Skip to Main Navigation

Trade and transport facilitation in South Asia : systems in transition : Summary and main report (English)

Over the past few decades, the World trading system has become increasingly more open. Tariff rates have been reduced and quantitative restrictions (quotas) have been progressively eliminated, e.g. the Multi-Fiber Agreement (MFA). Most countries have adopted more outward-looking economic policies, seeking to increase growth and employment through expanding exports. Such outward looking policies have even been adopted by countries which previously pursued policies based on import substitution as in South Asia. Protective trade restrictions still persist, but tend to be in terms of more subtle non-tariff barriers (such as sanitary or phyto-sanitary standards), though anti-dumping measures and temporary quantity restrictions are still used by many countries to shield domestic producers. Trade regulations no longer solely attempt to protect domestic producers; their scope has extended to cover the need for enhanced security and the desire for greater consumer protection through the traceability of the production chain for many agricultural products. Intense competition compels firms to reduce costs throughout their manufacturing and distribution processes. Outsourcing to lower cost firms and countries has been one major source of cost reduction, reduced inventory costs through just-in-time manufacturing, and distribution systems has been another. Both are predicated on efficient, reliable and low-cost supply chains. With the worldwide fall in tariff levels, the efficiency of supply chains and the associated logistics costs are becoming core determinants of the competitiveness of both firms and countries. They may also influence the destination of inward direct investment; many countries can offer low labor costs and tax incentives, fewer can offer quick, efficient, reliable, and low cost logistics.


  • Document Date


  • Document Type

    Policy Note

  • Report Number


  • Volume No


  • Total Volume(s)


  • Country

    South Asia,

  • Region

    South Asia,

  • Disclosure Date


  • Disclosure Status


  • Doc Name

    Summary and main report

  • Keywords

    Intra-regional Trade;supply chain;Trade and Transport Facilitation;sanitary and phytosanitary regulations;access to the sea;effective risk management;fresh fruit and vegetable;customs and trade regulations;small and medium enterprise;supply chain and logistics;cross-border movement;clearance system;logistics cost;International Trade;air freight;customs reform;Ports and Shipping;dedicated freight corridor;world trading system;land border;international level;trade corridors;container freight station;restrictions on trade;senior civil service;ocean freight rate;joint venture company;container handling charge;private sector initiative;private sector involvement;global economic growth;fragmentation of production;liberal trade policy;public sector operation;international rail freight;international trade procedures;express delivery company;logistics service provider;direction of trade;private sector management;improved trade facilitation;international container terminal;international air freight;cargo dwell time;transport service provider;point of entry;bill of lading;long term contract;cost of transport;growth in trade;international freight forwarding;high growth rate;areas of trade;cargo handling charge;cost of import;import substitution;customs systems;container service;inland transport;



Official version of document (may contain signatures, etc)

  • Official PDF
  • TXT*
  • Total Downloads** :
  • Download Stats
  • *The text version is uncorrected OCR text and is included solely to benefit users with slow connectivity.


Trade and transport facilitation in South Asia : systems in transition : Summary and main report (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.