The SASEC trade and transport facilitation monitoring mechanism (TTFMM) is helping three member countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal – develop effective monitoring systems of their respective trade and transport facilitation reforms and measures, with the aim of better identifying solutions to streamline and optimize trade and transport processes.
What is the TTFMM and What Benefit Will it Bring to SASEC Countries?
The TTFMM is an integrated monitoring system that tracks progress of transport and trade facilitation implemented under a national plan. It has been developed based on a Business Process Analysis Plus (BPA+) methodology, which is broadly defined as the BPA process supplemented by time release study (TRS) and time-cost-distance (TCD) methodologies.
Implementing the TTFMM should bring two-fold benefit:
- access to regularly updated trade data that will enhance the ability of policy-makers to formulate and prioritize recommendations to advance their respective national trade facilitation measures; and
- the ability for countries to measure and assess progress in trade facilitation reform and implementation on a sustainable national basis.
Enabling SASEC member countries to monitor and enhance trade facilitation on a continuous basis and in a sustainable manner through the TTFMM will further avoid sole reliance on existing global trade facilitation performance surveys and databases, which often provide useful information on benchmarking and raise awareness, yet do not provide sufficiently detailed information to develop or update national trade and transport facilitation action plans.
Who is Responsible for Implementing the TTFMM?
Ideally, responsibility for the TTFMM should be seated with a country’s national trade and transport facilitation committee (or equivalent body) and comprise the many different public and private sector stakeholders involved in trade. Importantly, it should draw upon national resources to ensure sustainability: while trade and transport facilitation assessments of various scopes are conducted in least developed countries or landlocked developing countries, these assessments can be ad-hoc and costly in nature, carried out by external development partners, and lacking coordination among necessary national stakeholders.
Background to the SASEC TTFMM
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) are supporting the SASEC countries through a pilot phase of TTFMM implementation in Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal during 2015-2016. A series of workshops have been conducted to seek the inputs of public and private sector representatives from the national trade and transport facilitation committees in participating countries:
- Inception Workshop of the ADB-ESCAP Project on Trade and Transport Facilitation Performance Monitoring in the SASEC Countries – 25 March 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand
- ADB-UNESCAP National Training on Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism – 28-29 April, 2014 in Dhaka, Bangladesh
- ADB-UNESCAP Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism National Training Workshop – 10-14 March 2014, in Phuentsholing, Bhutan
- ADB-UNESCAP National Training on Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism – 15-17 April 2014 in Dhulikhel, Nepal