Background Research on Public-Private-Partnership for Trade Facilitation


Submitted dateLast Update DateVersionProject Proposal StatusProject Page
2013-06-03 2013-06-033.0
Background Research on Public-Private-Partnership for Trade Facilitation



Project Purpose

This project’s purpose is to determine if there is sufficient need to formulate a project to develop a recommendation regarding Public Private Partnerships (PPP) for Trade Facilitation. A large number of trade facilitating initiatives are today made as Public Private Partnerships (PPP), often constructed as Build Operate Train and Transfer. The PPPs for Trade Facilitation can concern border crossing infrastructure, automation of trade documentation exchange, scanning equipment, Single Windows and many more. Some experience suggests that the cost of using such facilities can become very high for the end users. A lot of resources on PPP are devoted to infrastructure development (hospitals, toll roads, energy, etc.), but there has as yet been no substantive work put together on PPP in the domain of Trade Facilitation. These types of PPP can include technology (Single Window, Port community, scanners, e-procurement) as well as infrastructure (One Stop Border Posts, Toll roads, bridges, railways, ports, airports). Although it appears likely that there is a need for a trade-facilitation recommendation within UN/CEFACT’s programme of work, further research is needed to confirm this.

Project Scope

The scope of this project is to study Trade Facilitation PPPs as well as available resources on PPPs in general in order to confirm or invalidate the need for a UNECE recommendation on the subject. The UNECE PPP Programme has been active in promoting a better understanding of PPPs among government officials for the past 15 years through lesson sharing, capacity-building and training activities and elaboration of guides on best practices in PPPs. Under the auspices of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Integration, the UNECE has a mandate to build the capacity of governments to undertake PPPs. In 2007 the UNECE Team of Specialists on Public-Private Partnerships was established as the leading intergovernmental body within the UN system devoted to PPPs to facilitate information-sharing and exchange practical experience in Public-Private Partnerships and contribute to the implementation of a capacity-building programme for public and private sector officials from transition economies and developing countries on this topic. In February 2012, the UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence was established to develop and disseminate PPP best practice. Currently more than 2,000 PPP experts participate in the UNECE work on PPPs representing private and public sector parties experienced in implementing PPP projects in various sectors. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has also studied the issue. The Commission considered possible work to be undertaken in the field of privately financed infrastructure projects in 1996, in the light of a note by the Secretariat on build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects. The Commission decided to prepare a legislative guide and requested the Secretariat to prepare draft chapters of such a guide. The Commission reviewed the draft’s chapters from its thirtieth to its thirty-third sessions and adopted the Legislative Guide at its thirty-third session, held in New York from 12 June to 7 July 2000, subject to editorial modifications left to the Secretariat, and requested the UNCITRAL Secretariat to ensure its widest possible dissemination. During the 21st Forum of UN/CEFACT, the ITPD organized a mini-conference on the subject which underlined not only the interest of experts in this domain, but also some of the key considerations to be taken into account. This will most likely be the working base for future work.

Project Deliverables

The project deliverable is a Background Paper. The research may or may not provide sufficient background material to propose a project to develop a UNECE recommendation. The key elements which will be conducted in this study project include: • information gathering • try to identify cases when PPP makes sense from a financial and economical point of view • research of existing literature and texts on the subject to see if the information gathered on trade facilitation interests differs (i.e. if a UNECE recommendation could bring added value) • identify if there are recommended practices which could provide short/clear guidance

Exit Criteria

Background Paper: • Completion of research • Research materials brought together in a Background Paper • Background Paper transmitted to Bureau for information

Project Team Membership and Required Functional Expertise

Membership is open to experts with broad knowledge in the area of Public-Private Partnerships, trade facilitation, or in the legal framework for cross-border trade. Experts are expected to contribute to the work based solely on their expertise and to comply with the UN/CEFACT Code of Conduct and Ethics.

Head of Delegation Support

List at least three Country heads of delegation who support this project, and include their written expression of support using the template in annex IV... Not required as this is not yet a recommendation project.

Geographical Focus

The geographical focus is global.

Initial Contributions

• UNECE, Guidebook on Promoting Good Governance in Public-Private Partnerships. (as of April 2013) • UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement. (as of April 2013) • UNCITRAL International Colloquium on PPP 2-3 May, Vienna. (as of April 2013) • WTO – Government Procurement. (as of April 2013)

Resource Requirements

Participants in the project shall provide resources for their own participation. The existence and functioning of the project shall not require any resources from the UNECE secretariat.

Project Leadership

Project co-Leader: Dr. Lance THOMPSON Project co-Leader: Malcolm McKINNON






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Background PaperYES2013-06-30YES2013-09-30YES YES YES YES YES 

Project Proposal Files