Total Transport and Logistics Cost (TTLC) 

Methodological note, September 2020

The Total Transport and Logistics Costs (TTLC) methodology measures the total cost of transport and logistics involved in cross-border trade. It is the only methodology for measuring supply chain performance that combines direct costs of trade with all the indirect costs (e.g. inventory, storage, theft, demurrage…) that traders have to bear due to delays and unpredictability at borders. By estimating the time and costs incurred in completing each step of the import and export supply chains, the TTLC can be used as a baseline tool to identify bottlenecks, estimate the potential returns of trade facilitation reforms, and assess the true impact of trade facilitation reforms on business.

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The Covid-19 Crisis and Trade Facilitation 

Survey Results, August 2020

To get a more detailed understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the movement of goods across borders, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (the Alliance) decided to carry out an online survey of business, government and other groups. This report compiles these findings and recommends that countries focus on implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement to ease the situation.

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Engaging the Private Sector in Trade Facilitation Reform

Lessons Learned Series, May 2020

This paper draws on the experience the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation has garnered in working with the private sector in the identification, design and implementation of trade facilitation projects in developing and least developed countries. It examines the challenges commonly faced in involving businesses in trade facilitation reform, presents the approach adopted by the Alliance to operationalise the role of business in its activities and the results achieved so far, and identifies emerging success factors in private sector engagement.

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Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation Annual Report 2019 

Report, April 2020

2019 saw the Alliance deliver measurable results in making trade simpler, faster and more cost-effective, demonstrate a new level of value-for-money in aid for trade by tapping into private sector resources like never before and forge public-private partnerships that pave the way for sustainable reforms.

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Global Alliance For Trade Facilitation Annual Report 2018

Report, March 2019

Just three years after our inception, the impact of our work to support trade facilitation reform is starting to shine through. Our Annual Report 2018 provides a snapshot of what we have achieved to date.

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World Trade Organization, Mainstreaming trade to attain the Sustainable Development Goals

Report, May 2018

This report identifies ten steps that would help to ensure that international trade contributes to accelerating progress in achieving the SDGs.  Among them is a recommendation to continue reducing trade costs including through full implementation of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, and to ensure that non-tariff measures do not become barriers to trade.

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Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation Annual Report 2017

Report, September 2018

Our Annual Report sets out the Alliance’s progress in turning the potential benefits of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) into a reality through our work helping governments in developing and least developed countries implement the agreement.

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Can trade facilitation drive manufacturing FDI?

Report, May 2017

This paper examines the relationship between the trade facilitation environment and the level of foreign direct investment (FDI). It highlights that developing economies with stronger trade facilitation environments attract high-value investments, especially in industries such as auto parts and aerospace manufacturing.

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 Can trade facilitation drive manufacturing FDI?

The Global Enabling Trade Report 2016

Report, Nov 2016

This bi-annual report, published by the World Economic Forum and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, is a benchmark for governments looking to boost growth and development through trade. It captures data on the efficiency, transparency and expense associated with importing and exporting goods.

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 The Global Enabling Trade Report 2016