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Multilateral agreement to cut red tape in international trade would dramatically reduce trading costs and add a substantial boost to the global economy, according to new OECD research.
Inefficient, outdated and complex trade procedures and formalities prevent businesses from taking full advantage of open global markets.
Drawing on OECD trade facilitation indicators, this paper finds that the combined effect of comprehensive trade facilitation reform would reach almost 14.5% reduction of total trade costs for low income countries, 15.5% for lower middle income countries and 13.2% for upper middle income countries.
Advance rulings, formalities and procedures, information availability and inter-agency cooperation are the policy areas with the greatest impact on trade volumes and trade costs, according to OECD trade facilitation indicators studied in this report.
Trade can be impeded by inefficient transport infrastructure, border procedures or information flows. Better logistics services reduce trade costs for businesses and improve the competitiveness of a country's exports, according to this study. (OECD Trade Policy Working Paper No. 108)
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Businesses and policymakers are concerned by recent trends in export restrictions on strategic raw materials like rare earths, metals and food commodities. OECD is working to bring more transparency and discipline to the use of these restrictions.
Export restrictions on raw materials can have a negative impact on the efficient allocation of resources, international trade and the competitiveness and development of industries in both importing and exporting countries, according to this collection of papers.
Open markets will be necessary for a sustained economic recovery. This report recommends that governments continue to resist protectionist pressures and work towards a level playing field for trade.
Trade fell significantly in the aftermath of the financial crisis, even more than the large drop in global production levels. This paper examines to what extent short-term trade finance may have impacted trade levels before and after the crisis hit.
Metals and minerals such as copper, titanium and rare earths are used to produce high-tech and energy-efficient goods such as hybrid vehicles, computers and aircraft. This paper looks at the impacts of export restrictions often put on these raw materials.