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Deputy Executive Secretary Sheds Light on the work of ESCWA in Trade and Transport

ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary Nadim Khouri pointed out that the Commission has given a considerable attention to the trade and transport facilitation subject since 2001. It launched the Integrated Transport System in the Arab Mashreq (ITSAM), which aims at supporting regional integration in the region and enhance intra-Arab regional trade. He said that the most important components of ITSAM are the establishment and activation of national committees for transport and trade facilitation, which deals with the laws and procedures related to facilitating the transport of goods, simplifying the procedures, logistics, and cross border check points. He also added that ESCWA issued a manual on how to establish these committees and what their tasks are. Khouri was delivering a speech during the launching ceremony of the global program HumaWealth by the Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics (GCEL) on 4 September at the UN House, Beirut.

Khouri noted that this program is of particular importance in the region given the urgent need to strengthen national capacities and human wealth in all the economic fields, especially the logistics. This would support and facilitate the intra-Arab regional trade and promote the international trade between the Arab and the world regions. He added that ESCWA Member Countries suffer from the weak efficient national capacity working in the field of transport and trade, and the poor logistics infrastructure related to new mechanisms for border crossing procedures that leads to a slow intra-regional trade with a high cost and inefficiency. He said that in this regard, the international initiatives and projects are mostly needed today to enhance the Arab as well as the Lebanese human capacity and wealth. This would lead to raise the logistics’ efficiency and trade facilitation, thus creating job opportunities for young people and promoting economic and human development.

It is worth noting that GCEL is a nonprofit public/private partnership based in Switzerland that brings together leading firms, governments, and nonprofit organizations to trigger economic development around the world. GCEL is implementing a global program, HumaWealth, to build the world’s first digital platform for trade and deliver the digital economy. The Program has three innovative elements. The first is the Global Logistics System (GLS), an open platform technology that delivers significant new efficiencies to the industries associated with trade operations- logistics, finance, and insurance- all at no cost to end users. The second is a trusted network of 28 leading finance, insurance and technology firms evenly distributed around the world, all working together in a monitored environment to implement the system. The third is a rapid global deployment program consisting of four regional benchmark trade lanes led by a public/private partnership in a way that offsets monopolistic and geographical concerns.
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