Mitigating the impact of the pandemic on exports and enterprises, and facilitating economic recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on economies worldwide, disrupting supply chains and production networks, and restricting the movement of goods, services, capital and people. The Arab region has been hit hard by the crisis, with declines in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and a substantial drop in the market capital of Arab stock markets compounding the losses of businesses and economies, severely reducing trade and crippling businesses.
ESCWA addresses the lack of a comprehensive assessment of trade finance performance in the Arab region, and available options to facilitate economic recovery through export-led strategies. Because the Arab region is particularly dependent on trade, ESCWA is supporting member States and regional and national trade finance organizations in designing appropriate and effective instruments and strategies to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on exports and enterprises, and facilitate economic recovery.
The project has two components, one on transport and the other on trade.
The transport component of the project comprises the implementation of the eTIR International System, the electronic version of the United Nations TIR Convention, national Customs systems, aimed at ensuring the secure exchange of data between national Customs systems.
For the trade component, ESCWA conducted a review of recent activities and trends in export credit markets in the Arab region to determine the presence of export credit agencies (ECAs) in project financing transactions and in investment insurance. This is being complemented by a review of data published by specialized agencies and through tailored involving policymakers, banks and firms.
The project will be implemented in six of the twelve Arab countries with ECAs: three Arab African countries and three Arab Asian countries.
UN, UNCTAD, ECA, ECE, ECLAC, ESCAP, Jordanian Ministry of Transport.
ESCWA is undertaking the following:
- A large trade finance survey with major policy makers, banks and firms in the region on their strategies, activities, challenges, and future prospects in view of COVID-19;
- Technical papers on the current state, structures and future prospects of trade financing in the Arab region based on the findings of the three surveys and complementary analysis using available databases;
- Six case studies, each focusing on one member State, on available trade financing by product and market, access to credit, number and level of exporters, and trade partners at the regional, subregional and national levels, and the link between trade finance and trade performance.
- Several regional and national workshops will also be organized to ensure a wider dissemination of the project’s findings and toolkits.