Regional: Trade Facilitation Support for ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint Implementation (Greater Mekong Subregion/Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand)

Sovereign Project | 45100-001

Summary

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is the fulcrum of the ASEAN vision of an integrated Southeast Asian community starting by 2015. The AEC Blueprint has set an agenda that seeks to establish ASEAN as a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, with equitable economic development and one that is fully integrated into the global economy. Establishing ASEAN as "a single market and production base" includes freer flow of five core elements: (i) goods; (ii) services; (iii) investments; (iv) capital; and (v) skilled labor.

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Project Name Trade Facilitation Support for ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint Implementation (Greater Mekong Subregion/Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand)
Project Number 45100-001
Country Regional
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8079-REG: Trade Facilitation Support for ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint Implementation (Greater Mekong Subregion/Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand)
Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction US$ 2.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector Industry and trade - Industry and trade sector development - Trade and services
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is the fulcrum of the ASEAN vision of an integrated Southeast Asian community starting by 2015. The AEC Blueprint has set an agenda that seeks to establish ASEAN as a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, with equitable economic development and one that is fully integrated into the global economy. Establishing ASEAN as "a single market and production base" includes freer flow of five core elements: (i) goods; (ii) services; (iii) investments; (iv) capital; and (v) skilled labor.

Trade facilitation is central to the implementation of the AEC Blueprint, which calls for (i) complementing successful reduction in tariffs by actions to reduce non-tariff barriers; (ii) adopting simple, harmonized and standardized trade and customs procedures, processes and related information flows; (iii) integration of customs, modernizing tariff classification and valuation, and origin determination; (iv) development of national single windows in each member country, to be integrated into an ASEAN single window; and (v) harmonization of standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures. Thus far, AEC-related trade facilitation efforts at the level of the ASEAN Single Window have struggled to meet their targets but this can be bolstered through a step by step process towards achieving National Single Window. This would require simplifying procedures to increase transparency and predictability, sequentially introducing risk management including improved database, and introduction of authorized economic operators.

The objective of the proposed project is to facilitate improved implementation of the AEC Blueprint through strengthened trade facilitation regimes in key initial building block areas in several ASEAN countries, specifically members of GMS and IMT-GT subregional programs. Several potential areas of intervention for the support exist, relating to improved operations of the border agencies involved with trade facilitation, particularly Customs, enhanced legal and regulatory framework for trade facilitation, and increased institutional capacity of the countries for trade facilitation. Two areas are critical to greater effectiveness of trade facilitation in the member countries: internal coordination amongst different government agencies, as well as external cooperation at regional level across the countries.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy The proposed TA builds on ADB's ongoing support for trade facilitation in the GMS and IMT-GT regional cooperation programs. It will complement an ongoing cluster regional TA approved in November 2010 (ADB. 2010. Support for Implementing Transport and Trade Facilitation Action Plan in the GMS, Manila), which is focusing on the strengthening of trade facilitation at the level of border and provincial entities. A new regional strategy for ASEAN will be prepared by SERD in 2012.
Impact Participating ASEAN countries move closer to the AEC vision of ASEAN as an integrated production base and market.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Trade facilitation regimes in participating ASEAN countries are enhanced
Progress Toward Outcome

Lead consultant recruited. TRS workshops have been undertaken in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia and Viet Nam. TRS has been conducted in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam. Exit conferences to disseminate the results of TRS have been organized in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam. Consultations with other participating countries on schedule of proposed TRS are ongoing.

Current Customs legislations have been reviewed for Cambodia and Lao PDR by conducting gap analysis to determine compliance with the provisions of the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC).

A dialogue among Directors General/Commissioners of Customs administrations has been supported.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Trade facilitation indicators established through TRS.

Increased efficiency and modernization of border agencies operations based on TRS diagnostics

Improved legal and regulatory framework

Strengthened trade facilitation institutions and capacities

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

In August 2012, the RETA recruited a Customs expert, providing technical services to support participating countries in the conduct of TRS and assist in improving Customs procedures. The consultant has visited Customs agencies in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam for technical discussions on TRS and other Customs reform issues. To date, national workshops on TRS have been conducted in Malaysia (March 2012), Lao PDR (April 2012), Cambodia (February 2013), and Viet Nam (February 2013). Exit conferences were also organized to disseminate the results of TRS in Thailand (September 2013), Malaysia (April 2014), and Viet Nam (September 2014) and Cambodia (December 2014). A workshop on the Advance Ruling on Rules of Origin was held on 29 September-3 October 2014 and a Workshop on Authorized Economic Operators was held on 2-4 December 2014. Preparations are to commence on the conduct of a training and a dissemination seminar on Advance Ruling System for Cambodia.

A report on gap analysis in light of the Revised Kyoto Convention has been prepared and submitted to the Customs administrations in Cambodia and Lao PDR.

The RETA also supported the "Asia and the Pacific and the Americas: Customs Leader's Partnership Dialogue" that was held in Panama April 2013 co-organized with the WCO and IDB.

Geographical Location
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

A team of consultants will be engaged to provide advisory and technical services for the R-PATA. The TA will require the services of 40 person-months of international consulting services and 81 person-months of national consulting services. The general requirements for these consultants would be: (i) relevant technical expertise based on training and professional experience; (ii) familiarity with regional cooperation concepts and initiatives; (iii) excellent communication skills, both oral and written; and (iv) skills on human relations and ability to work with a multicultural and multidisciplinary team.

The consultants will prepare reports on their tasks and other such reports as required and requested by the R-PATA. The basic reports will include the following unless otherwise specified: (i) inception report due within one month from start of engagement; (ii) interim report, to include results from field visits and consultations; and (iii) final report.

Procurement Some office, telecommunication and transport equipment will be procured for TA implementation, in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2010, as amended from time to time).
Responsible ADB Officer Shunichi Hinata
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Div, SERD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong
Metro Manila, Philippines
P.O. Box 789, 1099 Manila,
Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 15 Nov 2011
Fact Finding -
MRM -
Approval 17 May 2012
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 24 Mar 2015

TA 8079-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
17 May 2012 - 17 May 2012 30 Apr 2014 31 Oct 2015 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
0.00 2,000,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2,000,000.00 17 May 2012 764,110.56

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