Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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Desiderio Consultants Ltd. is a think tank and a network of independent professional international development consultants established to promote and influence customs & trade-related policies in African nations to achieve trade facilitation reforms aimed at improving international and regional trade
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The WB World Development Indicators, a tool for shaping development strategies of nations worldwide

In analysing the economic performance, monitoring development programs and progress and designing development strategies of nations worldwide - including developing and less developed countries - a particularly useful resource is the World Development Indicators (WDI) of the World Bank. This tool is one of the most authoritative and complete dataset containing statistical information on more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, including data on economy, poverty, education, health, jobs, social protection, gender, environment (use of natural resources, such as water and energy, and various measures of environmental degradation, including pollution, deforestation, and loss of habitat), level of private investment and performance, financial system development, infrastructure, transparency, accountability, and corruption in the public sector, business regulatory environment and public sector policies.


Most common measures adopted by Customs to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on trade

Following the spread of the COVID-19, customs administrations worldwide are adopting a series of measures to minimise the overall impact of the outbreak on economies and societies, by facilitating the international movement of goods, in particular of relief goods. The virus emergency is affecting not only imports, but also exports. Agriculture-based countries of Sub-Saharan Africa for instance, are facing a significant drop in the export of agriculture products (ex. horticulture and floriculture items), due to a massive decrease of their demand and prices on foreign markets. Hereunder is a summary of the most common measures adopted by Customs:


Ethiopia and Somalia make further steps towards WTO accession

The March 2020 WTO accession newsletter describes the current status, among others, of the Ethiopia and Somalia accession processes to the Organisation.


UNECE launches an Observatory on Border Crossings Status worldwide

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), one of the five United Nations’ Regional Commissions under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council has created a web platform with governmental/official source information (as well as remarks from the International Road Transport Union) on travel restrictions and border shutdowns applied by the different countries in the world following the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Information on measures taken by African Nations are not yet available, but will be added soon.


The role of Customs against COVID-19: tools used to contain the outbreak

COVID-19 is expected to provoke in the coming weeks a dramatic increase in the movement of relief goods across borders, such as supplies, medicines and medical equipment. The World Customs Organisation (WCO), however, in a recent post published on its website, urges Customs to play their role in minimising the overall impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on economies and societies, by facilitating the international movement not only of relief goods, but of all goods in general.


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