The project targets more facilitation of goods transiting through Arab countries in the defined trade/transport corridors. At the same time, efforts of simplification and standardization contribute to reduce costs of transportation and of doing business as effective means for better competitiveness. Furthermore, Arab connectivity constitutes one of major foundations for Arab economic integration as enabler for more active partnership and collaboration of economies in the region.
In addition to that, activities assist Arab Member States to design and adopt modernized platforms aimed at higher efficiency of logistics services. For that purpose, a survey of trade facilitation practices was conducted to gather specific information on operations at ports of entry into four countries along the trade/transport corridor.
The activity will build on initial progress of works in facilitation of cross border operations, taken place in 2014. In 2015 – 2016, it continues with development of an operational model based on international standards and requirements of adopting more streamlined applications into the management of border management in linking several Arab States along major trade/transport corridors in the region.
Interventions by the project are effective support to realization of activities, highly prioritized in the national socio economic development plan of target Arab States through modernization of national regulations to international standards and practices. The project also contributed to introduction of good practices dealt with logistics services and facilitated consultations between the Government and the private sector in trade and transport facilitation.
The project assisted target countries with design of operational procedures and adoption of the regulatory framework for operations of the trade/transport corridors. Opening and activation of cross border operations at Qustol (Egypt)/Askeit (Sudan) has effectively contributed to lowering costs of moving goods from Sudan to Egypt (from over US$ 1,000 per truck to approximately US$ 500 according to information provided by the Government), and to generating around 400 jobs for local communities. The pilot at Qustol (Egypt) entered in operation in November 2015 in partnership with Egyptian authorities.
All agencies in charge of border management of Egypt and Sudan participate to the initiative. New regulations were issued by Egyptian authorities to facilitate goods in transit through Egyptian territories.
Jordan and Egypt were close to finalize the regulatory basis for operations of the 2nd pilot as Aqaba and Nuweibae. The cooperation is well structured with technicality and decisions in factoring international standards into trade facilitation without compromising security and protection of the supply chain.
Egypt was assisted in the design and establishment of the Roadmap of Egypt National Single Window. It went accompanied by activities of capacity building for officials and technicians of Egypt.
- Arab connectivity and linkages through the promotion of crossing borders operations and integrated management systems strengthened.
- Adoption of simplified procedures in line with international standards and good practices
- Reduction of costs of transportation and of logistics for operations undertaken along the trade/transport corridor that connects Sudan, Egypt, Jordan towards Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It forms part of the strategy of achieving logistics competitiveness in the region.
- Promotion of application of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement for the modernization of supply chain.
- Contribution of technical analysis and recommendations to programs of economic/export diversification being considered by target Arab countries.
List of deliverables:
- Deliverable 1: Activated the pilot of enhanced cooperation in management of cross border operations at the Qustol border post. That contributed to reduce costs of transportation (from US$ 1000 per truck to approximately US$ 500 per truck in the Sudanese side). Fifty two officers of Egypt being trained to operate the pilot and provided equipment.
- Deliverable 2: Egypt and Sudan reached a formal agreement in the form of Minutes of Meeting of the Steering Committees of Egypt and Sudan adopted common operational procedures, technical models and common action plan to activate the joint pilot at Qustol (Egypt) and at Askeit (Sudan).
- Deliverable 3: Issued the new decree related to facilitation of goods in transit from Sudan to Egypt and the decree of activation of the border post office of Qustol by Egypt.
- Deliverable 4: Conducted the review of the draft Customs Law with a view to upgrade it in line with international agreements and standards.
- Deliverable 5: Preparatory works for the activation of Sudan undertaken.
- Deliverable 6: Established the Steering Committees of Egypt and Sudan in charge of border management.
- Deliverable 7: Jordan and Egypt adopted common plans and agreed on the technical models of the joint pilot at Aqaba and Nuweibae. Draft MOU is close to be finalized.
- Deliverable 8: Successfully conducted the data exchange between Jordan and Egypt for border management.
- Deliverable 9: Developed and presented the draft Roadmap of National Single Window of Egypt.
- Deliverable 10: More than 70 officers trained, from Ministries of Trade, Finance, Transport, Port Authorities, Customs on strategic planning and data harmonization for National Single Window of Egypt.
- Deliverable 11: Revised the bankable project of Jordan to modernize the border posts at Al Omari and Aqaba Port.
- Deliverable 12: Jordan adopted the concept of Jordan National Single Window and regional platform of data exchange.
- Deliverable 13: Assistance provided to Algeria and KSA with concepts of economic/export diversification.