Trade Facilitation Challenges: Unlocking Trade for Women in the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste
Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Timor Leste, and Vanuatu face unique challenges. The small island nations are detached from the major markets in the world and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. These challenges and cumbersome border processes add delays and increase cost to trade, making it difficult for Pacific island countries to trade competitively.
1,500 men and women cross border traders participated in a survey to identify the gender-specific barriers to trade facilitation. The survey showed that women in the Pacific region face greater challenges than their male counterparts. Fewer women are represented in trade associations. With the exception of Samoa, governments consult women less regularly when it comes to matters related to border processes. Fewer women are aware that declarations can be submitted electronically. Fewer women are aware that customs allow pre-declaration of shipments prior to arrival. The vast majority of both men and women traders are unaware of National Trade Facilitation Committees in their countries.
This data can help governments better understand the barriers to trade, so that they can streamline border regulations and procedures, increase access to information, and give women equal access to the benefits of trade.
The World Bank Group is committed to helping countries with their trade facilitation efforts, to reduce the gender gap, and create strong and competitive trade markets.