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Getting the balance right: Minimizing food safety risks and facilitating trade in North Macedonia

Violane Konar-Leacy's picture
Many developing countries require technical inspections — by food and veterinary agencies (FVA) and phytosanitary agencies — to be carried out on all imported commodities. Inspections can be essential in preventing the entry of serious pests, diseases and toxins. However, the application of routine inspections for all imported agricultural commodities is often expensive and ignores the fact that commodities present differing risks for the movement of pests and diseases.

How are trade tensions affecting developing countries?

Caroline Freund's picture
The trade war between China and the United States is hurting consumers and producers in both countries.  As two recent papers show, US consumers are facing significantly higher prices as a result of the tariffs. In addition, producers are losing foreign sales as demand for the targeted goods declines.  
 

How can countries better manage investment risks along the BRI?

Trang Tran's picture
Investors want to ensure that their investment will be subject to predictable and stable rules and are well-protected from arbitrary government conduct. One fundamental set of tools that governments often use is to provide explicit protection for investments through investment treaties and laws.

Leave your hammocks at home: How a customs union between Guatemala and Honduras cut trade times from 10 hours to 15 minutes

Bill Gain's picture


As recently as 2017, cargo truck drivers bringing shipments of goods across the border of Guatemala and Honduras often brought along one unexpected item: a hammock. This is because clearing customs and traveling one kilometer between the two countries could take up to 10 hours. While waiting in line, drivers would need to take a break.

Is a Green Belt and Road feasible? How to mitigate the environmental risk of BRI Infrastructure Project

Elizabeth Losos's picture

China has assured the world that its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will be green
. While broad polices have been proposed to support this pledge, there is little evidence of project guidance or implementation. Given the history of negative environmental impacts from large infrastructure projects across the globe, the expansion of transportation infrastructure planned under BRI is worrisome. To clarify environmental risks from BRI road and rail development and examine best practices to address risks, researchers from Duke University have produced the working paper Reducing Environmental Risks from BRI Investments in Transportation Infrastructure.

Hurry up! How the Belt and Road Initiative changes trade times and trade

Nadia Rocha's picture

When it comes to trade, speed is of the essence. This is especially true for developing countries integrating with global markets. When goods and inputs are time sensitive, delays can be particularly costly. For this reason, the time it takes to get goods from one place to another – trading times – is a key variable determining how successful a country will be in global markets.

Public procurement in the Belt and Road Initiative

Tania Ghossein's picture
For all the attention the trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative receives, there is remarkably little reliable information about the procurement practices that are used to award BRI projects such as ports, roads and railways.
 
When it comes to public procurement of BRI-related contracts, two questions arise. First, how does procurement work—who gets contracts and on what basis? Second, to what extent do the procurement practices applied in BRI projects align with international good practices and differ from ones used in national procurement tenders?
 
Photo Credit: Construction workers on site. Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank

A look at logistics within Belt and Road economies

Christina Wiederer's picture
Businesses of all sizes know that the key to growth is getting more products into the hands of consumers. Savvy business owners also know that strong logistics can make this possible. Without a reliable way to transport goods across borders, warehouse inventory, deliver shipments from airports and terminals, or manage customs clearance, customers never get what they purchased, and businesses never get their profits.

How much will the Belt and Road Initiative reduce trade costs?

Michele Ruta's picture
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development strategy proposed by China to improve cooperation on a trans-continental scale. The range of projects and activities that will be part of the BRI is very wide, including policy coordination, infrastructure, trade and investment, financial and people-to-people exchanges. But a key goal of the Initiative is to boost connectivity and reduce trade costs through new and improved transport infrastructure projects.
 

Foreign investment growth in the Belt and Road economies

Maggie Xiaoyang Chen's picture
A major objective of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is to reduce the time and cost it takes to transport goods and people across BRI economies. Many of these countries face serious gaps in infrastructure, especially related to trade and investment.
 
Traveling on a rural highway in Kazakhstan. PhotoCredit: Kubat Sydykov / World Bank 

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